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Why was the conference called?

Rather than hover in the wings conference in 1899 and 1907, civil society held its own conference, "The Hague Appeal for Peace 1999." It sent a clear message to the world's policy makers on issues with which they failed to address in the first two peace conferences of 1899 and 1907: How to eliminate the causes of war; including racism, colonialism, poverty and other human rights violations, the limitation of arsenals to a reasonable level for territorial defense, the elimination of all weapons of mass destruction including nuclear ones, the establishment and utilization of conflict resolution mechanisms as an interim measure on the way to abolish war, improvements in humanitarian law, and most importantly, the creation of a culture of peace for the world's war-oppressed people

The Hague Appeal was inspired by the past work of peace activists, including Bertha von Suttner who said, "Whatever is expressed by the Peace Movement is not a dream by people far removed from reality; rather it is civilization's drive to sustain itself."