Jun 26, 2018

KP Intersessional Paves the Way Forward Towards Expansion and Reform of the Body

At the Kimberley Process Intersessional held in Antwerp recently, delegates spent time discussing and planning on the way forward towards what is being referred to in the industry as Kimberley Process 2.0.

The meeting, under the Chairmanship of the European Union and the Vice Chairmanship of India, covered some important ground with a thorough discussion on points which will be put up to the KP Plenary, to be held  later in the year. 

The Antwerp World Diamond Centre (AWDC) summarised the KP reform agenda as having three priorities: “… a deepening of the KP, including the reinforcement of the system of controls and the transformation of KP recommendations into minimum requirements; an expansion of the KP by means of broadening the definition of conflict diamonds; and professionalisation of the KP by, among others, the establishment of a permanent KP secretariat”.

One of the key points that came up was the necessity to broaden the definition of “conflict diamonds” both, to keep up with the times; and the consumers aspirations for a responsible, accountable, transparent and sustainable diamond pipeline. There was agreement on the matter between civil society representatives as well as industry on this.

India is not only the Vice Chair this year and poised to take the Chair in the next, it has a crucial role in the reform process underway as it has been entrusted with the Chair of the Ad-Hoc Committee on Review & Reform (AHCRR).

As the Chair of AHCRR, India conducted two joint sessions and two  stand-alone sessions to review the progress of the work done by four sub-teams working under its supervision.

The AHCRR Chair also held two separate meetings with the KP Chair to discuss about the methodology and way forward. 

During the Intersessional, India, in consultation with sub-team leaders, finalised the work   plan for coming months and has put down a tentative timeline for important activities.  The first  meeting to  review of the progress is proposed to be held during first half of September, 2018 in India. 

There is a possibility that a second meeting may be hosted by India during the third week of October, 2018 on the sidelines of  the AGM of WDC and WFDB Congress (scheduled for October 22-23, 2018).

In the meanwhile, India will follow up and closely monitor the actions taken by sub-team leaders as per the timeframe; and advise on challenges if any faced by them. 

Apart from its contribution on the Review and Reform front, India also made a presentation on the Common Facility Centre (CFC) model and proposed that a similar model be replicated in  alluvial diamond producing centres.

Officials of the World Bank and representative of Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) evinced keen  interest in the project; and India will continue to  hold independent  consultations with them.  India may  host a delegation from DRC to visit its CFCs and to hold further dialogues with stakeholders.

India also made a presentation on MyKYCBank  --  a   concept greatly appreciated by the participants at the Intersessional.

India intends to push ahead with discussion on this project with the  government authorities and    trade associations of USA and  Russia and to invite them to collaborate on  the project, which can strengthen the networking of the diamond communities in these countries and be of immense  benefit. 

India also  supported the proposal on introduction of AD on Diamond Terminology and  encouraged KP participants to have separate 6+2 digit HS code for Synthetic Diamonds at the national level. 

The Civil Society Coalition (CSC) would have liked the   Review and Reform process to progress faster but it was pointed out to them that this work  requires consensus building which takes some time. 

The   CSC expressed its support  to the proposal to change  the definition of conflict diamonds and to  widening the scope of KP to  include  Human Rights / security / social issues / environmental issues etc. 

The Intersessional also proposed that Macaw  be introduced in KP (special administrative region) by the end of this year or by March 2019. In the course of the meeting, CAR Govt. raised concern about the delay in approval for Export Shipment.

Russia and Botswana both expressed their interest to take on the Vice Chair in 2019.

The discussions at the Intersessional will be taken forward at the Plenary Meeting to be held in Brussels from November 12 - 16, 2018.