Today, Thursday 11 June 2015, the experts and observers attending the fourth meeting of the Special Commission on the practical operation of the 1993 Hague Intercountry Adoption Convention, witnessed a series of important developments relating to the Hague Conference in general:
I. Andorra becomes the 80th Member of the Hague Conference
Mr Jeroni X. Estopiñán Pascual, Chargé d'affaires a.i. of the Principality of Andorra deposited the instrument of acceptance of the Statute of the Hague Conference with the Depositary, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Netherlands.
The Permanent Bureau is delighted to welcome Andorra as the 80th Member (79th Member State) of the Hague Conference. Andorra is already Party to four Hague Conventions (Apostille, Maintenance (1973), Child Abduction, and Intercountry Adoption). The Permanent Bureau looks forward to Andorra's continued participation in the work of the Hague Conference and to welcoming Andorra at future meetings of the Council on General Affairs and Policy and the Council of Diplomatic Representatives of the Hague Conference.
II. Zambia and Côte d'Ivoire accede to the 1993 Intercountry Adoption Convention
H.E. Mrs Mutale-Kabwe, Ambassador of the Republic of Zambia, deposited the instrument of accession to the 1993 Intercountry Adoption Convention on behalf of the Republic of Zambia, which became the 94th Contracting State to the Convention.
Zambia has been a Member of the Hague Conference since May 2013. The Intercountry Adoption Convention is the second Hague Convention joined by Zambia. The Permanent Bureau is delighted to welcome Zambia as a new Contracting State and looks forward to Zambia's continued participation in the work of the Hague Conference.
Furthermore, H.E. Mr Sallah Ben Abdelkader Hamza, Ambassador of the Republic of Côte d'Ivoire, deposited the instrument of accession of the 1993 Intercountry Adoption Convention on behalf of Côte d'Ivoire, becoming the 95th Contracting State to this Convention.
This is the first Hague Convention to be joined by Côte d'Ivoire (a non-Member State). Côte d'Ivoire thus becomes the 146th State to be connected to the work of the Hague Conference. The Permanent Bureau is delighted to welcome Côte d'Ivoire as a new Contracting State and looks forward to Côte d'Ivoire's continued participation in the work of the Hague Conference.
III. European Union approves the 2005 Choice of Court Convention
H.E. Mr Maris Klišans, Ambassador of the Republic of Latvia, signed and deposited the instrument of approval of the 2005 Choice of Court Convention on behalf of the European Union, as the Republic of Latvia currently holds the rotating presidency of the Council of the European Union. The approval of the 2005 Choice of Court Convention by the European Union will trigger the Convention's entry into force on Thursday 1 October 2015. Twenty-eight States (all EU Member States except Denmark -- as well as Mexico, which was the first State to accede to the Convention on 26 September 2007) will then be bound by the Convention.
This is the third out of four instruments of the Hague Conference (after the 2007 Hague Convention and Protocol on Maintenance) to which the European Union becomes a party as a Regional Economic Integration Organisation. In addition, the Apostille, Child Abduction, and Intercountry Adoption Conventions are also in force in all EU Member States.
IV. Argentina signs the 1996 Child Protection Convention
H.E. Mr Héctor Horacio Salvador, Ambassador of Argentina, signed the 1996 Child Protection Convention, on behalf of Argentina. Argentina will become a Contracting State to this Convention (which currently has 41 State Parties) upon deposit of the instrument of ratification.
Argentina, which has been a Member of the Hague Conference since 1972, is already a Party to seven Hague Conventions (Civil Procedure, Apostille, Service, Evidence, Agency, Child Abduction, Sales Contracts) and has also signed the 1989 Convention on Succession.
The Permanent Bureau welcomes these developments and the extended reach of the Hague Conference and its instruments. Updated versions of the maps of connected States can be found here.