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KP Plenary
By: Diamond World News Service
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Dec 27 2016 1:25PM
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Reference: 13742  

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KP Plenary reaches historic agreement on Permanent Secretariat and NGO Fund proposals by UAE KP Chair. Proposals are to be approved by United Nations General Assembly by end of 2016. Diamond World brings you more on this Plenary.

Ahmed Bin Sulayem, the Kimberley Process Chair (KP Chair), brought a close to a historic KP Plenary that took place in Dubai between November 13 and 17. Key participants in the global initiative voted to approve the KP Chair’s ideas to establish a Permanent Secretariat and to set up a common Fund for NGOs. The event was attended by over 300 delegates from around the world including governments, industry and a group of civil society organizations.

Approval for the Permanent Secretariat will see the establishment of a body that is dedicated towards addressing the KP’s current structural challenges. While the KP is effective at removing countries that breach its protocols, it takes a long time to bring them back into the process – depriving these countries of much needed revenue

“The historic decisions made today will have an enduring impact on the long-term sustainability of the KP and the diamond industry,” said Bin Sulayem. “We are very proud of the way that the KP family has come together to enact these vital proposals that will lend greater structure and transparency to the Kimberley Process Certification Scheme. I look forward to working closely with the next KP Chair to ensure these initiatives are implemented efficiently and effectively.”

Another key area where the UAE KP Chair made notable progress was in holding an unprecedented series of diamond valuation workshops designed to establish a consensus on a set of generic criteria in this area, which the industry will continue discussing in the months to come. These special forums over the year brought together a range of industry experts, including the Organisation of Economic Cooperation and Development. The KP family voiced strong support for thevaluation work done to date, and noted that a consistent methodology, and building on training and technical assistance for government officials,would be beneficial to ensure artisanal miners receive fair value for their stones. The incoming 2017 KP Chair, Robert Owen-Jones, has said Australia will continue the work on rough diamond valuation that the UAE started this year.

The Plenary also featured a series of workshops for members of the KP, in addition to presentations on the roadmap to implementing Blockchain technology, which will be further explored in one of the KP working groups next year. A new KP website was also presented, developed by the UAE, which will be launched before the end of the year.

Next year will see Australia take over the role as KP Chair. Owen-Jones, KP Vice Chair 2016 and KP Chair 2017said in his closing remarks: “I intend to work closely with the UAE, as the outgoing Chair, and the EU, as the incoming Vice Chair, in a Troika arrangement so I can draw on their wise advice and help.”

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