Oct 18, 2016

KP Chair Moots Permanent Secretariat Under United Nations Supervision

With less than a month left   to the date of the Plenary Session of the Kimberley Process Certification Scheme (KPCS) – which takes place November 13-17, 2016 –  the KP Chair, Ahmed Bin Sulayem, is stepping up efforts to wrap up his term in an effective and proactive manner.

On the heels of his extensive travels across the African continent where he held talks with political leaders in several countries connected with the diamond industry – including the Central African Republic, Angola, Namibia, South Africa, Zimbabwe, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Uganda, Rwanda, Burkina Faso, Ghana, Kenya and Tanzania – and his initiative on discussions on diamond valuation, the KP Chair has now called for a Permanent Secretariat under the United Nations to further strengthen the work being done by the  KPCS.

“Our progress with rough diamond valuation and my extensive travel across the African continent has confirmed my conviction that the world needs to do better for Africa,” said Bin Sulayem. “In my capacity as KP Chair it remains my intention to bring change and to improve working conditions and the social environment related to the diamond industry. In this context and as a next step, we need to jointly address the issue that the KP today lacks a permanent structure able to handle the numerous issues faced by countries that have been prohibited to export, and guiding them back to normalisation. As such, we need to elaborate on the idea of a Permanent Secretariat under the mandate of the United Nations. A well-structured permanent body taking over the work which today is done by volunteers, sometimes under difficult circumstances, should resonate with the tri-party system within the KP.”

This suggestion was mooted in a letter to all members of the Civil Society Coalition (CSC), inviting them to attend the forthcoming Plenary in Dubai.

The letter also outlines the various steps taken and the progress made in the first nine months on 2016. It also contains a response to various issues of concerned by the CSC when the UAE first took up the Chairmanship of KP.

“As KP Chair, it is our sincere wish to be able to collaboratively bring all the work which has been done over the last nine months to a good end,” concluded Bin Sulayem. “Hence, our proposal is to extend this also into the next year and show our willingness to fund the participation of all members of the CSC at the Plenary so that we can demonstrate to the world that the Kimberley Process has re-found an active tripartite which looks at solving the issues at stake proactively and jointly.”