President Wilson signing the Peace Treaty in the Hall of Mirrors, Versailles, June 28th 1919 © IWM (Q 14997)

Conference in The Hague to restage Versailles Treaty talks

Posted on on 02 February 2015
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The controversial peace treaties which ended the First World War will be renegotiated by groups of young people as part of an international conference taking place in the Netherlands in June 2015.

Over two days, 100 selected students from around the world will assume the roles of the great powers at Versailles, and debate the settlement reached between the Allies and the defeated Central Powers in 1919.

They'll gather at the Peace Palace in The Hague, seat of the International Court of Justice, the UN body set up in 1945 to settle legal disputes between states.

The event forms part of a major academic and cultural conference being held in The Hague from June 22nd-26th 2015 to mark the Centenary of the Great War.

‘The Legacy of World War One – Shaping the Modern World’ will consider the continued relevance of the conflict. Academics and researchers are invited to submit papers.

Students taking part in the model Versailles conference will consider how they'd resolve the issues which confronted leaders such as Georges Clemenceau, David Lloyd George and Woodrow Wilson in 1919.

The aim is to demonstrate the entanglement of different interests and relations, focussing on:  

*The Question of Guilt

*Territorial Arrangements

*War Reparations

*Military Restrictions

*Right to Self-determination

In the century since the Versailles Treaty between the Allies and Germany, it's been widely blamed for fuelling the grievances which led to the rise of the Nazis and the Second World War. 

The criticism began almost immediately with the publication of 'The Economic Consquences of the Peace' by the British economist, JM Keynes, in 1919.

The final day of the conference in the Hague will explore cultural aspects of the First World War, with artists, poets and writers describing  its impact on their work.

For more details of The Legacy of World War One – Shaping the Modern World’ (including submission of papers and registration) visit

Source: Legacy of World War 1

Image of Versailles Conference courtesy of the Imperial War Museum © IWM (Q 14997)

Posted by: Peter Alhadeff, Centenary News