Kimberley Process to Hold Hybrid Plenary Meeting

Kimberley Process Rough diamonds. 

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.


CAR Welcomes Progress Made At KP Intersessional Meeting

KPC rough diamonds

During the Intersessional Meeting of the Kimberley Process which took place from 18 to 22 June in Antwerp, the Central African Republic made substantial progress with the European Union Chair Hilde Hardeman and South Africa, Chair of the Working Group of the Monitoring Team, the CAR said in a statement.

Notably, the Monitoring Team of the Central African Republic has agreed on shorter clearance deadlines for the export of diamonds. The approval procedures in the CAR must now be concluded within 7 days while still securing compliance with the Kimberley Process.

Sipho Manese, Chair of the Working Group of the Monitoring Team, declared at the closing ceremony of the intersessional meeting: “We are happy to announce that thanks to the expertise of the CAR Monitoring Team and all of its members, we have been able to agree on procedures for the processing of shipments which will only take place over a period of 7 days. […] We were therefore successful in cutting down the clearance time from 2 weeks to 7 days.”

Manese further noted that all parties involved will have to strictly adhere to these procedures.

Leopold Mboli Fatran, CAR Minister of Mines and Geology attended the meeting as a representative of the sector for his country and said “I am very satisfied with the progress made at the intersessional meeting. The discussions were very fruitful and so were the solutions agreed upon.” The Minister added that “2018 is a crucial year for the Kimberley Process and for the Central African Republic as the country is at a deciding stage in the reform of its diamond sector.”

The CAR Delegation was reinforced by the presence of Peter Meeus, special advisor to the President and to the Minister of Geology and Mines, whose mandate is to assure proper due diligence processes within the CAR mining sector. This mandate was conferred to him with a presidential decree dated June 2, 2018.

The Minister of Mines and Geology also indicated his willingness to host an Expert Mission in the CAR so that the controls that have been put in place in the country in compliance with the Kimberley Process can be properly assessed.

The Central African Republic will continue to improve compliance with the Kimberley Process in close collaboration with the EU KP Chair, South Africa who leads the Monitoring Working Group as well as with the United States which leads the CAR Monitoring Team.

Source: idexonline