Kimberley Process keeps door open to Civil Society

The latter had been opposed to UAE holding the chair of diamond trade groupie

Gulf News

Dubai: The Kimberley Process Chair — currently held by the UAE — has extended an open invitation to the Civil Society Coalition to participate in the upcoming plenary session in Dubai.

The invitation was delivered by letter on October 17 and sets out the progress made by the KP during the first nine months. A document was also shared that addressed previous issues and concerns raised by the CSC at the beginning of the UAE KP Chairmanship.

The Plenary takes place on November 13-17 and will discuss the possibility of installing a Permanent Secretariat under the mandate of the United Nations.

The Kimberley Process is a global diamond industry grouping that works to ensure the trade in the precious stones is as transparent as possible. It aims to cut down on diamonds found in conflict-ridden countries from entering the trade.

Civil Society Coalition is a grouping that is a member of the Kimberley Process and had opposed the UAE taking over the Chair’s role.

“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,” stated Ahmad Bin Sulayem, the current Kimberley Process Chair. “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 refound an active tripartite which looks at solving the issues at stake proactively and jointly.”

In the letter, it was suggested that the funding of a Permanent Secretariat should be provided by diamond consuming nations, not diamond producing nations. The KP Chair also suggested that a Permanent Secretariat should be manned by an African national who has in-depth knowledge of the Kimberley Process, its regulations, and also the natural resource sector in Africa.