10 June 2022

Secretary-General of the Permanent Court of Arbitration officially welcomed to the Peace Palace

On behalf of the Administrative Council, the Acting President, H.E. Mr. Vusi Madonsela, officially welcomed Mr. Marcin Czepelak to the Peace Palace on 9 June 2022, marking the start of the 5-year term of Mr. Czepelak as Secretary-General of the Permanent Court of Arbitration (PCA). Mr. Czepelak was also greeted by Piet Hein Donner, Chairman of the Carnegie Foundation.

The Acting President congratulated Mr. Czepelak on his new role and stated the following:

“Your election on February 14 this year to the position of SG of the PCA raised our hopes about the future work of our Court. Your official assumption of office on 1 June, here at the Peace Palace, must have truly been a sight for sore eyes. Today, in my capacity as Acting President of the Administrative Council of the PCA, I have the uncommon pleasure of welcoming you in person and raising my hand in a confident toast – an unequivocal expression of my confidence in your abilities to take the work of the Court to new heights. Best wishes to you for a successful term of office.”

The Permanent Court of Arbitration was established during the first Hague Peace Conference by the Convention for the Pacific Settlement of International Disputes in 1899. Its policies and budgets are overseen by the Administrative Council, composed of Contracting Parties’ diplomatic representatives accredited to the Netherlands, and chaired by the Netherlands Minister for Foreign Affairs, or, in his absence, by the Acting Presidency. The Acting Presidency of the Administrative Council is held for a two year term by representatives of the Contracting Parties on the basis of a rotational equitable geographical distribution. The Acting Presidency has been held by the African Group, represented by South Africa, since 2020.

The Secretary-General is the head of the PCA’s International Bureau, composed of over 60 professionals holding 37 different nationalities, who work from the PCA’s headquarters in the Netherlands and its offices in Argentina, Austria, Mauritius, Singapore, and Viet Nam. The Secretary-General also represents the PCA externally, including in international settings. In addition, the PCA Secretary-General fulfils functions vested in the Secretary-General under the UNCITRAL Arbitration Rules and various national laws pertaining to arbitration. The PCA Secretary-General has been designated as appointing authority in numerous international treaties and contracts and may be called upon to act in that capacity by ad hoc agreement of the disputing parties.