Rwanda accedes to the Apostille Convention and applies to become a Member of the HCCH

Today, 6 October 2023, the Republic of Rwanda deposited its instrument of accession to the Convention of 5 October 1961 Abolishing the Requirement of Legalisation for Foreign Public Documents (1961 Apostille Convention).

With the accession of Rwanda, the 1961 Apostille Convention now has 126 Contracting Parties. It will enter into force for Rwanda on 5 June 2024. More information on this Convention is available on the Apostille Section of the HCCH website.

Immediately after acceding to the 1961 Apostille Convention, Rwanda applied to become a Member State of the HCCH. The Secretary General of the HCCH, Dr Christophe Bernasconi, then received the official communication from the Government of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, proposing Rwanda as a new Member State of the HCCH. On the same day, the Secretary General opened the six-month voting period during which all current Member States of the HCCH may cast their vote on the proposal. Following this voting period and provided a majority of votes have been cast in its favour, Rwanda will be invited to become a Member State by accepting the Statute of the HCCH.

At the ceremony, which was held at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Netherlands, depositary of the HCCH Conventions, Rwanda was represented by H.E. Mr Olivier Jean Patrick Nduhungirehe, Ambassador of the Republic of Rwanda to the Kingdom of the Netherlands, and by Mr Jean Hugues Mukama, First Secretary at the Embassy of Rwanda. The depositary was represented by Mr Jules van Eijndhoven, Head of the Treaties Division, and Mr Rieks Boekholt, Acting Deputy Head of the Treaties Division, while the Permanent Bureau of the HCCH was represented by Dr Christophe Bernasconi, Secretary General, Ms Melissa Ford, Secretary of the Transnational Litigation and Apostille Division, and Dr Louwrens Kiestra, Legal Attaché to the Secretary General.

Although not yet a Member of the HCCH, Rwanda is now a Contracting Party to two HCCH Conventions: the 1961 Apostille Convention and the 1993 Adoption Convention.