India was handed the Chairmanship of the Kimberley Process Certification Scheme (KPCS) by the European Union during the KPCS Plenary 2018, which was held in Brussels, Belgium, from November 12-16, 2018. India will take over the role from January 1, 2019.
Federica Mogherini, the High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy and Vice- President of the European Commission officially handed over the KPCS Chairmanship to India during the concluding day of the Plenary. Indian Commerce Secretary, Dr. Anup Wadhawan was present on the occasion.
India as a KPCS Chair will be committed to make the KPCS a stronger process in terms of inclusiveness, strengthened administration and implementation.
It will also be committed to making it more efficient in terms of delivery of what it promises, more transparent and empathetic towards the living standards of people who are dependent on the production, trade and manufacture of diamonds.
Further, recognising the issues and challenges of Artisanal & Small-Scale Mining (ASM), India aims to support the ASMs with capacity building, technical assistance and education on valuation, differentiation between natural and lab-grown diamonds and the importance of legal and formal mining practices.
The 4-day KPCS Plenary witnessed discussion on environmental challenges in diamond mining and industry responsibility.
India held bilateral meetings during the event with Botswana, US, Russian Federation and the World Diamond Council to discuss on various issues related to KPCS and its working groups.
On the side lines of the Plenary, the Chair of Working Groups conducted meetings to discuss some key issues like KP statistics and confidentiality, synthetic diamonds and separate HS code for synthetic rough diamonds, issues relating to review visit and review mission and the issue of Central African Republic (CAR).
India and KPCS
India is the founding member of KPCS and is actively involved in KP activities to ensure that almost 99 per cent of the diamond trade in the world is conflict free.
India is committed to maintaining KP as an efficient and effective process in order to ensure the conflict diamond free status.
Further, it is at the forefront in addressing the issue of differentiation between Natural Diamonds and Lab Grown Diamonds and ensure responsible business in this area.
India chaired the Ad hoc Committee on Review and Reform (AHCRR). The AHCRR held one joint session with Chairs of other Working Groups and 4 sessions with AHCRR committee members to discuss the issue of funding of Permanent Secretariat (PS), Multi-Donor Trust Fund (MDTF), peer review mechanism and consolidation to the core document.
The Kimberley Process Certification Scheme is a process, which was established in 2000 to prevent “conflict diamonds” from entering the mainstream rough diamond market by a United Nations General Assembly Resolution following recommendations made by the Fowler Report.
The process was set up “to ensure that diamond purchases were not financing violence by rebel movements and their allies seeking to undermine legitimate governments.”
Since its launch, the Kimberley Process has contributed towards peace, security and prosperity.
It has proven to be an effective multilateral tool for conflict prevention in stemming the flow of conflict diamonds.
It has also made a valuable developmental impact in improving the lives of most people dependent on the trade in diamonds.
Since August 2013, the Kimberley Process has 54 participants, representing 81 countries. The next session is slated to be held in India as with the nation as the Chair. Botswana and the Russian Federation will serve as Vice-Chair during the period of 2019-2020.