KP Plenary Participants Hold Debate on Work of Rough Diamond EvaluationNovember 13, 16
(IDEX Online) – The Kimberley Process (KP) Chair Ahmed Bin Sulayem opened the KP Plenary meeting taking place in Dubai from November 13 to 17.
The meeting involves representatives of 81 governments and industry organizations while the Civil Society Coalition is boycotting the meeting.
The first day was mostly taken up with two panel discussions on how to provide a fair value for diamonds from Africa, with a proposed formalized approach to diamond resources. This would include a simplification of valuation on the ground where a team of valuators would operate and 'reverse engineering' for valuation, explained Peter Meeus, Special Advisor for Diamonds of the DMCC (Dubai Metals and Commodities Exchange).
The exercise in reaching consensus on the idea was launched six months ago.
The UAE, as the first Arab country chosen to Chair the KP, has proposed a number of developments directed at strengthening the KP’s mandate. These include the proposal to establish a Permanent Secretariat for the KP under the United Nations, as well as creating an independent fund for NGOs involved in the initiative.
“Over the past decade, the Kimberley Process has played a landmark role in establishing a safe environment and promoting ethical business practices for people in the diamond industry to whom it matters the most – miners across source markets in Africa,” said Bin Sulayem in a statement. “In this way, we have worked towards creating an environment that will facilitate the sustainable growth of the industry and deliver fair value to everyone in the supply chain. Nonetheless, this is an ongoing journey where more needs to be done and by deciding upon these two proposals at the plenary this year, we strongly believe the KP will take a significant step forward in strengthening its foundation.”
The KP Chair is also proposing to establish a Permanent Secretariat under the UN, with funding from diamond consuming nations and led by an African national with in-depth knowledge of the process.
“Based on our experience with the Central African Republic, where diamond exports had stopped until we took over the KP CAR Monitoring Team and ensured zones were compliant for exports, we know that it is essential to put a more systematic approach into place under a credible body such as the UN,” Bin Sulayem explained. “The proposal for an independent fund also centers on the issue of transparency as it will allow African NGOs to participate on equal terms in Review Visits and Missions, as well as KP Intersessional and Plenary Meetings as Observers without any undue control by industry or any individual member of Civil Society.”
The proposal for the independent fund will be decided upon at the plenary and, if approved, it will then be adopted by the UN General Assembly by the end of the year. The UAE KP Chair has called for it to be financed by industry bodies in the diamond trade in order to effectively harness the Civil Society’s potential, the statement added.