Hague Agenda for Peace and Justice

The Hague Agenda for Peace and Justice for the 21st Century - Conference Edition

This Hague Agenda for Peace and Justice for the 21s t Century has emerged from an intensive process of consultation among the seventy-two members of the Hague Appeal for Peace Organizing and Coordinating Committees, and the hundreds of organizations and individuals that have actively participated in the Hague Appeal for Peace process. The Agenda represents what these civil society organizations and citizens consider to be some of the most important challenges facing humankind as it prepares to embark upon a new millennium. The Agenda reflects the four major strands of the Hague Appeal:

  1. 1) Root Causes of War / Culture of Peace.
  2. 2) International Humanitarian and Human Rights Law and Institutions
  3. 3) Prevention, Resolution and Transformation of Violent Conflict and
  4. 4) Disarmament and Human Security.


The world is emerging from the bloodiest, most war-ridden century in history. On the eve of the new century, it is time to create the conditions in which the primary aim of the United Nations, "to save succeeding gene rations from the scourge of war", can be realized. This is the goal of The Hague Appeal for Peace.

Skeptics will say that it cannot be done. The Hague Appeal challenges this assumption. This century has seen unimagined changes. Society now has the means to cure disease and eliminate poverty and starvation. The twentieth century has also seen the creation of a set of universal norms which, if implemented, would go a long way toward making war unnecessary and impossible. We have witnessed inspiring and successful experiments with active nonviolence in struggles for independence and civil rights by unarmed peoples' movements. And this century has seen the replacement of authoritarian forms of government by democratic governance and the increasing role of civil society in the affairs of humanity.

Recent years have seen outbreaks of genocide in Cambodia, Bosnia, Rwanda and Kosovo, brutal attacks against civilians and th e spread of horrendous weapons of mass destruction capable of ending life on much or all of the planet. Indigenous populations continue to be denied their rights to self-determination. In a great many cases, the world's governments have manifestly failed to fulfill their responsibility to prevent conflict, protect civilians, end war, eradicate colonialism, guarantee human rights and create the conditions of permanent peace.

Therefore, this historic mission and responsibility cannot be entrusted solely to governments. The Hague Appeal proposes a citizens' Agenda for Peace and Justice for the 21st Century. This will entail a fundamentally new approach, building on the recent model of New Diplomacy in which citizen advocates, progressive governments and international organizations have worked together for common goals. We will embrace the moral imagination and courage necessary to create a 21st century culture of peace and to develop national and supranational institutions which ultimately must be the guarantors of peace and justice in this world.

There is already much to choose from. Civil society has flourished since the end of the Cold War and launched campaigns aimed at eradicating landmines, reducing the traffic in small arms, alleviating third world debt, ending violence against women, abolishing nuclear weapons, protecting the rights of children, stopping the use of child soldiers and building an independent International Criminal Court. These grassroots efforts are having a major impact. They are succeeding because they mobilize ordinary people, because they integrate different sectors (human rights, the environment, humanitarian assistance, disarmament, sustainable development, etc.) and because they invite the full participation of women, youth, indigenous peoples, minorities, the disabled and other affected groups.

These campaigns have generated unity and cohesion and demonstrate what can be done when people are listened to instead of talked at. The Hague Appeal for Peace intends to listen, learn and then to build. Out of this process will emerge a new citizens' Agenda for Peace and Justice for the 21st Century. It is a vital and realizable goal.



Components of the Hague Appeal, from the conference program to the campaigns, are motivated by the following main themes:

Traditional Failure

Traditional approaches to preventing war and building peace have by and large failed disastrously. This is evidenced by the growing brutality of warfare, and the callous disregard for civilian life in such conflicts as the Congo, Sierra Leone and Kosovo. Impunity for ethnic cleansing and for crime s against humanity is not compatible with international law. Big-power bullying tactics are not diplomacy. Sanctions that starve the poor are not solidarity. Fire brigade peacekeeping efforts are no substitute for sophisticated early warning and conflict prevention systems.

Human Security

It is time to redefine security in terms of human and ecological needs instead of national sovereignty and national borders. Redirecting funding from armaments to human security and sustainable development will establish new priorities leading to the construction of a new social order which ensures the equal participation of marginalized groups, including women and indigenous people, restricts use of military force, and moves toward c collective global security.

Soft Power

We are profoundly encouraged that civil society and progressive governments are choosing 'soft power' paths, utilizing negotiation, coalition building and new diplomacy methods of settling disputes, while rejecting the 'hard power' dictates of major powers, militaries and economic conglomerates.

All Human Rights for All

The violation of human rights is one of the root causes of war. These violations include the denial of economic, social and cultural rights, as well as political and civil rights. The artificial distinction between these two sets of rights can no longer be tolerated. We affirm the universality and indivisibility of human rights and call for stronger mechanisms to implement and enforce human rights treaties and to afford redress to victims for the violation of their rights.

Replacing the Law of Force with the Force of Law

The rule of law has been contemptuously ignored in contemporary conflicts. The Hague Appeal seeks to develop and promote universal adherence to and implementation of international law. It also seeks to invigorate existing institutions of international law like the International Court of Justice and to create new institutions like the International Criminal Court. Knowledge of and recourse to international law must also be made more accessible to individuals.

Taking the Initiative in Peace-Making

It is time for people to assert their commitment to peace and - if necessary - to wrest peace-making away from the exclusive control of politicians and military establishments. Too often, peace initiatives are proposed as a last resort, with negotiations restricted to the warmongers, and imposed on those most affected, particularly women and children. Those who have suffered the most must have a place at the table when peace agreements are drawn up, with equal representation for women. If necessary, civil society should also convene peace initiatives before crises get out of control and lives are lost. This can help to turn early warning from a slogan into a reality.

Bottom-Up Globalization

The alarming concentration of economic power and the irresponsible imposition of neo-liberal, macro-economic policies are destroying the environment, generating poverty and desperation, widening divisions and fomenting war. The Hague Appeal encourages efforts to challenge this destructive model of globalization through community-based coalitions such as the Jubilee 2000 call for debt forgiveness and through campaigns to eradicate poverty and to economically empower women.

Democratic International Decision-Making

The United Nations system and other multilateral in situations have the capacity to be a unique and universal force for peace. Too often, however, they have been treated with cynicism, politicized and under-funded. The international system must be revived, democratized and provided with resources if it is to realise its potential in peace-building. In particular, we call for a Security Council that can serve human security rather than Great Power interests, and for a radical reorientation of international financial institutions to make them more transparent and accountable and to serve human rather than corporate needs.

Humanitarian Intervention

The Hague Appeal demands the speedy and effective intervention of humanitarian forces, subject to the prescriptions of the United Nations Charter, when civilians are threatened by genocide, war crimes, crimes against humanity and extreme national disasters. It is extraordinary that so little attention has been paid to the idea of establishing a standing intervention force. Civil society should consider new forms of civilian intervention as a matter of urgency.

Finding the Money for Peace and Starving the Funds for War

The allocation of resources is seriously distorted. Many of today's conflicts are fueled by economic greed and the grab for raw materials, while billions are spent on the arms trade and other forms of militarisation. At the same time, many worthwhile peace initiatives and programs for human security suffer from a lack of funds even though governments have adopted an extraordinary series of global action plans at the historic world conferences convened during the last ten years. These priorities must be reversed. In addition to eliminating weapons of mass destruction and drastically curbing the arms trade, military budgets must be progressively reduced.


MAIN ACTIONS - Implementing the Hague Agenda

The Hague Appeal for Peace will serve as a launch p ad for several major initiatives and campaigns. Following are some of the key actions that will be highlighted at the Hague. They represent initiative s by civil society and coalitions who are looking for new partners to join their glob al networks. Many other actions will emerge from the conference itself.


International Action Network on Small Arms (IANSA)

The International Action Network on Small Arms (IAN SA) is a global network of NGOs dedicated to preventing the proliferation and unlawful use of small arms by pushing forward the boundaries for international action. The IANSA launch at the Hague Appeal for Peace will look at the devastating impact of the spread and misuse of small arms, outline the need for a global campaign and encourage civil society organizations to join together to tackle one of the greatest humanitarian challenges of our times.

Global Campaign for Peace Education

A culture of peace will be achieved when citizens of the world understand global problems, have the skills to resolve conflicts and struggle for justice non-violently, live by international standards of human rights and equity, appreciate cultural diversity, and respect the Earth and each other. Such learning can only be achieved with systematic education for peace.

The Hague Appeal for Peace conference will launch a call and a campaign to support the United Nations Decade for a Culture of Peace and Non-violence for the Children of the World and to introduce peace an d human rights education into all educational institutions, including medical and law schools. The campaign will be conducted through a global network of education associations and regional, national and local task forces of citizen s and educators.

Global Ratification Campaign for the International Criminal Court

At the Hague Appeal for Peace, The NGO Coalition for an International Criminal Court (CICC) will launch its global campaign for the ratification of the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court. The IC C will be a permanent court for bringing to justice individuals accused of genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity. To reach the target of 60 ratifications the campaign will concentrate on raising awareness and understanding of the ICC among the general public, all sectors of civil society, the news media and decision makers around the world.

International Campaign to Ban Landmines

The International Campaign to Ban Landmines (ICBL) will unveil its first report on implementation of the Ottawa mine ban treaty and re new the call for its universal ratification. The next steps in the ICBL include universalization, ratification and implementation of this treaty which bans the use, production, stockpiling and transfer of antipersonnel mines. The ICBL also seek s to hold States Parties to the treaty to their commitment to increase mine clearance and victim assistance efforts around the world.

Abolition of Nuclear Weapons

In June, 1998, the New Agenda Coalition (NAC) which includes seven courageous governments - Brazil, Egypt, Ireland, Mexico, New Zealand, South Africa and Sweden - challenged the Nuclear Weapons States to implement several immediate practical steps, including de-alerting all nuclear forces. They presented their agenda in a UN resolution, which was adopted in December 1998 by 114 votes to 18.
Building on this momentum, a campaign to get nuclear and non-nuclear weapon states to commence negotiations toward the rapid conclusion of a convention to abolish nuclear weapons, as mandated by Article VI of the Non-Proliferation Treaty and by the International Court of Justice, will be launched at the Hague Appeal for Peace by IALANA, INESAP, IPB, IPPNW, Abolition 2000 and Middle Powers Initiative.

Global Action to Prevent War

At the Hague Appeal, the Institute for Defense and Disarmament Studies, Union of Concerned Scientists and World Order Models Project will launch a Global Action Plan to Prevent War. This is a comprehensive, multi-stage program for moving toward a world in which armed conflict is rare.

Global Action urges a mix of enhanced conflict prevention, peacekeeping, disarmament, and measures promoting human rights, n on-violent solutions, and the rule of law. Global Action seeks to contribute to the formation of a coalition, including those concerned with non-violent means of conflict resolution and peace education, with tackling root causes of war a rising from social and economic injustice, with humanitarian aid, economic development, conflict prevention, peacekeeping, and disarmament, both "conventional" and nuclear.

Stop the Use of Child Soldiers

The Coalition to Stop the Use of Child Soldiers was formed in May 1998 by leading international Non-Governmental Organization s seeking an end to the military recruitment and use as soldiers of all children under 18 years of age, whether by governmental armed forces or armed opposition groups. At the Hague Appeal for Peace conference, the international Coalition, in cooperation with UNICEF and the Dutch Coalition to Stop the Use of Child Soldiers, will renew its call for an end to the use of children as soldiers around the world and to promote increased action by government and civil society, particularly in countries where child recruitment and participation in armed conflict continues.

Introduction to Strand AGENDA POINTS for The Hague Agenda for Peace and Justice

The agenda items for the four strands of the Hague Appeal - Root Causes of War/Culture of Peace, International Humanitarian an d Human Rights Law and Institutions, Prevention, Resolution and Transformation of Violent Conflict, and Disarmament and Human Security attempt to represent , as accurately as possible, the issues, initiatives and principles enunciated by the participating organizations. In several instances the specific language or style used for a given agenda item has been proposed by a coalition of organizations or has been reached after lengthy discussions with groups involved. In order to achieve maximum responsiveness to the many contributions received, we have neither attempted uniformity of style among the four strand sections nor eliminated a certain amount of duplication.




1. Educate for Peace, Human Rights and Democracy

In order to combat the culture of violence that pervades our society, the coming generation deserves a radically different education - one that does not glorify war but educates for peace and nonviolence and international cooperation. The Hague Appeal for Peace seeks to launch a world-wide campaign to empower people at all levels with the peacemaking skills of mediation, conflict transformation, consensus-building and non-violent social change. This campaign will:

• Insist that peace education be made compulsory at all levels of the education system.
• Demand that education ministries systematically implement peace education initiatives at a local and national level .
• Call on development assistance agencies to promote peace education as a component of their teacher training and materials production.

2. Counter the Adverse Effects of Globalization

Economic globalization has marginalized broad sections of the world's population, further widening the gap between rich and poor. The Hague Appeal for Peace supports the creation of a just global economy with special emphasis on:

• An international campaign among local, national, international and intergovernmental organizations promoting respect f or labor rights.
• Democratic reform of the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund, the World Trade Organization and other international financial institutions.
• Regulation of the international financial system.
• Accountability of multinational corporations, including proposals for the granting of international charters and their revocation in cases of gross abuse and for abiding by international marketing codes and standards.
• Financing economic development from new sources, such as modest levies on international transfers of arms or funds (the Tobin tax).
• Expanding the G8 to G16 or creating an economic or environmental security council to include countries from the developing world.
• Cancellation of the crushing debts of the world's poorest countries and the odious debts inherited by democratic governments from the previous corrupt, undemocratic governments they have replaced.
• Recognition and implementation of economic, social and cultural rights, including the right to development, child rights and women's rights.

3. Advance the Sustainable and Equitable Use of Environmental Resources

As stated in the 1998 United Nations Development Program Human Development Report, "The world's dominant consumers are overwhelmingly concentrated among the well-off - but the environmental damage from the world's consumption falls most severely on the poor."
The Hague Appeal for Peace supports initiatives to:

• Strengthen international environmental law and its implementation by, i.a., promoting the concept of a basic right to a clean and healthy environment.
• Address the problems of overconsumption and misallocation of environmental resources.
• Consider the increasingly serious problem of the inequitable allocation of water.
• Support the campaigns to save the world's forests and species (including the human kind) from environmental degradation.
• End the military destruction of the environment and in particular, the militarisation of indigenous lands.
• Identify alternative approaches to sustainable development.

4. Eradicate Colonialism and Neocolonialism

Indigenous and unrepresented peoples are suffering from the suppression of their right to self-determination, ethnic and cultural genocide, the violation of their cultural, language and religious freedoms, and the militarisation and nuclearisation of their lives, lands and waters. The Hague Appeal for Peace endorses:

• The efforts of colonised peoples towards the exercise of their right to self- determination.
• The eradication of colonization, as stated under numerous international agreements including the "Declaration on the Granting of Independence to Colonial Countries and Peoples" and the "Declaratio n on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples".
• The maintenance of the UN Decolonization Committee, until all non-self governing territories have implemented their right to self-determination and independence.
• The establishment of a permanent forum for indigenous peoples within the United Nations.
• An end to the dumping of the industrialized countries' toxic materials in developing countries.
• Closing down foreign military bases.

5. Eliminate Racial, Ethnic, Religious and Gender Intolerance

Ethnic, religious and racial intolerance and nationalism are among the principal sources of modern armed conflict. The Hague Appeal for Peace supports:

• Efforts to eliminate the political manipulation of racial, ethnic, religious and gender differences for political and economic purposes.
• The implementation of the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination
• Preparations for the United Nations World Conference on Racism and Racial Discrimination, Xenophobia and Related Intolerance (2001).
• The inclusion of hate crimes in the world's judicial l systems.
• Education and legislation designed to overcome homophobia.
• The promotion of affirmative action until the consequences of past discrimination have been redressed.

6. Promote Gender Justice

The costs of the machismo that still pervades most societies are high for men whose choices are limited by this standard, and for women who experience continual violence both in war and in peace. The Hague Appeal for Peace supports:

• The active participation of women in significant numbers in all decision and policy-making forums.
• Efforts to recognize and engage the capacities of women as peace- makers.
• The implementation of the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women.
• The redefinition of distorted gender roles that perpetuate violence.

7. Protect and Respect Children and Youth

Children and youth continue to be exploited and victimized, particularly in violent conflict situations where harming children has become not only a consequence, but frequently a strategy of war. The Hague Appeal for Peace supports initiatives to:

• Ensure the universal adoption and implementation of the Convention on the Rights of the Child including the elimination of child labor and the use of child soldiers.
• Ensure humanitarian assistance and protection to children in situations of armed conflict.
• Rehabilitate and reintegrate children who have been exposed and traumatized by violent conflict.
• Recognize the role of children and youth as peacemakers by including young people in peace-building.

8. Promote International Democracy and Just Global Governance

The promotion of democracy at all levels of society is a prerequisite for replacing the rule of force with the rule of law. Establishing more representative and democratic decision-making processes, is a prerequisite to achieving limited, accountable regional and global governance with binding, enforceable, and equitable legislative mechanisms. The Hague Appeal for Peace endorses:

• The reform and democratization of the United Nations, including democratic strengthening of the General Assembly and extending consultative rights to civil society representatives, non-governmental organisations and parliamentarians at all levels of the UN.
• The promotion of regional institutions to advance peace through adherence to international law.
• The modification of the weighted voting formulas utilise by the International Financial Institutions (IFIs) to protect the interests of small nations.
• The recommendations of the Commission on Global Governance, including the participation of civil society in global governance.
• The reform of the United Nations Security Council to make its composition more representative and its decision-making process more transparent.

9. Proclaim Active Non-Violence

It is commonly assumed but has never been proved that violence and warfare are inherent in human nature. In fact, many traditions and examples show that active non-violence is an effective way to achieve social change. The Hague Appeal for Peace supports:

• Replacing the glorification of militarism with models of active non-violence.
• A campaign to eliminate, or at least reduce, violence in the media and in everyday language.
• Activities surrounding the United Nations Year for the Culture of Peace (2000) and Decade for a Culture of Peace and Non-Violence for the Children of the World (2001-2010).

10. Eliminate Communal Violence at the Local Level

Violence in local communities paves the way for conflicts at national and international levels. The Hague Appeal for Peace supports initiatives to:

• Reintegrate into society the young people and some of their elders who have been marginalized, often as a result of limited economic opportunities, and whose marginalisation has led them into violent behavior.
• Promote local peace initiatives, including gun exchanges, peace camps and conflict resolution training.

11. Enlist World Religions in Transforming the Culture of Violence into a Culture of Peace and Justice.

Religions have been a cause of war but also have the potential to enable the development of a culture of peace. They must be engaged to implement paths of peace. The Hague Appeal for Peace supports:

• Interfaith, inter-religious cooperation in disarmament and global peace work.
• The promotion of religious co-existence and reconciliation.


12. Advance the Global Campaign for the Establishment of the International Criminal Court

The Hague Appeal for Peace will support the work of the NGO Coalition for an International Criminal Court (CICC) in expanding up on its global efforts to establish the permanent International Criminal Court, through an intensive education and ratification campaign, and through active participation in the sessions of the United Nations Preparatory Commission for the International Criminal Court. The CICC will be seeking new NGO partners at the Hague Appeal and building upon valuable advocacy and networking lessons from other international treaty campaigns, such as the International Campaign to Ban Landmines.

13. Encourage Close Cooperation Between the Converging Fields of International Humanitarian and Human Rights Law

The Hague Appeal for Peace recognizes the increasing convergence between the fields of international humanitarian and human rights law, a development critical to the effective protection of victims of both human rights and humanitarian law violations. The Hague Appeal will advocate changes in the development and implementation of laws in both of these fields, in order to close critical gaps in protection and to harmonize these vital areas of international law.

14. Reinforce Support for the International Criminal Tribunals

The international criminal tribunals for the former Yugoslavia and Rwanda represent the first steps which the international community has taken since the end of World War II towards holding individuals criminally accountable for violations of international humanitarian and human rights law. The Hague Appeal will call for the indictment and arrest of alleged war criminals who remain at large. The Hague Appeal will also focus on the practices and working methods of the tribunals and the need to address accusations that they are partisan and to support a mutually constructive working relationship between the tribunals and civil society, regional and international organizations. The Hague Appeal supports the efforts of the United Nations to establish an international criminal tribunal to investigate and prosecute genocide and crimes against humanity in Cambodia.

15. Enforce Universal Jurisdiction for Universal Crimes: Building Upon the Pinochet Precedent

It is now generally recognized that war crimes, crimes against the peace and violations of universally recognized human rights principles are matters of global rather than merely national concern. Not every person committing a universal crime can or should be tried by the International Criminal Court once it is established, or by an ad hoc tribunal such as those for Rwanda and the former Yugoslavia. Civil society and domestic courts must do their part, as those of Spain are endeavoring to do in the case of Pinochet. The Hague Appeal will call upon national legislative and judicial systems worldwide to incorporate the principle of universal jurisdiction for such crimes as well as torts into their laws in order to ensure that serious violations of human rights, especially against children, are not treated with impunity.

16. Reform and Expand the Role of the International Court of Justice in the Context of a More Comprehensive System of Global Justice

The International Court of Justice must serve as the locus of a more effective, integrated system of international justice. The Hague Appeal will advance proposals for strengthening interrelationships between national, regional and international legal institutions, with the aim of fostering a more comprehensive global system of justice. Initiatives which further this aim include expanding the advisory opinion and conflict resolution functions of the court to provide access for civil society, regional and international organizations; instituting compulsory jurisdiction for states; and encouraging cooperation among international legal institutions and alternate for a for dispute resolution.

17. Strengthen Protection of and Provide Reparation for the Victims of Armed Conflict

Since World War Two, the focus of conflict has dramatically shifted, with the result that civilians are frequently targeted and the number of civilians wounded and killed in conflict now vastly outnumbers that of combatants. The Hague Appeal for Peace will advocate greater protection f or the most vulnerable and frequent victims of conventional arms proliferation and armed conflict, including internally displaced persons, refugees, women and children. The Hague Appeal will also seek more consistent adherence to the standards of international humanitarian and human rights law by non-State combatants and quasi-state paramilitary forces and will examine the role of the United Nations in situations of armed conflict. Finally, the Hague Appeal will demand that victims of armed conflict and human rights violations be made whole through the establishment of national, regional and international victim compensation funds and other reparation measures , which address the needs of victims in a timely way.

18. End Violence Against Women in Times of Armed Conflict

Today, war, armed conflict and the presence of military bases impact women, adolescents and children as never before in history. Women and their families are increasingly targets of violence and war crimes including rape, sexual assault, enforced prostitution and sexual slavery. They also confront a host of problems as victims and survivors who are internally displaced, made refugees or pressured by their governments to refrain from pursuing their rights against violations committed by foreign military personnel. The Hague Appeal endorses the integration of basic protections for women into the statute of the International Criminal Court and will advocate additional changes in the development and implementation of international law, in order to secure the rights and dignity of women in armed conflict.

19. Stop the Use of Child Soldiers

More than 300,000 children under 18 years of age are believed to be currently participating in armed conflicts around the world. Hundreds of thousands more are members of armed forces or groups and could be sent into combat at almost any moment. The Coalition to Stop the Use of Child Soldiers, UNICEF and the ICRC are actively campaigning to increase the age of recruitment to 18. They are also appealing to governments and all armed groups to prevent the recruitment of children under the age of 18, to immediately demobilize child soldiers, and to incorporate their needs into peacekeeping, peace agreements and demobilization programs, and for the end of this unconscionable practice and for the rehabilitation and social reintegration of former child soldiers. The Hague Appeal will provide other non-governmental organizations the opportunity to contribute to these campaigns and to explore other methods by which children's rights may be protected.

20. Help Victims to Hold Abusers Accountable Under International Humanitarian and Human Rights Law

Recent trends in national and regional litigation and prosecution make it possible for victims of gross human rights and humanitarian law violations to hold abusers accountable. This right exists in some domestic courts and regional tribunals, including the European and Inter-American Courts of Human Rights, and has led to litigation against members of the private sector, such as mercenaries and arms manufacturing and other corporations. The Hague Appeal for Peace will advocate for the extension of this right throughout the international legal order.

21. Protect Human Rights Defenders, Humanitarian Workers and Whistle blowers

The year 1998 saw more civilian representatives of the United Nations killed in action than military peacekeepers. In addition, countless human rights defenders and humanitarian workers from national, regional and international organisations have been injured or killed in the course of their work. The Hague Appeal will propose and demand improvements in protection for human rights defenders and humanitarian workers in the field and mechanisms by which violations of these individuals' rights may be monitored and lessened. The Hague Appeal will also call for strengthened protection for whistle blowers; individuals who expose international law violations or other illegal actions of governments, corporations and other institutions at the risk of their careers, and sometimes their lives.

22. Train Grassroots organisations to Use National, Regional and International Mechanisms in the Enforcement of Inte rnational Law

There are increasing opportunities for grassroots organizations to seek remedies for violations of humanitarian and human rights laws at the local or national level through regional and international mechanisms. The Hague Appeal will provide training and awareness programs, which will heighten understanding of these remedies and how grassroots organizations may work together or singly to ensure that access to these mechanisms is unrestrained and utilised. The Hague Appeal will also provide an opportunity for activists to learn how they may be involved in identifying violators in their communities and bringing them to account for their actions.

23. Promote Increased Public Knowledge, Teaching and Understanding of International Humanitarian and Human Rights Law

The increasing likelihood of international involvement in armed conflicts underscores the need for effective human rights and humanitarian training for peacekeepers, in parallel with similar training for national military institutions, in order to promote awareness of and adherence to the requirements of international law. There is also a need for greater awareness of international humanitarian and human rights law among national lawmakers and law enforcers. The Hague Appeal for Peace will call for mandatory training in international humanitarian and human rights law for lawyers, legislators, judges and politicians.

24. Integrate Human Rights Protections into Conflict Prevention, Resolution and Post-Conflict Reconstruction

International and regional interventions in conflicts is a growing phenomenon in the world of conflict resolution and post-conflict reconstruction. Increasingly, the international community has taken on responsibility for political, legal, social and economic institution-building in post-conflict societies. The Hague Appeal will advocate for measures to ensure that long-term, systematic protection of human rights is central to these processes.

25. Build Upon the Successes and Failures of Truth Commissions and Political Amnesties

The field of post-conflict reconstruction has seen remarkable new developments over the last few decades, in particular the use of truth commissions and political amnesties as in South Africa as tools for mending societies torn apart by war, armed conflicts and apartheid. The Hague Appeal will examine the failures and successes of past truth commissions and political amnesties, as well as proposals for new truth commissions in Bosnia, East Timor and elsewhere.

26. Establish a Universal and Effective System of Habeas Corpus

The thousands of individuals arrested each year on political, ethnic and other illegal grounds need an effective system by which they or their representation can call attention to their plight before they are killed, tortured or disappeared. Article 9 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights must be given teeth by providing for a rapid and effective system of habeas corpus, with the right of appeal to regional or supra regional human rights commissions or courts.

27. Subject Warmaking to Democratic Controls

Nothing is more subversive of democracy than allowing the power to take a country to war to reside exclusively in the hands of the executive or military branches of government. The Hague Appeal for Peace will call on all countries and international organizations to take constitutional or legislative action requiring parliamentary approval to initiate armed conflict, except in extreme cases requiring immediate action for self-defense.




28. Strengthen Local Capacities

Too often, violent conflict is "resolved" by external actors with little or no reference to the wishes of those who must live with the solution. As a result, the solution reached is often short-lived. If efforts to prevent, resolve and transform violent conflict are to be effective in the long-term, they must be based on the strong participation of local civil society groups committed to building peace. Strengthening such "local capacities" is vital to the maintenance of peace and may take many forms from education and training and nurturing the volunteer spirit in society, to increased funding of local peace building initiatives and highlighting the work of local peacemakers in the media.

29. Strengthen the United Nations' Capacity to Maintain Peace

The United Nations still constitutes the best hope for achieving world peace through multilateral cooperation. Now more than ever, strong civil society support of the aims and purposes of the United Nations is vital to achieving its full potential as the guardian of international peace and security. In particular, this support should be directed towards the reform of the UN, leading to its greater democratization, and towards the strengthening of the UN's capacity to prevent violent conflict, mass violations of human rights and genocide- for example, through the creation of standing UN peace forces for use in humanitarian interventions, and through the identification of alternative sources of finance for UN peace operations.

30. prioritise Early Warning and Early Response

The resources expended by governments and intergovernmental bodies in efforts to prevent violent conflict are insufficient, especially when compared with the resources expended on activities that become necessary once violent conflict breaks out ? humanitarian intervention, emergency relief, peace enforcement operations, and the general rebuilding of war-torn societies. Civil society must take a lead role in demonstrating that conflict prevention is possible and that it is preferable - in terms of human lives and suffering, as well as cost - to reacting to violent conflict. In particular, priority should be given to: (1) dedicating more resources to conflict prevention, (2) creating and further developing conflict early- warning networks, and (3) generating the political will necessary to responding quickly to warnings received.

31. Promote the Training of Civilian Peace Professionals

The demand for civilian peace builders, be they election monitors, human rights workers or general observers, is growing fast; the pool from which such specially trained civilians can be drawn is not. There is a strong need to further promote the specialized training of civilian women and men in the techniques of conflict resolution, mediation, negotiation, etc., and to promote their deployment in conflict areas in order to order to carry out peace building tasks. The long-term aim should be the development of an international body of specially trained "civilian peace professionals" that can be called upon to intervene in conflict areas at short notice.

32. Refine the Use of Sanctions

The imposition of economic sanctions is one of the bluntest tools of international diplomacy. Sanctions have the capacity to destroy the fabric of the society against which they are aimed, as well as to inflict terrible hardship on the innocent members of that society. UN Secretary-General, Kofi Annan, has demanded that economic sanctions become "more effective and less injurious." To meet this demand, we must develop ways of better targeting economic sanctions so that their effect cannot be transferred from the leaders whose behavior they are intended to change, on the one hand, to innocent civilians, on the other. In the interest of children, sanctions should not be imposed without obligatory, immediate and enforceable humanitarian exemptions, along with mechanisms for monitoring the impact on children and other vulnerable groups.

33. Strengthen Mechanisms for Humanitarian Intervention

In order to help avoid future acts of genocide and gross violations of human rights, it is necessary to develop mechanisms that will allow for humanitarian intervention to protect the lives of people in danger.

34. Engender Peace Building

Conflict and war are gendered events. After reproduction, war is perhaps the arena where the division of labour along gender lines is most obvious. Therefore, women and men experience conflict and war differently and have different access to power and decision-making. There is a nee d for (1) specific initiatives aimed at understanding the interrelationships between gender equality and peace building, (2) strengthening women's capacity to participate in peace building initiatives and (3) equal participation of women in conflict resolution at decision-making levels. To meet these needs, governments must commit to including women representatives of civil society in all peace negotiations; peace and security institutions must incorporate gender-sensitive perspectives into their activities and methods; and civil society must build and strengthen women's peace networks across borders.

35. Empower Young People

Wars are initiated by irresponsible leaders, but it is young people who are their most vulnerable victims, both as civilians and as conscripts. Their experience, fresh perspectives and new ideas must be heard, integrated and acted upon at all levels of society. There is ample evidence that young people in conflict situations can find ways to overcome traditional prejudices, to creatively resolve conflicts and to engage in meaningful reconciliation and peace building processes. The opportunity for youth to participate in peace building is essential for breaking the cycle of violence, for reducing and avoiding conflict. Let us all share our vision, open-mindedness, solidarity and willingness to learn in a truly inter-generational exchange based on mutual respect, trust and responsibility.

36. Support Unrepresented Peoples' Right to Self-Determination

Many of today's violent and persistent conflicts are between states and unrepresented peoples and are characterized by an extreme power imbalance. As a result, unrepresented peoples, by themselves, often are unable to engage states in negotiations for peaceful conflict resolution. Consequently, these conflicts tend to continue for decades and result in grave suffering and cultural annihilation. To counteract the power imbalance which drives these conflicts, it is necessary for the international governmental and non-governmental community to actively support peoples' right to self-determination, to prioritise these conflicts and to promote their non-violent resolution. The denial of the right to self-determination has led to numerous long-term conflicts, most of which remain unresolved. It is important to recognize that it is not the right to self-determination which leads to conflict, but rather the denial of this right. It is therefore imperative that the internationally recognized right to self-determination be actively promoted as a tool of conflict prevention and conflict resolution.

37. Strengthen Coalition-Building Between Civil Society Organizations

The diversity of civil-society activity in the area of conflict prevention, resolution and transformation is one of its main strengths. However, the effectiveness of civil society activity is often hampered by a lack of coordination between groups operating in similar fields. The result is often that scarce resources are wasted through the duplication of tasks and the failure to achieve synergy. To increase effectiveness in this area, it is vital to create networks that promote coalition- and constituency-building between Civil Society organisations.

38. Strengthen Regional and Sub-Regional Capacities for Peace

Strengthening regional capacities for peace, for example, in the form of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), the Organization for African Unity (OAU), the Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN), the organisation of American States (OAS), etc., would help to ensure that largely ignored conflicts receive the attention, and efforts at resolution, that they deserve.

39. Mainstream Multi-Track Diplomacy

In the next century, we must aim to make "multi-track diplomacy" the standard approach to preventing, resolving and transforming violent conflict. Multi-Track Diplomacy involves the cooperation of numerous sectors of society; governments, non-governmental organizations, religious groups, the media, business, private citizens, etc., in preventing conflict and building peace. It is a multi-disciplinary view of peace building that assumes that individuals and organizations are more effective working together than separately and that conflict situations involve a large and intricate web of parties and factors that requires a systems approach. Each "track" in the system brings with it its own perspective, approach and resources; all of which must be called upon in the peace building process.

40. Utilise the Media as a Proactive Tool for Peace building

The media play a vital, and controversial, role in situations of violent conflict. They have the capacity to exacerbate or to calm tensions and, therefore, to play an essential role in preventing and resolving violent conflict and in promoting reconciliation. Apart from their traditional role in reporting on conflict, the media may also be used to build peace in a wide variety of alternative ways. Special attention needs to be directed towards (1) promoting objective, non-inflammatory reporting of conflict situations so that the media serves the cause of peace rather than war and (2) to further explore the use of the media in creative new ways to build peace and promote reconciliation.

41. Promote the Conflict Impact Assessment of Policies

Civil society must encourage national, bilateral and international agencies and international financial institutions to infuse their policy formulation and implementation with conflict prevention dimensions that include (1) conflict impact assessment of proposed economic policies and development projects and (2) the introduction of institution-building and human resources-strengthening elements into various forms of dispute resolution and peace building, i.e., mediation centres, training in negotiation skills, conflict resolution education, tolerance-building and the promotion of coexistence.



42. Implement a Global Action Plan to Prevent War

The Hague Appeal for Peace supports the "Global Act ion Plan to Prevent War" that will complement measures to protect human righ ts and strengthen nonviolent conflict resolution with the following m ajor steps: (1) strengthening global and regional security institutions; (2) repl acing unilateral military intervention with multilateral defense against aggr ession and genocide; and (3) negotiating deep, phased reductions in military For ces, weapons, and budgets, aiming for a global defensive security system.

43. Demilitarize the Global Economy by Reducing Military Budgets and Shifting Resources Toward Human Security Programs

Peace in the 21st century demands a shift from this century's expenditures on the military to civilian programs that safeguard hu man security. Disarmament will entail making drastic cuts in weapons, forces and military budgets. Demilitarization will require transforming the military economy to a peace economy by allocating resources for programs that ensure the well being of the world's citizens - that provide for the basic human rights of food, shelter, education, work, health, security and peace. It wil l require global adherence to United Nations Charter and to the development of non-military security structures and peacemaking institutions.

As a first step toward disarmament and demilitariz ation, the Hague Appeal for Peace endorses the Women's Peace Petition, which ca lls for a 5% reduction a year for 5 years in military spending and the reall ocation of these substantial resources toward human security programs and peace education.

44. Negotiate and Ratify an International Treaty to Eliminate Nuclear Weapons

The continued existence of nuclear weapons and their threat or use by accident, miscalculation or design threaten the survival of all humanity and life on earth. In order to comply with their legal obligations under Article VI of the Non-Proliferation Treaty and the mandate of the International Court of Justice, all states should negotiate and conclude within five years a Nuclear Weapons Convention, which would prohibit the production, use and threat of use of nuclear weapons and would provide for verification and enforcement of their destruction.

The New Agenda Coalition's resolution, adopted by the 53rd General Assembly of the United Nations, calls on the nuclear weapons states to take immediate practical steps to reduce the danger of nuclear war and commence negotiations toward total nuclear disarmament.

Transitional steps toward nuclear disarmament include: ratification of the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty; adherence to the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty; de-alerting; no-first use; de-nuclearization of regional security arrangements; extension of nuclear free zones; transparency of nuclear arsenals and facilities; and a ban on fissile materials and subcritical tests.

45. Prevent Proliferation and Use of Conventional Weapons, Including Light Weapons, Small Arms and Guns and Safeguard Personal Security

Small arms, light weapons and landmines pose a big threat to human security; their use results in the majority of civilian death s and has made it easier to exploit young children as soldiers. Full fledged demobilization programs must reclaim and destroy weaponry and also provide former soldiers with other material benefits and vocational alternatives. The Hague Appeal for Peace endorses the campaign of the International Action Network on Small Arms and calls on all states to negotiate and implement a comprehensive global code of conduct for exports of all types of conventional weapons, inclu ding light weapons, small arms and guns.

Steps toward stopping the flow of weapons include: controlling legal transfers between states; monitoring the use and storage of small arms within states; preventing illicit transfers, including transfers to human rights violators; collecting, removing and destroying surplus weapons from regions of conflict; increasing transparency and accountability; reducing demand by reversing cultures of violence; reforming public security institutions; creating norms of non-possession; promoting more effective and sustainable demobiliza tion and reintegration of former combatants.

46. Ratify and Implement the Landmine Ban Treaty

All states should sign, ratify and adhere to the 1997 Land Mine Ban Treaty, which opened for signature in December 1997 and entered i nto force on 1 March 1999.

In addition to the vital and urgent task of demining, the International Campaign to Ban Landmines puts a high priority on governments destroying their stockpiles of mines as a form of "preventive mine action." It also puts pressure on all States to develop demining activities. Transparency on stockpiles and other mine-related matters is essential. Increased funding should be made available for victim assistance, demining, mine-awareness education and rehabilitation for children and their communities.

47. Prevent the Development and Use of New Weapons and New Military Technologies, Including a Ban on Depleted Uranium a nd the Deployment of Weapons in Space

The Hague Appeal for Peace calls for mechanisms to assess the impact of new weapons (e.g. depleted uranium) and technologies and to determine if new weapons violate international law. Depleted uranium weaponry has been listed among weapons of "mass destruction or with indiscriminate effect" by the United Nations Human Rights subcommittee on the prevention of discrimination and protection of minorities. The Hague Appeal calls up on the international community to address the issue of banning the production, transfer and use of such weapons.

The Outer Space Treaty (1967) bans deployment of weapons of mass destruction in space by any nation. The treaty, ratified by 91 countries, states that nations should avoid activities that could produce harmful contamination of space as well as adverse changes in the environment of earth. This treaty requires universal adherence to prevent the deployment of weapons in space.

48. Encourage Universal Adherence To and Implementation Of the Biological Weapons Convention and the Chemical Weapons Convention

All States should ratify the Biological Weapons Convention (BWC) and the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC) as part of a global effort to abolish all weapons of mass destruction. All countries should adopt strong national legislation implementing these treaties without qualifications and should participate in current efforts to enhance compliance with them. No state should take executive or legislative action that dilutes implementation of these treaties.

All state parties that are in compliance with the BWC and CWC should receive equal treatment with respect to trade in dual-purpose agents and equipment covered by these treaties. To insure international accountability, export controls should be managed by organizations established within the framework of the two conventions.

Parties to the BWC should strengthen article X, encouraging the exchange of bacteriological information and materials for peaceful purposes. Research organizations, professional societies, and individual scientists should pledge not to engage knowingly in research or teaching that furthers the development and use of chemical and biological warfare agents. The development of novel biological and chemical agents that to not have unambiguously peaceful purposes should be prohibited, even if these activities are promoted for defensive purposes.

49. Hold States and Corporations Accountable for the Impact of Military Production, Testing and Use on the Environment and Health

The nuclear weapons states, in particular, must acknowledge their responsibility for the health and environmental impacts of nuclear testing, production and use. The Hague Appeal calls for greater transparency and accountability of all military activities and their impact on the environment and on health. Governments must introduce or extend programs for monitoring, cleanup and rehabilitation of former military test sites and for compensation to former test site workers and civilian and military personnel at the sites and in neighboring local communities.

The decommissioning of nuclear and chemical weapons in industrialized countries should not lead to the export of toxic chemical and nuclear wastes to developing countries. States and corporations must make information on the impact of all military production, testing and use at military bases and other sites available to ensure transparency and to facilitate restoration.

50. Build a Civil Society Movement for the Abolition of War

Abolishing war will require building the institutions and the capacity to safeguard and fully implement the profound achievements of the past (such as the treaties banning chemical and biological weapons, landmines and nuclear testing) as well as to bring about the difficult negotiations to eliminate all nuclear weapons and to stop the flow of small arms and light weapons. The Hague Appeal envisions a world without violence through a new code of international conduct, which restricts military power and embraces nonviolence and adherence to international law. Civil society has a central role to play in democratizing international relations and strengthening international peacemaking mechanisms.

Civil society organizations and citizens have brought the demands of people directly to the international level and have created a "new diplomacy." The Hague Appeal for Peace affirms the necessary role of civil society in the 21st century in international and transnational disarmament and security negotiations.


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