The UCLG Peace Prize, from umbrella association United Cities and Local Governments (UCLG), is awarded once every three years to a local government that has worked to prevent or overcome conflict in their own community, or that has helped other governments in their pursuit of peace and justice. In doing so, the award underscores the fundamental role municipalities worldwide play in preventing and resolving conflict and promoting reconstruction. The prize comes through the support of several national and international partners such as the municipality of The Hague, SALGA and the Vfonds
The award initiative builds on the Hague Agenda on Urban Diplomacy, which was adopted during the first global congress on the role of cities in conflict situations. This congress was organized in 2008 by VNG International in cooperation with UCLG and the municipality of The Hague, city of Peace and Security. The agenda adopted during this congress aims to highlight the role of local governments in promoting peace, dialogue and reconstruction around the world.
During this congress, which took place at the Peace Palace, it was proposed to create a peace prize for local governments. This prize would be awarded to local governments that have worked to prevent or overcome conflict in their own communities, or that have helped other local governments in their pursuit of peace or justice. This has taken shape in the UCLG Peace Prize. Together with various partners and the UCLG, VNG has since found like-minded people to make the prize a reality. The prize represents the core value VNG has had since the 1990s: to strengthen and support local governments of developing countries and countries in transition in close cooperation with its members, the Dutch municipalities.
In October 2022, during the UCLG World Congress in Korea, the award will be presented for the third time. Previous winners include the city of Kauswagan (Philippines, 2016 winner) and the municipality of Arsal (Lebanon, 2019). A recently released publication features more on the achievements of the Peace Prize and other inspiring peace initiatives implemented by local governments. The third edition of the prize was launched in December 2021 through a successful online event, it can be viewed via this link, or at the bottom of the page.
As mayor of The Hague, Jan van Zanen, also chairman of the VNG and vice chairman of UCLG, is actively involved in organizing the prize. He has taken over from former mayor of The Hague, Wim Deetman, who was actively involved in making the prize a reality. At the moment, Deetman is still active in the jury, which is also formed by prominent international figures such as Professor Thulisile Madonsela, professor at the University of Stellenbosch, and Janne Nijman, academic director and chairman of the Executive Board of the Asser Institute. In 2021, € 25,000 was made available to the foundation in order to award the peace prize again in 2022. The peace prize project plan can be found here.