Last month, the former board of the Association of Attendees and Alumni of The Hague Academy of International Law (AAA) together with the Secretariat of the Hague Academy hosted a farewell reception to mark the transition of the AAA to the Secreatriat of the Academy. The AAA was founded in 1923, the same year in which the first Summer Courses of the Academy took place. It's aim was to maintain intellectual and friendly relations between the attendees and the alumni of the The Hague Academy and to develop and encourage an international spirit. To this end, the AAA organizes cultural and social events and activities during the Summer Programs of the Academy. After almost a 100 years of working side by side , it was time for a change. In december the curatorium felt that the Academy was in need of an actual Alumni Office and decided to merge the two institutions. The reception to mark this transition was a good moment to reflect on the illustrious history of the AAA. Speeches were given by Professor Thouvenin, Secretary - General of the Hague Academy and Mr. Maurice Kamga, Secretary - General of the AAA. Delegation members of the National Group of the AAA in Germany even traveled to The Hague to attend this special event.
In his speech Professor Thouvenin stated that famous French jurist, Louis Renault, believed that international organizations were of tremendous importance not only because of the technical issues they addressed but because they created opportunities for civil servants to meet and work together. 'In a similar way, the AAA has accomplished the same mission', professor Thouvenin said. But the AAA was not only for social and cultural events but also organized academic conferences where eminent members of the international legal community would attend, such as former Secretary -General of the UN, Mr. Boutros-Boutros Ghali. In addition, the AAA also published the Annual of the AAA and later the Hague Yearbook of International Law. In recent years, a new event was introduced , namely the Model United Nations which addresses different topics each time.
The time has now come for the AAA to pass on its heritage to the Academy which has decided to create its very own Special Bureau of the Alumni's. The Secretary -General of the Hague Academy concluded his speech by stating that a new challenge for the Academy is to renew this glorious history for the 21st century.
Photograph by Mr. N. van Tol