An exceptional concert for the 75th anniversary of the International Court of Justice

The International Court of Justice in The Hague will celebrate its 75th anniversary on Sunday 18 April. A virtual musical event will be held to pay tribute to the work of the Court.

The International Court of Justice is the principal judicial organ of the United Nations and has been working for 75 years to resolve international disputes in a peaceful manner. It has a dual role in settling legal disputes between states and advising UN organisations on legal matters. In doing so, the Court guarantees the right to a better, just and safe world.

Against the backdrop of a global pandemic, today, perhaps more than ever, there is a need for solidarity, cooperation and justice to strive for lasting peace.

Hymne des Nations 

The 75th anniversary of the International Court of Justice will be celebrated with the online world premiere of the piece “Hymne des Nations”, edited by composer Jaap Nico Hamburger. The original piece was written in 1913 by Jewish-Dutch composer Charles Grelinger (1873-1942) in honour of the opening of the Peace Palace in The Hague, where the International Court of Justice is located. Apart from a one-off performance on the city hall’s bells, this will be the first time the song will be performed again since 1913.

Peace, hope and solidarity are the recurring themes within the original text of the music. At Sunday’s musical event, organisers want to showcase the power of music and launch a call for solidarity.

Music connects and inspires 

The event also features the inspiring personal stories of two musicians. The story of 89-year-old Holocaust survivor, lawyer and jazz pianist Simon Gronowski from Brussels, Belgium, emphasises the importance of music in uniting, as well as the key role of the International Court of Justice in resolving disputes peacefully.

The story of Syrian musician and music teacher Amer Shanati, founder of The Hague Children’s Orchestra for Peace, an initiative for children of all cultural backgrounds, is one of hope and unity.

The Mayor of the Hague, Jan van Zanen, emphasises in a press release that “for 75 years the Court has been a beacon of hope and justice (…) in The Hague. I hope that it can continue to work in a future (…) in which it is not the law of the strongest that prevails, but the strength of the law.”


The celebration of 75 years of the International Court of Justice also marks the end of the musical Instagram challenge United Music 75, in which musicians worldwide paid tribute to the “Hymne des Nations” and the Court. 

UNRIC is co-organising this event with HagueTalks, the municipality of The Hague, the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Museon

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