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The Hague, International City of Peace and Justice

Published: 
14 October 2013
Modified: 
02 September 2014

There are 160 international institutions and organisations in The Hague, employing more than 14,000 people who are committed to working towards a safe and just world. Find out more about the organisations and what they do.

Flag display

The Hague is the International City of Peace and Justice. It is the United Nations’ second city, after New York. There are 160 international organisations in The Hague, employing around 14,000 people dedicated to the cause of world peace. As far away as Sarajevo, Nairobi and Kabul, the name ‘The Hague’ represents hope: hope for millions of people that the crimes perpetrated against them will not go unpunished. Hope for a peaceful future.

Resolution of conflicts in the courtroom

Many people in The Hague are working towards a peaceful and just world, in which conflicts are not settled on the battlefield, but in the courts. There are also many people in The Hague who are working for a world without chemical weapons, and without ethnic cleansing. A world in which the might of right prevails, and not the right of the mighty. Anyone who thinks they are above international law will be called by the world to account in The Hague.

International organisations

The Peace Palace in The Hague, with the International Court of Justice and Permanent Court of Arbitration, is the icon of international law. There is nevertheless more in the city: the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY), the International Criminal Court (ICC), Eurojust and Europol, the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) and many other large and small international organisations. The Hague even has an International Zone, a large area in which an increasing number of international organisations are based. There the world’s second United Nations parade of flags proudly symbolises the city's international role.

Living and working in The Hague

Tens of thousands of people from all over the world live and work in and around The Hague. They bring extra colour to the city and highlight its unique international character. The Hague is an attractive city for international companies to base themselves; there are more than 300 in the region. Shell, Siemens and Nationale Nederlanden – each with their head offices in the city – are among the largest.

History and future

‘Legal capital of the world.’ It was no one other than the former Secretary-General of the United Nations, Boutros Boutros-Ghali, who uttered these words to describe the unique position of The Hague. The Hague's current role as host to international organisations and the international community is part of a tradition dating back more than 750 years. Read more about The Hague's history as the City of Peace and Justice.

In order to keep international organisations here while also attracting new ones, the Netherlands and The Hague are working to make the city an attractive base for international organisations and the ideal place for people to live and work. Read more about the future of the City of Peace and Justice.

More information

If you would like to find out more about The Hague as the International City of Peace and Justice, please contact the Department of International Affairs at the Municipality of The Hague. The telephone number is +31 (0)70 353 32 04, and the e-mail address is biz@denhaag.nl.

Below you can download the 2013 Guide to International Organisations in The Hague.

Published: 
14 October 2013
Modified: 
02 September 2014