NGO network generates increasing added value

The increasing number of NGOs in The Hague means that this network is generating increasing added value for the NGOs.

During a recent speech, former Mayor Jozias van Aartsen emphasised the tremendous importance of the presence of the NGOs in The Hague for the city as well as for the NGOs themselves. The mayor made this unusual speech on 26 May 2012, at a reception for new and existing Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs).

NGO building. Copyright by D-vorm
NGO building. Copyright by D-vorm

Facts about the Hague NGOs

During the summer of 2011 there were 310 international non-profit organisations in The Hague: embassies, consulates, UN and EU intergovernmental organisations, international knowledge, culture and educational institutions, and NGOs. The NGOs are the fastest-growing cluster in this group: there were 23 in 2004, 66 in 2007 and 116 in 2010.

The NGOs concentrate on a number of specific areas:

  • Human Rights
  • International Political Cooperation
  • European Integration
  • International Development and Cooperation
  • International Law
  • International Criminal Law and Humanitarian Issues
  • Peace and Conflict Prevention
  • Security
  • Children
  • Medical Care
  • Culture and Education
  • Urban Studies
  • Nature, Environment and Sustainability
  • Water Management

There are currently about 2,400 people working at these NGOs: more than 2,000 of them are employed at 29 large NGOs, and about 400 work at 87 smaller NGOs. Many of the smaller organisations have no more than 5 staff members (FTEs).

NGO accommodations

Eighty-five out of these 116 NGOs have their own business accommodation in the city or in The Hague region. Twenty-nine NGOs have their offices in the Bertha von Suttner Building* (at Laan van Meerdervoort 70) and in the building at Zeestraat 100. The Municipality of The Hague has provided the NGOS with made-to-measure accommodation at appropriate locations in these multi-tenant buildings, where the NGOs share a reception area, meeting rooms, and kitchen and IT facilities.

A survey held among the NGOs in the Bertha von Suttner Building has shown that they are extremely positive about the presence of other NGOs, since this results in more networking options. They also rate the shared facilities and the services provided by the Interne Diensten Centrum (Internal Services Centre, IDC) highly or very highly.

The Municipality of The Hague is therefore determined to continue its concept of clustering NGOs in the city and will also continue to provide these organisations with specific accommodation and services. This will enhance the image that The Hague has built up as International City of Peace and Justice. Moreover, the NGO accommodation concept of facilitating and international hostmanship can easily be used for NGOs working in other areas.

Increasing added value

All NGOs, not just the smaller ones, perceive that their shared accommodation in The Hague is generating increasing added value. The geographical clustering gives them faster and easier access to one another and to other organisations in the city. The fact that the Netherlands central government, the embassies, and United Nations and European organisations are situated in The Hague, as well as the permanent stream of policymakers holding meetings in the city, results in more information and greater opportunities for influencing other parties’ policy.

Contact info

If you have any questions or suggestions concerning NGO policy and the Municipality of The Hague’s accommodation concept for NGOs, please contact the Municipality of The Hague’s International Affairs Bureau at

All NGOs are once again welcome to attend the annual network drinks gathering this November in the Museum voor Communicatie on the Zeestraat in The Hague. Deputy Mayor of International Affairs Marjolein de Jong will be present at this gathering.

More information

*Bertha von Suttner (1843-1914) was a confirmed peace activist during her lifetime. She became world-famous after her novel Die Waffen nieder! ("Lay Down Your Arms!") was published in 1889. She regarded the First Hague Peace Conference (1899) as the crowning triumph of her work. In 1905 she was the first woman to be awarded the Nobel Peace Prize, and she attended the opening of the Peace Palace in 1913.

Published: 4 June 2012Modified: 23 May 2017