Amsterdam, The Netherlands: City of Peace

ICP IS VERY SAD TO KNOW THAT OUR BELOVED MAYOR EBERHARD VAN DER LAAN HAS PASSED ON. WE THANK HIM FOR HIS INCREDIBLE WORK AND WE WILL TRULY MISS HIM. (Attn: the information regarding the mayor will be adjusted as soon as the new Mayor has taken seat in Amsterdam)

Welcome to Amsterdam Mayor Eberhard van der Laan, the Municipal Council, and the citizens of Amsterdam, the Netherlands, which have established by historical legacy and modern peace building as an International City of Peace. Amsterdam is capital of the Kingdom of the Netherlands. The government offices, however, are located in The Hague.

Note: Introduction page with information primarily at the time of joining International Cities of Peace. For updates, please contact the liaison.

The Netherlands has the reputation of the leading the world in environmental and population management. In 2015, Amsterdam achieved status as 4th on the Arcadis Sustainable Cities Index. In 2013, the United Nations World Happiness Report ranked the Netherlands as the seventh-happiest country in the world, reflecting its high quality of life.

Mayor of Amsterdam, Eberhard van der Laan


The Town of Amsterdam, January 11, 2017

“The Non profit organisation International Cities of Peace has asked if the city of Amsterdam is willing, just like 130 other worldcities, to become a city of Peace. The council of Mayor and Aldermen has agreed with this status. More than 130 worldcities where under New York and Mubai have already declared to be a city of Peace. When a city announces itself to a city of Peace, it will give citizens and organisations an extra support and stimulans when they initiate, develop and organise local peace initiatives. The membership is without costs.”

Dutch: De non-profit organisatie “International Cities of Peace” heeft gevraagd of Amsterdam zich, evenals 130 wereldsteden, als stad van vrede wil uitroepen. Het college van B en W is hiermee akkoord gegaan. Meer dan 130 wereldsteden waaronder ook twee partnersteden New York en Mumbai hebben al verklaard een stad van Vrede te zijn. Als een stad zichzelf uitroept tot stad van Vrede, geeft dat burgers en organisaties een extra steuntje in de rug als zij lokaal vredesinitiatieven ontwikkelen of organiseren. Aan het lidmaatschap zijn geen kosten verbonden.

The Communication is found here:


The Municipal Council of Amsterdam.




Mayor Eberhard van der Laan

Eberhard Edzard van der Laan was born in Leiden on 28 June 1955. He studied law at VU University Amsterdam and after graduation took the initiative to set up a law firm (Kennedy Van der Laan) in 1992. He ended his relationship with that firm when he took office as Minister for Housing, Communities and Integration in 2008. In this function, Van der Laan committed himself to the integration and naturalisation of new Dutch citizens and to improving the situation in disadvantaged urban areas in the Netherlands.

Van der Laan joined the Dutch Labour Party (Partij van de Arbeid, PvdA) in 1976. He sat on the Amsterdam City Council for the party from 1990 to 1998, from 1993 as chairman of his party’s council representatives. Before that, he was political assistant to Alderman Jan Schaefer.

As a lawyer, Van der Laan, in addition to counting many large companies and institutions among his clients, showed a great deal of interest in social issues. He often stood up for tenants, small civil-society organisations and people on the margins of society. On countless occasions he acted both formally and informally as mediator in a variety of conflicts.

In addition, Van der Laan sat on the board of various social, cultural and commercial organisations before taking office as Mayor of Amsterdam. These organisations were primarily based in Amsterdam and include the Resistance Museum, the weekly paper De Groene Amsterdammer and Circus Elleboog, a circus for and by children.

On 7 July 2010, Eberhard van der Laan took office as Mayor of Amsterdam.

The office of Amsterdam’s Mayor encompasses a variety of additional functions. As such, Van der Laan holds positions as Force Manager for the Amsterdam-Amstelland police department; as Chairman for Daily and General Administration for the Regional Fire Service and as Chairman of the organisation for Medical Assistance for Accidents and Disasters in the Netherlands.

Eberhard van der Laan is married and has five children.



Catharina van Staveren
Dutch Ambassador, International Cities of Peace

Catharina was born in the Kingdom of the Netherlands. She has a Dutch father and a mother coming from Jamaica. Because of her international background and as her Jamaican grandfather worked at the United Nations in New York, she has always been very interesting in working in international affairs. The area of political affairs and human rights; especially the empowerment of women, has always been her greatest preference.

Catharina studied Leisure management; focused on Event management and Entre-preneurship, at the University of Applied studies at CHN (now Stenden University). She holds a Bachelor of Arts. She took courses in Communications and Information Science at the Academic University in Groningen, both in the Kingdom of the Netherlands.

She worked as a Public Relations and Communications manager at the Superclubs in Jamaica; and worked here with many prominent people from all over the globe. She also gained working experience in diverse governmental organisations, museums, tourism and hospitality. She has worked with journalists, top officials, mayors, clergymen, chairs and celebrities. She has also worked with donors and raised funds for many causes.

Catharina is a passionate advocate for Universal Peace. She volunteers for many causes; for the empowerment of women, refugees, the homeless and the welfare of animals. She is a Honorary Ambassador representing institutes for destitute people and orphans living in Guinea and in Tanzania, and for Peace Development in Cameroon and in Pakistan. She is the Chair of the CDA political board in her local Municipality. She also is Vice President External Affairs and Grants of Women and Nature in New York.

As Ambassador for the International Cities For Peace she is strongly driven to connect International Cities for the cause of a prosper and peaceful planet for all peoples.

Catharina is fluent in Dutch and English and speaks basic French and German. She wrote several articles about human and women’s rights and Worldpeace.

Some were also published in Global Education Magazine. (G.E.M.):

• “How Human Legacy is UNITED in My Heart”, in “Global Education Magazine”, pp. 124-5, published January 30, 2013, by Global Education Magazine ~ Director, Javier Collado Ruano.

• Global Education Magazone: School Day of Non-violence and Peace (January 30th, 2013)

• “Glimmer of Hope; Our Collective Evolution to The State Of Everlasting World Peace” in “Global Education Magazine”, pp. 90, published January 8 March, 2014, by Global Education Magazine ~ Director, Javier Collado




For more information please contact:

The Mayor’s Office:

The Amsterdam City Hall is located at 61 Church Street, Amsterdam, NY and is open from 8:00am to 4:00pm Monday – Friday.


Catharina van Staveren:



Amsterdam is the capital and most populous municipality of the Kingdom of the Netherlands. Its status as the capital is mandated by the Constitution of the Netherlands, although it is not the seat of the government, which is The Hague. Amsterdam has a population of 847,176 within the city proper, 1,343,647 in the urban area, and 2,431,000 in the Amsterdam metropolitan area The city is located in the province of North Holland in the west of the country. The metropolitan area comprises much of the northern part of the Randstad, one of the larger conurbations in Europe, with a population of approximately 7 million.

Amsterdam’s name derives from Amstelredamme, indicative of the city’s origin around a dam in the river Amstel. Originating as a small fishing village in the late 12th century, Amsterdam became one of the most important ports in the world during the Dutch Golden Age (17th century), a result of its innovative developments in trade. During that time, the city was the leading centre for finance and diamonds. In the 19th and 20th centuries the city expanded, and many new neighborhoods and suburbs were planned and built. The 17th-century canals of Amsterdam and the 19–20th century Defence Line of Amsterdam are on the UNESCO World Heritage List.

As the commercial capital of the Netherlands and one of the top financial centres in Europe, Amsterdam is considered an alpha world city by the Globalization and World Cities (GaWC) study group. The city is also the cultural capital of the Netherlands. Many large Dutch institutions have their headquarters there, and seven of the world’s 500 largest companies, including Philips and ING, are based in the city. In 2012, Amsterdam was ranked the second best city to live in by the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) and 12th globally on quality of living for environment and infrastructure by Mercer. The city was ranked 3rd in innovation by Australian innovation agency 2thinknow in their Innovation Cities Index 2009. The Amsterdam seaport to this day remains the second in the country, and the fifth largest seaport in Europe.

Famous Amsterdam residents include Anne Frank the diarist, artists Rembrandt van Rijn and Vincent van Gogh, and philosopher Baruch Spinoza. The Amsterdam Stock Exchange, the oldest stock exchange in the world, is located in the city center. Amsterdam’s main attractions, including its historic canals, the Rijksmuseum, the Van Gogh Museum, Stedelijk Museum, Hermitage Amsterdam, Anne Frank House, Amsterdam Museum, its red-light district, and its many cannabis coffee shops draw more than 5 million international visitors annually.




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