Kimberley Process Plenary meeting takes place on 8-12 November in a hybrid format

08 November 2021 11:50

The Russian Federation in its capacity of the Chair of the Kimberley Process (KP) will hold the final Plenary meeting of the KP working bodies this year. The event will take place from 8 till 12 November 2021 and for the first time will be held in a hybrid format, which implies both in person and online participation due to the ongoing unfavorable pandemic situation caused by the coronavirus disease COVID-19.

The key items on the agenda of the upcoming KP Plenary, which are the priorities of the Russian chairmanship in the context of ensuring the sustainable development of the global diamond industry, embrace the issues of digitalization of KP Certificates, adoption of an updated definition of “conflict diamonds”, promotion of the principles of responsible diamond sourcing, establishment of the KP permanent secretariat and entry of new Participants into the KP.

The initiative to digitalize the KP Certificates accompanying each export and import operation with rough diamonds is aimed at modernizing and accelerating domestic procedures for the export and import of diamonds, taking into account modern technological realities, which have become increasingly relevant under various restrictions to prevent the spread of the coronavirus. KP Plenary Participants are expected to take a decision in principle to digitalize KP Certificates in the near future.

The Ministry of Finance of the Russian Federation and the Federal Customs Service have completed procedures for launching “pilot” projects on electronic information exchange with the three key trading partners of Russia in the diamond industry and will be ready to sign relevant mutual agreements in the near future. We plan to share with all interested KP Participants the experience on implementation of these projects, which along with other initiatives implemented by KP Participants in this area will be an important step towards the full digitalization of KP Certificates.

Russia intends to promote discussions on the issues of digitalization, including in the context of the necessary changes to the provisions of the KP Certification Scheme (KPCS) in order to ensure that there is a legal basis for using a digital certificate instead of a paper one, within the framework of the Working Group of Diamond Experts and the Sub-Group on Digitalization established in the aftermath of the KP Intersessional meeting in June 2021.

We look forward to holding constructive discussions on strengthening the definition of “conflict diamonds” based on the draft submitted by Russia in 2020, which will allow the KP to strengthen its role as one of the key elements of the diamond industry regulation system, in view of the current realities of the world market and consumer preferences.

Consideration of the draft Declaration on Principles of Responsible Diamond Sourcing initiated jointly by Russia and Botswana as best practice will become an important step by the KP Participants to promote responsible conduct in the global diamond industry. The adoption of this document will contribute to the wider implementation of responsible business practices in the diamond industry, including in the context of ensuring its sustainable development, and serve as the basis for effective collaboration between the KP and various external organizations on issues outside the competence of the KP.

KP will also consider new countries’ applications for joining the KPCS. Despite the global pandemic restrictions, the KP managed to conduct expert missions to Qatar, the Kyrgyz Republic and Mozambique in 2021 to evaluate their compliance with the minimum requirements of the KPCS and readiness to join the KP. The reports of the expert missions have been submitted to the KP Committee on Participation and Chairmanship, which plans to discuss the issue of the admission of new countries at the upcoming event.

Russia will continue to actively work together with KP partners to find a mutually acceptable consensus on the location of the future KP Permanent Secretariat, which will systematize the activities of the KP working bodies, as well as provide effective administrative support mechanisms for the intergovernmental forum.

The situation in the Central African Republic (CAR) is also one of the key topics on the KP agenda. The KP will assess the current situation in the country and the effectiveness of the mechanism for post-verification of diamond exports from the so-called “green zones” of the CAR, which was put into effect in 2019.