Nov 18, 2016

KP Plenary Concludes With Significant Decisions On Permanent Secretariat & NGO Funding

The KP Plenary held from November 13 to 17, 2016, and which saw the participation of over 300 delegates representing governments, industry and a group of civil society organisations from across the world, concluded on a historic note with two significant proposals of KP Chair, Ahmed Bin Sulayem being accepted. 

“Key participants in the global initiative voted to approve the KP Chair’s ideas to establish a Permanent Secretariat and to set up a common Fund for NGOs,” said a press release from the organisation.

“The historic decisions made today will have an enduring impact on the long-term sustainability of the KP and the diamond industry,” said   Bin Sulayem. “We are very proud of the way that the KP family has come together to enact these vital proposals that will lend greater structure and transparency to the Kimberley Process Certification Scheme. I look forward to working closely with the next KP Chair to ensure these initiatives are implemented efficiently and effectively.”

It is envisaged that a Permanent Secretariat at the UN will   address   KP’s current structural challenges. One of these is the time taken to reinstate members who have been suspended or removed for contravening KP protocols.  The length of time taken to bring them back into the fold, deprives  these countries of much needed revenue, it is opined.

“The proposal to establish a common Fund for NGOs involved in the KP would provide the civil society organisations the resources to more actively participate in annual KP events,” the KP statement averred. It will be recalled that, as reported earlier, the KP Chair announced that it will contribute US$ 25,000 towards the establishment of this Fund; and has called upon the other stakeholders  to contribute the  remaining amount “in order to create a total Fund of US$ 105,000”.

The KP stated that both proposals will go before the UN General Assembly for adoption before the end of the current  year. 

Though no consensus was reached on common criteria for  diamond valuation, the current KP Vice Chair (2016) and  incoming (2017) KP Chair, Robert Owen-Jones  of Australia has said he will  continue the work on rough diamond valuation started by the  UAE  this year. 

In his closing remarks Owen-Jones, said: “I intend to work closely with the UAE, as the outgoing Chair, and the EU, as the incoming Vice Chair, in a Troika arrangement so I can draw on their wise advice and help.”

 Andrey Polyakov, President of the World Diamond Council, in his turn,  emphasised the positive work that had been done by   Bin Sulayem over the past year as the  KP Chair, particularly around rough diamond valuation.

“Although the third pillar of the KP, the Civil Society Coalition, did not attend the Plenary despite repeated calls to join the discussions, five NGOs and industry experts did however attend the KP Plenary, including Albert Kabuya Muyeba, former KP focal point from CENADEP in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), a member of the Civil Society Coalition since 2004, and now suspended for fifteen days because he had the courage to stand up for his opinions,” the KP statement stated.

 In conclusion   Bin Sulayem remarked: “I am proud of the opportunity I have had over the past year to serve my country and to make a meaningful impact on an international level by improving people’s lives in the diamond industry. Future KP Chairs have been given a strong mandate today and my sincere hope is that the work we have accomplished will be carried forward and built upon in the years to come. As an industry and a society, we have the ability – and the responsibility – to engender positive change in the diamond industry and ensure it is delivering fair value across the supply chain.”

 Pic Cap:

Attendees of KP Plenary 2016 on closing day