“CILC is a miracle” according to Jan van Olden, co-founder and former director of CILC. Despite the uncertain financial basis and constant changes in the field, the Center for International Legal Cooperation has managed to survive, reinvent itself and at times even grow during the last 30 years. To celebrate this, we welcomed partners, staff and former colleagues at the launch of our “CILC Stories” book on 30 November. During the event, Mima & Zoran Acoustic Duo performed some very happy Balkan tunes.
Lino Brosius (project manager) opened the event and set the stage for an informal exchange with Jan van Olden, Reinier van Zutphen (chair of the supervisory committee), Rosa Jansen (former deputy chair of the supervisory committee) and Marjolein Groot (storyteller and author of the ‘CILC Stories’ book). During this conversation – moderated by Eric Vincken (deputy director) – funny memories and interesting anecdotes were shared with the guests.
Lino was the first to share his anecdote by taking us all on a morally bumpy taxi ride through the Ukrainian landscape of law and culture. We have all faced similar challenges during a mission, where we had to reconcile our norms and values with the realities on the ground. Indeed, these moments abroad form a mirror of one’s own country, as nicely phrased by Rosa Jansen. Being “passionate and practical”, as described by Marjolein Groot, is perhaps what CILC people – be it staff or associated experts – have always had in common and what explains why CILC is still around after 30 years.
Rosa’s final comment: “If CILC didn’t exist today it should be established tomorrow” is a great testimony of the work and determination of CILC to contribute to a more just and fair world.
Following the conversation, CILC director Willem van Nieuwkerk handed out the first copies of the book ‘CILC Stories’ to former CILC supervisory committee chairs Sjoerd Gosses, and Marten Oosting, former chairs of the Council for International Legal Cooperation Bert Maan and Joep Verburg, as well as former CILC directors Jan van Olden and Marie-José Alting von Geusau.
The music continued long into the evening, over fond memories and happy socialising, at the new meeting & training venue of CILC.