Peace Palace

Final Act of the Conference

The outcome of the First Hague Peace Conference was the adoption of three conventions, followed by declarations, a resolution and several voeux. The probably most important result of the First Hague Peace Conference was the establishment of the Permanent Court of Arbitration (PCA) through the Convention for the Pacific Settlement of International Disputes.

During the closing ceremony on 29 July 1899, these decisions were signed and included in the Final Act of the Conference:

Conventions:

  1. Convention for the Pacific Settlement of International Disputes;
  2. Convention respecting the Law and Customs of War on Land;
  3. Convention on the adaptation to maritime warfare of the principles of the Geneva Conventions on 22 August 1864.

Declarations:

  1. To prohibit the discharge of projectiles and explosives from balloons or by other similar new methods.
  2. To prohibit the use of projectiles, the only object of which is the diffusion of asphyxiating or deleterious gases.
  3. To prohibit the use of bullets which expand or flatten easily in the human body, such as bullets with a hard envelope which does not entirely cover the core or is pierced with incisions.

Resolution:

“The Conference is of opinion that the restriction of military charges, which are at present a heavy burden on the world, is extremely desirable for the increase of the material and moral welfare of mankind.”

Voeux (wishes):

  1. The Conference, taking into consideration the preliminary step taken by the Swiss Federal Government for the revision of the Geneva Convention, utters the voeu that steps may be shortly taken for the assembly of a special Conference having for its object the revision of that Convention. This voeu was voted unanimously.
  2. The Conference utters the voeu that the questions of the rights and duties of neutrals may be inserted in the program of a Conference in the near future.
  3. The Conference utters the voeu that the questions with regard to rifles and naval guns, as considered by it, may be studies by the Governments with the object of coming to an agreement respecting the employment of new types and calibers.
  4. The Conference utters the voeu that the Governments, taking into consideration the proposals made at the Conference, may examine he possibility of an agreement as to the limitation of armed forces by land and sea, and or war budgets.
  5. The Conference utters the voeu that the proposal which contemplates the declaration of inviolability of private property in naval warfare may be referred to a subsequent Conference for consideration.
  6. The Conference utters the voeu that the proposal to settle the question of the bombardment of ports, towns, and villages by a naval force may be referred to a subsequent Conference for consideration.

Reference:
Eyffinger, A.C.G.M.,┬áThe 1899 Hague Peace Conference: ‘The Parliament of Man, the Federation of the World’, The Hague, Kluwer Law International, 1999.