The annual Kimberley Process (KP) plenary will take place online and in person from November 8 to 12, with the digitization of certificates featuring at the top of the agenda.
The hybrid format enables the KP to continue its activities despite the restrictions resulting from the coronavirus pandemic, Russia’s Finance Ministry, which is chairing the organization this year, said last week. Those eligible to visit Moscow under Covid-19 rules will be able to attend the physical event.
The meeting will focus on modernizing the KP export and import documents for rough diamonds. The ministry is currently finalizing a pilot program involving an information exchange with one of Russia’s key trading partners and plans to present its findings soon, it said.
The KP will also consider the applications of new countries wishing to join the group, having paused this due to travel difficulties. Since the easing of the situation, the KP has organized missions to Qatar and Kyrgyz Republic, and plans to do the same in Mozambique. The chairmanship and the committee that handles applications for participation in the KP will consider the reports emanating from those visits.
The Central African Republic (CAR) will also be on the agenda, with the KP planning to send an expert mission to the country to evaluate its compliance with rules aimed at preventing the export of conflict diamonds. In addition, the KP will select a new vice chair for 2022, with that country taking over as chair in 2023 from Botswana, which is slated to take the helm next year.
Meanwhile, Russia will work with KP partners to reach a consensus on the location of a future permanent KP secretariat to help streamline the organization’s work.
The KP canceled the 2020 plenary and intersessional meetings because of the pandemic. However, the 2021 intersessional took place in June, focusing on topics including digitization and human rights.