Peace Day in the Hague, the Netherlands.

The Hague, Netherlands: City of Peace


Welcome citizens of The Hague, Netherlands: International City of Peace and Justice. The Hague has a long history of peace making and now Johanna (call sign Jolanda) van Wijk and her colleagues have created a city of peace initiative to further encourage peace-making in the city and beyond to the Kingdom of the Netherlands proper, and to Europe & Africa.

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

The foundation of The Hague as an “international city of peace and justice” was laid in 1899, when the world’s first Peace Conference took place in The Hague on Tobias Asser’s initiative, followed by a second in 1907. A direct result of these meetings was the establishment of the world’s first organisation for the settlement of international disputes: the Permanent Court of Arbitration (PCA). Shortly thereafter the Scottish-American millionaire Andrew Carnegie made the necessary funds available to build the Peace Palace (“Vredespaleis”) to house the PCA.


The Peace Palace in The Hague

Johanna’s Vision

Peace is a right, for all of us. Happiness is what we are. Though life can try to hit us, we can always be peaceful and happy.

Johanna’s Mission

Contributing to peaceful & happy lives by fostering cultures of safety, prosperity and quality of life. Helping people, to make their stumbling part of the dance of life. Inspiring people, teach them how to hit back when life tries to hit them.

Johanna´s Commitment

– Bringing the message of International Cities of Peace (ICP) to cities, villages, communities that she visits in Europe & Africa, and to target & facilitate cities to join the movement by establishing as ICP, a.o. Geneva (Switzerland) and Utrecht (the Netherlands).
– Establishing a network of ICP like-minded people in the Hague (the Netherlands) and beyond in the Kingdom of the Netherlands (which includes the Caribbean islands Aruba, Curacao and Saint Martin), and in Europe & Africa.
– Being available for other ICP leaders (worldwide) for inspiration and facilitation (with a focus on her Peace via Dialogue program and Boxing for Peace workshops), and connecting them with each other when it makes sense.
– Offering help to the ICP organisation whenever possible & needed.
– Making sure the peace legacy is better known.

2015 visit with Mwesigwa Julius and the team in Luweero, Uganda, which became a city of peace.


Johanna van Wijk with the kids of the Zana Social Development Organisation, Uganda – Nasser´s Junior Boxing Academy team.


2015 dialogue introduction training with Ali Tebandeke and his team in Nateete, Uganda, which became a city of peace.



Since March 2014 Johanna is involved in the International Cities of Peace community.


2017 with Boxing for Peace team in Rijswijk, the Netherlands.

Johanna is born in July 1967 (the 5th.), in the middle of the country the Netherlands, the Utrecht area. She is raised Catholic and grew up as a cheerful, curious, and loving child who managed to find her own way, amidst a highly valued village butchery shop run by her parents. Always busy, but always available. Both she and her two brothers and younger sister helped in and around the shop.

Johanna has learned a lot from home, at school, and beyond and she has always stayed with an open mind. On LinkedIn, you can find about her education and work experience (

Johanna has worked for more than fifteen years for IBM and runs, since 2008, her own company, in life counseling, executive coaching & relationship management. Part of her work comprises conflict resolution training & support, as well as dialogue training & support. She studied International Marketing Management, Business Administration (postgraduate), Mediation and Psychosocial knowledge, and did many workshops and training in support of her development. She initiated & co-founded and developed a program Peace via Dialogue and a workshop Boxing for Peace, which is the base for her welfare work.
At a young age, Johanna felt a world citizen, connected to all living things. She likes nature, good food & sports and to contribute to improving the lives of less advantaged people. She traveled in Europe, Australia, and the United States (New York, Michigan, and Isle Royale in Lake Ontario) and visited Beijing (China), Bali (Indonesia), Uganda, and Kigali (Rwanda).

In 2015 Johanna went, on the invitation of Henry Kibalama, who was establishing Wakiso ICP, to Uganda. They had worked together on the Thirst magazine and wanted to do the Dialogue training pilot (Peace via Dialogue program). In Uganda, she stayed several times in Kampala ghettos Zana and Nateete, and she visited Luweero. She inspired the Ugandan community leaders who she met, to establish the International City of Peace, and use dialogue as an instrument to foster a culture of peace. It is in Zana at Nasser´s Junior Boxing Academy where boxing found her, and where she co-founded (an NGO). In Kigali (2016) she met with Congolese International Cities of Peace leaders, making plans to run the Peace via Dialogue program there (which delayed, until 2020). For Sierra Leone, Pakistan, and Somaliland she has been of assistance too to help the ICP leaders establish as ICP and she did city to city initiatives with Pakistan and Somaliland.

Best regards, Hartelijke groet,
Jolanda van Wijk (mob. + 31 6 30417530)
Peace via Dialogue program:







THE HAGUE, NETHERLANDS (excerpted from Wikipedia)

The Hague is the seat of government in the Netherlands, and the capital city of the province of South Holland. With a population just over 500,000 inhabitants (as of 1 November 2012) and more than one million inhabitants including the suburbs, it is the third largest city of the Netherlands, after Amsterdam and Rotterdam. The combined urban area of The Hague and Rotterdam, with a population of approximately 2.9 million, is the 206th largest urban area in the world and the most populous in the country. Located in the west of the Netherlands, The Hague is in the centre of the Haaglanden conurbation and lies at the southwest corner of the larger Randstad conurbation.

The Hague is the seat of the Dutch government and parliament, the Supreme Court, and the Council of State, but the city is not the capital of the Netherlands which constitutionally is Amsterdam. King Willem-Alexander of the Netherlands plans to live at Huis ten Bosch and works at Noordeinde Palace in The Hague, together with Queen Máxima. Most foreign embassies in the Netherlands and 150 international organisations are located in the city, including the International Court of Justice and the International Criminal Court, which makes The Hague one of the major cities hosting the United Nations, along with New York, Vienna, Geneva, Tokyo and Nairobi.

The city of The Hague contributes substantially to international politics: The Hague is home to over 150 international organisations. These include the International Court of Justice (ICJ), the International Criminal Court (ICC), the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY), and the Appeals Chamber of the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR).

After the establishment of the League of Nations, The Hague became the seat of the Permanent Court of International Justice, which was replaced by the UN’s International Court of Justice after the Second World War. The establishment of the Iran-US Claims Tribunal (1981), the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (1993) and the International Criminal Court (2002) in the city further consolidated the role of The Hague as a center for international legal arbitration. Most recently, on 1 March 2009, a U.N. tribunal to investigate and prosecute suspects in the 2005 assassination of Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri opened in the former headquarters of the Netherlands General Intelligence Agency in Leidschendam, a town within the greater area of The Hague.

World Peace Flame at the Peace Palace at The Hague

The Hague is the fourth major centre for the United Nations, after New York, Geneva and Vienna. In line with the city’s history as an important convention center and the current presence of institutions such as the ICJ, The Hague’s city council employs a city branding strategy that aims to establish The Hague as the Legal Capital of the World and the International City of Peace and Justice.

Major international and European organisations based in The Hague include:

– Eurojust, European Union body composed of national prosecutors
– European Patent Office
– Europol, European Police Office
– Hague Academy of International Law, center for high-level education in both public and private international law
– Hague Conference on Private International Law, (HCCH), the oldest and preeminent private international law harmonisation institution
– International Court of Justice, located in the Peace Palace
– International Criminal Court, (ICC)
– International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia, (ICTY)
– International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR, appeals court only). The tribunal itself is in Arusha, Tanzania.
– Iran-United States Claims Tribunal
– The Special Tribunal for Lebanon
– Unrepresented Nations and Peoples Organization
– NATO Consultation, Command and Control Agency, (NC3A)
– Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, (OPCW)
– Permanent Court of Arbitration, the oldest institution for international dispute resolution.
– The European Library

Many academic institutions in the fields of international relations, international law and international development are based in The Hague. The Hague Academic Coalition (HAC) is a consortium of those institutions.




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