The Hague Conference on Private International Law is a global intergovernmental organisation which works for the progressive unification of the rules of private international law. With 65 Member States representing all continents and more than 100 States Parties to at least one of the 36 Hague Conventions, the Hague Conference is a melting pot of legal traditions. The activities of the Conference are co-ordinated by a multinational Secretariat – the Permanent Bureau – located in The Hague, whose working languages are English and French. The Conference develops and services multilateral legal instruments, which respond to global needs.
To this end, the Permanent Bureau prepares Plenary Sessions and Special Commission meetings and carries out the basic research required for any subject taken up by the Conference. The Permanent Bureau facilitates the negotiation and drafting of multilateral treaties in fields such as international judicial and administrative co-operation; the international protection of children (e.g. international child abduction, intercountry adoption, child support); jurisdiction, recognition and enforcement of foreign judgments, etc. In addition, the Permanent Bureau engages in various activities to support the effective implementation and operation of the Conventions.