PAX has its roots in the organizations Pax Christi and IKV, the standard bearers for the Dutch peace movement in the 1960s. In 2006, they joined forces to work together in a single peace organization; from 2014 onwards, known as PAX.
Nowadays, PAX is a single independent organization, not affiliated with any political interests, supported by a broad base of engaged citizens and civil society organizations. IKV and Pax Christi monitor PAX’s mission, based on two core values:
- human dignity;
- solidarity with peace activists and the victims of wartime violence.
The foundation IKV (Interkerkelijk Vredesberaad, or Inter-church Peace Council) was formed in 1966 by nine religious denominations for the purpose of studying the issues related to war and peace, and finding ways to promote peace. As some of those denominations later merged, the IKV board now consists of six affiliated denominations: the Roman Catholic Church (Rooms-katholieke Kerk), the Protestant Church in the Netherlands (Protestantse Kerk in Nederland), the Remonstrant Brotherhood (Remonstrantse Broederschap), the General Mennonite Society (Algemene Doopsgezinde Sociëteit), the Old Catholic Church (Oud-katholieke Kerk) and the Moravian Brotherhood (Evangelische Broedergemeente).
In the 1970s and 80s, IKV achieved fame as the driving force behind the campaigns and mass protests to stop nuclear missile bases in the Netherlands and Europe. IKV’s secretary Mient Jan Faber became the face of the peace movement. Hundreds of thousands of people took part in demonstrations in November 1981 (in Amsterdam) and October 1983 (in The Hague).
The IKV-endowed chair ‘Citizens’ Involvement in War Zones and Post-Conflict Zones’ is a joint initiative by VU University Amsterdam and IKV. Mient Jan Faber became the first professor to hold this chair in April 2004. He was followed on 1 January 2012 by Marlies Glasius.
Pax Christi was started by French citizens in the final days of the Second World War. The Dutch branch of Pax Christi was set up on 5 May 1948 in Utrecht. It is a movement with roots in the Catholic Church, and driven by one idea: no more war.
Collaboration with IKV
Pax Christi has officially been collaborating with IKV ever since 2006. In that year, all Pax Christi’s peace programmes, its work on nurturing broad support in the Netherlands, its staff and associated finances were transferred to the new collaborative venture. In 2014, the name of this organisation was changed from IKV Pax Christi Alliance Foundation (Stichting Samenwerkingsverband IKV Pax Christi) to the PAX Netherlands Peace Movement Foundation (Stichting Vredesbeweging Pax Nederland).
Pax Christi International
The Pax Christi Netherlands Society (Vereniging Pax Christi Nederland) forms part of the international Catholic peace movement Pax Christi, which consists of over 30 national sections and affiliated organisations in more than 60 countries on five continents. The movement has more than 60,000 members worldwide.
The Pax Christi chair ‘Normative and Policy Dilemmas in Multilateral Peace Operations’ at the Radboud University is held by Professor Désirée Verweij. This professorship was set up to investigate the conditions for a successful comprehensive approach that will allow lasting human security to be achieved.