The Human Rights Unit of the Commonwealth Secretariat will function as the ‘Coordinator’ of the Forum, and there will be no standing Secretariat as such.
The host country NHRI (hosting the CHOGM) will act as the ‘Chair’ of the Forum from the time of that CHOGM or, if the Forum does not plan to meet at the time of that CHOGM, from the commencement of the last meeting of the Forum planned to be held ahead of that CHOGM and will carry out that responsibility until the next host country NHRI is due to act as Chair. The Chair must be a Member of the Forum, i.e. an NHRI which enjoys category ‘A’ status under ICC accreditation.
A Chair-designate, i.e. the NHRI of the country which will host the next CHOGM, will be identified at each CHOGM. In the event the next host country does not have an NHRI or an NHRI which is ICC category ‘A’ compliant, an eligible NHRI from that region will be designated as the next Chair.
A host country NHRI which does not qualify as the Chair, shall co-host meetings of the Forum with the alternatively designated Chair.
If for any reason an NHRI cannot undertake the responsibility of the Chair (e.g. because all Commissioner positions at the NHRI are unfilled) the Chair-designate will assume the role of Vice Chair and act as Chair until such time as the first NHRI is able to undertake the responsibility of Chair.
HRU in consultation with the Chair will coordinate the activities of the Forum including in planning and arranging its meetings. The Forum may periodically meet at any convenient time including, as appropriate, in the wings of other gatherings such as the Human Rights Council, ICC, etc.
In order for HRU to effectively carry out its responsibility of ‘Coordinator’ of the Forum, it is important to strengthen its capacity and resources. The Forum will lobby collectively as well as with respective member governments to increase support and resources to HRU.