"I realize that all society rests upon forces. But all the great creative actions, all the decent human relations, occur during the intervals when force has not managed to come to the front. These intervals are what matter. I want them to be as frequent and as lengthy as possible and I call them 'civilization'." (E.M. Forster, 'What I believe')

Without peace we will be unable to achieve the levels of cooperation, inclusiveness and social equity required to begin solving these challenges. It is impossible to accurately portray the devastating effects that global challenges will have on us all unless unified global action is taken. Our shared challenges call for global solutions, and these solutions will require cooperation
on a global scale unparalleled in human history. We are in an epoch different to any other epoch in human history. The history of Europe was marked by conflict for a very long time.
However, it was not an unavoidable curse. A new path could be forged. After World War II political leaders that made reasonable and responsible decisions came on stage and changed the course of history


UNSC meeting room The United States Navy's Sea, Air and Land Teams, commonly known as Navy SEALs, are the U.S. Navy's principal special operations force and a part of the Naval Special Warfare Command (NSWC) as well as the maritime component of the United States Special Operations Command (USSOCOM). freedom, what is that? Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe
David Rohde, New York Times

the spectre of a
multipolar Europe


piracy on sea

sky piracy

video from war to peace
Europe's first war of the 21st century migration and
home affairs
'In October 2010, the Hungarian government has declared a state of emergency after a third person died in flooding from a ruptured red sludge reservoir at an alumina plant. Six people were missing and 120 injured in what officials said was an ecological disaster'

The Global Coalition


The Last Revolution (on freedom and power)

2020: 75 Years of Peace

common security
& defence policy (CSDP)
security and
(counter) terrorism
2009: 20 years after the fall of the iron curtain.
Responsibility to Protect
relatonship with Pakistan is complicated
Europe after the rain II, MAx Ernst
Carnegie Endowment
the Arab Israelian
predicting political hotspots Korengal Valley, Afghanistan
NATO HQ entrance War is .....06-08-1945. Culture is the temple the Parthenon 5th century BC
War and Peace
(NEXUS Instituut)
European history in the last sixty years has been a great success. Several generations of Europeans have lived their whole lives in freedom and have, except an incursion into Georgia and the Ukraine open military conflict, not been witness to war in the Old Continent. This is a valuable legacy that we should all keep in mind and which must be responsibly managed to guarantee its future success.
The value of freedom is not only described in the report 'Europe, Proposals for Freedom, but also in the by European voice published and by Steven Blockman's drafted article 'Between war and piece', in which the European Union's record and potential as an honest broker for peace is considered and is proposed whether the idea of establishing a ‘European Institute of Peace', an initiative jointly launched by Sweden and Finland and financially supported by Norway and Switzerland, could add value to the overall peacemaking capacity of the EU.


As a result, Europe is what it is today: a space for freedom, democracy and prosperity and was possible because it was Atlantic. The very important debate on politics of war, the current political culture, the European ideal of civilization and safeguards for peace were at the forefront during the NEXUS Institutes' conference 'WAR and PEACE' on 19 September 2014. For 20 years, this institute studies not only the European cultural heritage in its artistic, ideological and philosophical context in order to provide insight into contemporary issues and to challenge the cultural philosophical debate, but cherises and protects it and brings it to the attention within societies.


FR4978 Athens Vilnius (act of military aggression by Belarus regime)

a comparative rarity in international law—a clear breach of two respected international treaties by a state, combined with a clear route to the jurisdiction of an international court or tribunal.
On July 15, a civil airliner, departed from Amsterdam was downed out of the sky over eastern Ukraine, which is populated by armed pro-Russian separatists from the self-proclaimed People's Republic People's Republic of Donetsk and Lugansk.


But despite still war. How is it that millions of people on the order of a few people deny their human feelings and reason and fall into heinous crimes like murder, looting, treason and arson? Why the obedience of a mass to a ruling power? What force brings peoples in motion?

These are the questions to which a bemused Tolstoy tries to answer in War and Peace, his epic about Russia during Napoleon's campaign in 1811-1812


  a Digital Geneva Convention
The EU may not be in imminent danger of invasion, but chaos is nibbling at its borders, from the enclave of Kaliningrad to the exclaves of North Africa. Schengen, its passport-free travel area, has been punctured by smugglers bringing drugs, counterfeit goods and illicit cash into Europe, alongside flows of irregular migrants, sometimes infiltrated by terrorists. The EU has always cultivated ambiguity about its outer border, about where its territory ends and the outside world begins. As the introductory section to the Chaillot Paper 'HEALTHY BOUNDARIES' will show, these unclear boundaries are now blamed for allowing chaos and disorder to seep in from Russia, the Middle East and Africa (source EU Institute for Security Studies, 2019).
Governments continue to invest in greater offensive capabilities in cyberspace, and nation-state attacks on civilians are on the rise. The world needs new international rules to protect the public from nation state threats in cyberspace.

In short, the world needs
a Digital Geneva Convention

By building on the work done to date, governments, the technology sector and civil society groups can pave the way for a legally binding agreement that will ensure a stable and secure cyberspace. Everyone with an interest in advancing this process should commit to working with public sector and private sector partners around the world to find a practical way forward.

Syria's seven years of tragedy  
An interdisciplinary panel discusses Syria's seven years of tragedy: Peace and conflict studies in times of global challenges.

15 December 2017, an interdisciplinary panel disussed the impact of war on individuals, on groups, and the role of international legal institutions such as the International Criminal Court (ICC). The symposium, "Syria's Seven Years of Tragedy: Peace and Conflict Studies in Times of Global Challenges" was convened at the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, organised in collaboration with the Dutch Foundation for Peace Studies and the VU Association.

As moderator, Professor Wolfgang Wagner (Political Science) created a synergy between Dr. Marit Sijbrandij (Psychology), Dr. Srdjan Sremac (Theology), and Professor Wouter Werner (Law), composing a comprehensive view of the field of peace and conflict studies. While the panel focused on the case of Syria, their knowledge of the Balkans, Sierra Leone, and other conflicts encouraged new perspectives, and out-of-the-box thinking.


  impact of war on individuals
As news and social media make it difficult for anyone not have an idea about the impact of war on individuals, few will understand the immense psychosocial damage of large-scale violence, harm done to relatives and friends, and dangerous flights to countries of safety. In that sense, 'post-trauma' as in post-traumatic stress disorder, is a very Western concept. More often, trauma continues, stiffening into victimized identities. An important new field of research is focusing on how trauma is passed on through generations, not just through upbringing, but also genetically.

In that sense, it might be more appropriate to speak of a frozen conflict society, rather than a post-conflict society. Trauma, memories, and discourses are the factors that often invisibly continuate war. History becomes dependent on who tells it - something all too clear when we look at the Balkans, and which might hold true for Syria as well. This is an important insight when we look at institutions such as the ICC - because who's history is actually on trial? This is an important point to consider, especially considering a number of African states have recently pulled out of the ICC.

History, especially in Syria, is now also fed by a vast amount of video and photomaterial of the situation on the ground. Trough social media channels like Twitter and Facebook, war is recorded in detail, and spread globally, instantly. The impact of this massive amount of evidence on international legal institutions and peace processes remains to be seen. In any case, justice cannot be imposed from above by international institutions - it must be enacted in practices. Processes of reconcilliation for example, are known to help reduce symptoms of depression and anxiety. This is absolutely crucial in building sustainable peace.

The interdisciplinary panel discussion showed that research and education in peace and conflict are more relevant than ever. In times of considerable global challenges, we must remember that changing the world still starts with the individual. When we collectively have more knowledge of what causes and continuates violent conflict, we might be able to more successfully prevent, or intervene in, conflict. Not just through jobs at global institutions such as the United Nations or international NGOs, but also - and perhaps even more crucial - through grassroots initiatives such as sports, music, theatre and art. (Rosanne Anholt, Researcher & lecturer in international policy | governance | peace & conflict)


  Justice and Home Affairs

The Schengen Agreement, together with other initiatives such as the European Single Act, realized the Area of Freedom, Security and Justice (AFSJ) . CEPS debated the European Union's next strategy for the development of the next phase of the AFSJ, namely 'TOWARDS the NEXT PHASE of the EU's AREA of FREEDOMS, SECURITY and JUSTICE'. The existing plan, designed in The Hague Programme of 2004, expired. The Justice and Home Affairs research unit of CEPS has set out, in several contributions, the big issues and provided policy recommendations for The Stockholm Programme (2010 - 2014).
After 30 years, migration and a several attacks on 'Europe' put pressures on 'Schengen', the gradual abolition of border checks at the signatories' common borders. 'SOURCE' (Societal Security Network) spent in December 2015, 2 days in attention to challenges that Europe currently faces. The conference:
  • focused on the main achievements and challenges and limits of freedom of movement. It addressed the creation and successive enlargements of the Schengen area as well as its integration into the Area of Freedom, Security and Justice. It investigated how the right of free movement relates to EU fundamental rights, European citizenship, but also the rights of third country nationals;
  • discussed the offsetting measures focusing on the control of movement. It looked into EU policies, actors and instruments involved in re-shaping external border control, policing at a distance, and the surveillance of foreigners as compensatory or flanking measures to achieve freedom of movement and it examined both the internal and the external dimensions of these measures and questions how they impact the rights and freedoms of EU citizens, third country nationals, and asylum seekers/refugees;
    examined the criminal justice aspect, which constitutes an important component of the Schengen cooperation (SIRENE, Chapter 2, title 3 of the Schengen Convention). It tried to assess how the creation of an EU rule of law bonded area and of the principle of mutual recognition of judicial decisions and the fundamental rights of the defense in criminal matters in the AFSJ are impacting other Schengen related areas.
    It also aimed to examine the consequences of the ending of the transitional period of Protocol 36 and of the limitations introduced on the enforcement powers of the European Commission and of the judicial scrutiny of the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) introduced under the old EU Third Pillar;
    tackled the Schengen measures that focus more specifically on anti-terrorism and fighting cross-border criminality them in the broader history of police and intelligence cooperation in Europe. It paid particular attention to the issue of informalisation and institutionalization of this kind of security cooperation, touching also on the issue of anti-terrorism thereby bringing the role of EU agencies such as Europol and Eurojust. It examined the way in which Police and Intelligence Services cooperate in the area of free movement;
  • the Schengen Information System paved the way for the development of large IT-Systems in the field of justice and home affairs. It took stock of the precursor role of Schengen in the development of IT systems on information exchange and surveillance.
    Focusing on the political, technological and diplomatic dimensions of EU security databases, it was aimed to restitute current discussions about surveillance, privacy and sovereignty in their historical context. The external and transatlantic dimensions of these matters were also covered.


    Global Peace Index
Security Union Strategy
The European Commission recently launched the Security Union Strategy, a new European Defence Action Plan and European Migration Package coupled to the 2016 Smart Borders Package highlight the growing importance of addressing the challenge of European security through proposing an integrated and innovative European-led response in the digital age. We need a strong European Union like never before. It is what our citizens deserve and what the wider world expects. The EU Global Strategy sets out the EU's core interests and principles for engaging in the wider world and gives the Union a collective sense of direction. But the Global Strategy is not meant to be a paper that simply rests in our archives - it is meant to turn our shared vision into concrete, common action.

In October 2016 EU Foreign ministers decided on the most important strategic priorities for implementing the EU Global Strategy (Council Conclusions in October 2016). These are Security and Defence, Building Resilience and taking an Integrated Approach to conflicts and crises, addressing the Internal/External Nexus, updating existing strategies and preparing news ones, and enhancing Public Diplomacy. The sustainable development goals will be a cross-cutting dimension of all this work. Human rights, peace and security, and gender equality and women's empowerment will continue to be mainstreamed into all policy areas. Moreover, to ensure that a wide range of views are included, the EU Global Strategy and its implementation will continue to build on input from numerous outreach events and analysis of the research community. The EU Global Strategy in Action:

  • Security & Defence Building Resilience and taking an Intergrated Approach Strengthening the Internal/External Nexus Updating existing strategies or preparing new ones
  • Enhancing Public Diplomacy

Quantifying Peace and its Benefits

The Institute for Economics and Peace (IEP) is an independent, non-partisan, non-profit think tank dedicated to shifting the world’s focus to peace as a positive, achievable, and tangible measure of human well-being and progress. This institute provide the Global Peace Index (GPI), which ranks 163 independent states and territories according to their level of peacefulness.

June 2017, the GPI 2017 was presented. The results find that the global level of peace has slightly improved this year by 0,28 per cent, with 93 countries improving, while 68 countries deteriorated.

The GPI covers 99.7 per cent of the world’s population, using 23 qualitative and quantitative indicators from highly respected sources and measures the state of peace using three thematic domains: the level of Societal Safety and Security; the extent of Ongoing Domestic and International Conflict; and the degree of Militarisation. In addition to presenting the findings from the 2017 GPI, this year’s report includes analysis of the Positive Peace factors that are most important for transitioning to higher levels of peace and how deteriorations in Positive Peace are linked to the rise of populism in Europe. The report also assesses the trends in peacekeeping and militarisation, including a cost/benefit analysis highlighting the positive economic benefits from early peacebuilding interventions.


To settle international legal disputes and to provide advisory opinions on legal questions:
  • the International Court of Justice (ICJ), the principal judicial organ of the United Nations, was established June 1945 by the Charter of the United Nations (art. 92) and began work in April 1946. The seat of the Court is at the Peace Palace in The Hague (Netherlands). The Court’s role is to settle, in accordance with international law, legal disputes submitted to it by States and to give advisory opinions on legal questions referred to it by authorized United Nations organs and specialized agencies.
  • to prosecute serious crimes committed during the wars in the former Yugoslavia, the ad hoc court the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia or ICTY, a body of the United Nations was founded and;
  • to prosecute individuals for genocide, crimes against humanity, war crimes, and the crime of aggression (although it cannot, until at least 2017, exercise jurisdiction over the crime of aggression) the International Criminal Court (ICC) came into being on 1 July 2002;
  • the Iran-United States Claims Tribunal.

the Court, the principal judicial organ of the United Nations

The ICJ settles, in accordance with international law, legal disputes submitted to it by States and to give advisory opinions on legal questions referred to it by authorized United Nations organs and specialized agencies.

In October 2016, the International Court of Justice (ICJ) delivered judgments in the case of “Obligations concerning Negotiations relating to Cessation of the Nuclear Arms Race and to Nuclear Disarmament” - Marshall Islands v. the United Kingdom, India and Pakistan.

The Marshall Islands contended that the nuclear powers did not fulfil their obligations under Article VI of the Non-Proliferation Treaty ‘to pursue negotiations in good faith on effective measures relating to […] nuclear disarmament’. The very notion of this provision figured prominently in the ICJ’s 1996 Advisory Opinion on the “Legality of the Threat or Use of Nuclear Weapons” at the request of the General Assembly of the United Nations. How about the relevant issues of international law and arms control law?

Legality of the Threat or Use of Nuclear Weapons [1996] ICJ 2 is a landmark international law case, where the International Court of Justice gave an advisory opinion stating that there is no source of law, customary or treaty, that explicitly prohibits the possession or even use of nuclear weapons. The only requirement being that their use must be in conformity with the law on self-defence.

As well as determining the illegality of nuclear weapon use, the court discussed the proper role of international judicial bodies, the ICJ's advisory function, international humanitarian law (jus in bello), and rules governing the use of force (jus ad bellum). It explored the status of "Lotus approach", and employed the concept of non liquet.

There were also strategic questions such as the legality of the practice of nuclear deterrence or the meaning of Article VI of the 1968 Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons.

Relevant links:

  • CTBTO (Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organization)
  • ICAN (International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons)
  • IPB (International Peace Bureau)
  • IPPNW (International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War)
  • IALANA (International Association of Lawyers Against Nuclear Arms)



The ICTY tribunal was an ad hoc court located in The Hague, Netherlands. The Court was established by Resolution 827 of the United Nations Security Council, which was passed on 25 May 1993. It had jurisdiction over four clusters of crimes committed on the territory of the former Yugoslavia since 1991: grave breaches of the Geneva Conventions, violations of the laws or customs of war, genocide, and crimes against humanity. The maximum sentence it could impose was life imprisonment. Various countries signed agreements with the UN to carry out custodial sentences. A total of 161 persons were indicted; the final indictments were issued in December 2004, the last of which were confirmed and unsealed in the spring of 2005. The final fugitive, Goran Hadžić, was arrested on 20 July 2011. The final judgment was issued on 29 November 2017 and the institution formally ceased to exist on 31 December 2017.

The ICC is participating in a global fight to end impunity, and through international criminal justice, the Court aims to hold those responsible accountable for their crimes and to help prevent these crimes from happening again. The Court cannot reach these goals alone. As a court of last resort, it seeks to complement, not replace, national Courts. Governed by an international treaty called the Rome Statute, the ICC is the world’s first permanent international criminal court.

In 2012, the present Deputy Prosecutor lectured on ICC's role to share some reflections on issues relating to justice, peace and security. The website Vision of Humanity focuses on the major issues facing us in the 21st century and it is going to try and bring a balanced approach with factual information that is positive and solution based.

​​The ICC is intended to complement existing national judicial systems and it may therefore only exercise its jurisdiction when certain conditions are met, such as when national courts are unwilling or unable to prosecute criminals or when the United Nations Security Council or individual states refer investigations to the Court. The ICC has four principal organs: the Presidency, the Judicial Divisions, the Office of the Prosecutor, and the Registry. The President is the most senior judge chosen by his or her peers in the Judicial Division, which hears cases before the Court. The Office of the Prosecutor is headed by the Prosecutor who investigates crimes and initiates proceedings before the Judicial Division.

The Registry is headed by the Registrar and is charged with managing all the administrative functions of the ICC, including the headquarters, detention unit, and public defense office. The establishment of an international tribunal to judge political leaders accused of international crimes was first proposed during the Paris Peace Conference in 1919 following the First World War by the Commission of Responsibilities.
The Special Tribunal for Lebanon is the first tribunal of international character to prosecute terrorist crimes. The tribunal is of international character. The STL was inaugurated on 1 March 2009 and has four organs:
  • Chambers The Office of the Prosecutor The Defence Office
  • Registry

Its primary mandate is to hold trials for the people accused of carrying out the attack of 14 February 2005 which killed 22 people, including the former prime minister of Lebanon, Rafik Hariri, and injured many others.

Kosovo Specialist Chambers & Specialist Prosecutor's Office
The Kosovo Specialist Chambers and Specialist Prosecutor’s Office were established pursuant to an international agreement ratified by the Kosovo Assembly, a Constitutional Amendment and the Law on Kosovo Specialist Chambers and Specialist Prosecutor’s Office. They are of temporary nature with a specific mandate and jurisdiction over crimes against humanity, war crimes and other crimes under Kosovo law, which were commenced or committed in Kosovo between 1 January 1998 and 31 December 2000 by or against citizens of Kosovo or the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia.

The Kosovo Specialist Chambers and the Specialist Prosecutor’s Office have a seat in The Hague, the Netherlands. Their staff is international, as are the Judges, the Specialist Prosecutor and the Registrar.

The Iran-United States Claims Tribunal (IUSCT), an international tribunal that conducts arbitration on the financial settlement of the nationalization of US assets in Iran. This is related to the hostage-taking of people at the American embassy in Tehran at the time.
The Iran-United States Claims Tribunal was established on 19 January 1981 by the Islamic Republic of Iran and the United States of America to resolve certain claims by nationals of one State Party against the other State Party and certain claims between the State Parties. To date, the Tribunal has finalized over 3,900 cases. Currently on the Tribunal’s docket are several large and complex claims between the Islamic Republic of Iran and the United States of America.
The Office of International Claims and Investment Disputes is responsible for representing the United States before the Iran-U.S. Claims Tribunal.In 1981, the United States and Iran entered into the Algiers Accords, which brought an end to the Embassy hostage crisis and created the Tribunal to resolve existing disputes between the two countries and their nationals. The Tribunal sits in The Hague, The Netherlands and is comprised of nine arbitrators: three appointed by Iran, three by the United States, and three by the party-appointed members acting jointly or, in absence of agreement by an appointing authority.
U.S. Department of State
Diplomacy in Action


Authority that does not exist for liberty is not authority but force'. (Lord Acton)
'I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it'.



Royal United Services Institute
The Royal United Services Institute (RUSI) is the world’s oldest and the UK’s leading defence and security think tank. Its mission is to inform, influence and enhance public debate on a safer and more stable world. RUSI is a research-led institute, producing independent, practical and innovative analysis to address today’s complex challenges.