Mar 04, 2019

UN General Assembly Supports Further Strengthening of KP Role in Sustainable Development and Peace

The United Nations General Assembly unanimously adopted a resolution emphasising that the Kimberley Process Certification Scheme (KP) can continue to contribute to international peace and security and sustainable development. The meeting took place in New York on March 1, 2019.

It also resolved that the global body must enhance its effectiveness in addressing challenges posed by instability and conflict to the diamond industry and related communities.

The UN also sought to ensure that the Process remains relevant for the future and continues to contribute to international peace and security and the achievement of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the Sustainable Development Goals, and looked forward to further exploring and advancing the ways in which the certification scheme contributes to peacebuilding and sustaining peace.

The resolution also welcomed the selection of India as Chair for 2019, the Russian Federation as Vice-Chair for 2019 and Chair for 2020, and Botswana as Vice-Chair for 2020 and Chair for 2021, and acknowledged the important contribution that the European Union made in 2018 as Chair.

The session was addressed by the President of the World Diamond Council, representing the industry in KP, as well as representatives of countries that are key players across the diamond pipeline.

India’s delegate said that his delegation, as Chair for 2019, will seek to strengthen the tripartite structure of the Process consisting of Government, industry and civil society, and enhance the regional approach which has been successful with the Mano River Union countries.  It will also provide support for the alluvial and artisanal mining countries through capacity-building and technical assistance.

The delegate from Botswana, the world’s leading diamond producer by value, said the country relies heavily on the resource for funding its development. He noted that since the establishment of the Process, conflict diamonds have dropped from 15 per cent as a proportion of the global trade in rough diamonds to less than 1 per cent.  “There is no doubt that the Kimberley Process is a truly unique multilateral initiative that has brought together key stakeholders such as Governments, the diamond industry and civil society to stem the flow of conflict diamonds,” he emphasized.

The representative of the European Union said the body has played an active role in stopping the trade of conflict diamonds.  “For several countries and communities, the Kimberley Process has made the difference between life and death, between war and peace,” she said.

Stressing that transparency and accountability of the rough diamond supply chain are paramount to ensure a responsible and diligent approach to sourcing rough diamonds, she said the Union made the review and reform of the Process the centre of its chairmanship.

The representative of the Russian Federation said the Process is unique, as it provides for the comprehensive monitoring of the international trade of rough diamonds.  This year’s resolution is particularly important in that regard, he said, noting the need to increase monitoring of the source of rough diamonds to eliminate the possibility of synthetic stones entering the trade market.

Sierra Leone’s delegate said that following the end of the 11-year civil war in his country, the Process helped curb the illicit trade in diamonds from there.  All diamonds exported from the country now go through the certification mechanism put in place by the Process.  The Government has just adopted its first policy on artisanal mining.