Regional Offices of the Permanent Bureau

1) Regional Offices (RO) are part of the Permanent Bureau. They are established to strengthen the HCCH’s inclusiveness and to increase the HCCH’s visibility, capability and relevance within a region. ROs support the Permanent Bureau’s activities and undertake targeted efforts to include in the work of the HCCH the regions they service. In particular, they deliver to those regions effective and efficient, tailored post-Convention services and assistance. ROs may be of a permanent or temporary nature.

2) ROs shall be established exclusively in accordance with these Rules, which do not apply retrospectively to already existing ROs.

Proposal to establish a Regional Office of the Permanent Bureau

3) A Member State may submit to the Council on General Affairs and Policy (CGAP) a proposal to establish and host a RO (Proposal). The Proposal must include:

a. a general work programme for the proposed RO, including any objectives, goals and measurable outcomes. The work programme must be tailored to assist efficiently and effectively with:

i. promoting the universality and inclusiveness of the HCCH;

ii. promoting HCCH instruments in the region;

iii.implementing HCCH instruments, and ensuring their proper operation, in the region;

iv. supporting the general activities of the Permanent Bureau; and

v. any other activities that may be of benefit to the HCCH in the region.

b. an explanation why the proposed RO is well suited, including in comparison to other potential options, to achieve the objectives, goals and measurable outcomes as stated in the Proposal;

c. an acknowledgment that the proposed RO is part of the PB and that its staff reports exclusively to, and is subject to the directions of, the Secretary General of the HCCH; and

d. an undertaking that the entire operation of the proposed RO, including the costs for staffing, accommodation and equipment, as well as travel, will be funded by the State making the proposal, at least until CGAP decides whether to continue the proposed RO’s operation (Clause 8), as well as an explanation of the sources of the funding.

e. an explanation regarding the status of proposed RO staff as well as any other relevant information concerning the privileges, immunities and taxes.

Consideration of the Proposal by the Council on General Affairs and Policy

4) Upon its timely submission, CGAP considers the Proposal, as well as alternative options that may also achieve the objectives, goals and measurable outcomes as stated in the Proposal, and decides whether the proposed RO may be established in the Member State. The decision must specify a period of continuous operation of the proposed RO after which CGAP will review the performance of the established RO (Performance Review).

5) CGAP’s decision must be reflected in the Conclusions and Decisions (C&D) of its meeting.

Review and consideration of the continued operation of the Regional Office by the Council on General Affairs and Policy

6) The RO submits to CGAP an annual report that details the main activities of the established RO and relevant outcomes and achievements, as well as an overview of the financial aspects of its past operations. The Secretary General will monitor the preparation and submission of this annual report.

7) CGAP shall conduct a Performance Review of the RO and shall prepare a report of this review (Review Report). The Review Report should include any financial information for the period under review, as well as any proposed goals, objectives and measurable outcomes and cost projections for the continued operation of the RO. CGAP may decide to review the established RO at any time, but no later than 5 years after the establishment of the RO.

8) Based on the Review Report, CGAP shall decide on the question whether to continue the RO operation and, if so, on which conditions the RO will continue to operate. CGAP may decide to approve the continuation of the operation of the established RO subject to the further continued financial contribution by the Member State that proposed and hosted the established RO.

9) CGAP’s decisions shall be reflected in its Conclusions & Decisions. Costs to be incurred by the HCCH for the continued operation can only be approved by CDR.

[1] These Rules were developed by a Working Group and subsequently approved by the Members during the 2020 CGAP. The Rules entered into force on 6 March 2020.