Netherlands Legal Experts Looking to Advance Peace through the DPCW


The International Network of Liberal Women (INLW), located in the Netherlands, is an association of women from countries worldwide who support fundamental liberal principles. The organization aims to raise womenโ€™s awareness of their political rights and responsibilities and expand the participation of women in politics and within liberal parties worldwide.

INLWโ€™s Presidentย Margaret de Vos van Steenwijkย took part in the World Alliance of Religionsโ€™ Peace (WARP) Summit last September and became a Publicity Ambassador of the International Womenโ€™s Peace Group (IWPG).

After participating in the Summit, she has vividly expressed her experiences in the Summit as well as in the peace advocacy campaigns that she actively carried out in her respective country.

On INLWโ€™s official website, she stated,

โ€œThe aim of this enormous Conference (WARP Summit) was to advocate the Declaration of Peace and Cessation of War (DPCW) which was proclaimed on the 14th of March 2016 in Seoul, which in the end should result in an international legally binding document to be adopted by the United Nations and then signed, ratified and implemented by all UN Member States. This is to help bring peace everywhere.โ€ย 

President Margaret also took a leading role in the โ€œAdvocacy Forum on the DPCW for legal expertsโ€ held on December 9th in the Netherlandsโ€™ Haarlem Kalbfleisch Law firm, where legal experts and political representatives gathered to discuss the approaches that they, as well as other legal experts, could take to advocate for the development of the Declaration.

โ€œThe INLW really can stand behind this declaration (the DPCW). We, as a network aiming to raise women’s awareness of their political rights and responsibilities, are looking to advance the environment of women worldwide, to expand the participation of women in all levels of society, to promote liberal values, and to spread liberal ideas worldwide.

And those ideas are individual freedom, human rights, rule of law, tolerance, equal opportunity, social justice, free trade, and market economy. We believe the world would be better if everybody has this. None of these goals can be achieved in a world where there is war,โ€ย said the President.

The advocacy forum was followed by a panel discussion and signing ceremony to support the adoption of the Draft Resolution, ‘Peace and Cessation of War’


Bart Wernik,ย 
Lawyer of Kalbfleisch Advocaten

โ€œNormally, you can say the law of democracy is the law of the people; and the law of the people, is of course always a good law right? But that is not true–law in democracy is made by the majority, and should be about the way the majority is concerned with the minority. And that is the way you can see if the laws are good or not.ย 

We all have faith in our government but we also have to not trust our own government. We have to always be alert about the rules the government makes. And that is what I am going to do like a lawyer–I obey the law, but I ALWAYS think, is it a good law, or not? If it is not a good law, I will do everything possible to convince the judge that it’s not a good law.โ€

Petar Achikov,
Vice President of the Rotaract Club of the Hague International

“What HWPL is doing I think is the first step to the resolution of violent conflicts. It is not only the politicians and leaders that should be targeted, because we have a lot of international laws, we lack implementation of these laws.

But I believe also that we should touch the hearts of the people, the ordinary people and spread the word, and tell them it’s not only on the screen what is being showed to them but is a part of daily life. It may be 6000km away from them, but it’s happening right now.โ€

Jean Kennedy,
Lawyer of ASODEVE (Association for Solidarity and Development)

“Darkness cannot be used to beat darkness. Only light can beat darkness. So, if we see, as I heard from some of you, we need to start with ourselves. First we start with ourselves then you can inspire others”ย 

The more experts in the field of international law who join to advocate HWPLโ€™s law for this peace initiative, the more we can realize peace as a legacy for generations to come.

This article was written in reference to INLW news. Please click the links below.