The five-day Kimberley Process Plenary Meet which commenced on November 18, ended on November 22, 2019, at the national capital, New Delhi, India.
Mr B B Swain, KP Chair and Additional Secretary, while addressing the gathering said that India was honoured to host the 2019 Kimberley Process Plenary Meeting in New Delhi and be the KP Chair for the second time.
He highlighted the immense role that KPCS plays in India as it sustains livelihoods of Indian people.
«The industry has immense potential to usher in prosperity to communities. India seeks to realise the same through sustainable grassroots-based initiatives like the successful Common Facility Centres scheme which was showcased in the Mumbai inter-sessional,» he added.
Talking about lab-grown diamonds he noted that India takes major steps to fight the challenges in the modern world as «India is one of the early adopters of distinct HS Codes for both rough and polished synthetic diamonds.»
«As KP Chair, India is committed to facilitate the deliberations on all the issues and look forward to valuable contributions from all the KP participants and observers,” he concluded.
Mr Anup Wadhawan, Commerce Secretary, also spoke at the meeting saying that India’s active work has made a huge contribution to make sure that 99.8% of the diamonds in the world are conflict-free.
«We are committed to making this process stronger in terms of further strengthened administration and implementation, 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.”
Wadhawan further added, that, “Currently, India exports approx. $24 billion cut & polished diamonds. It is our focus to reach an export target of $1 trillion in the coming years. We are sure that the gems and jewellery sector and particularly the cut & polished diamonds will contribute significantly to achieve this target.”
He also stressed the need to support Artisanal & small scale mining sector. «We need to continue supporting Artisanal & small scale mining countries with the capacity building, technical assistance and education on valuation, differentiation between Natural and Lab Grown diamonds, the importance of legal and formal mining practices.»
Mr Stephan Fischler, President, World Diamond Council, said that there are several proposed amendments to the KPCS core document, some more substantial and others more conservative.
«The WDC has been candid in what we would like to see happen, and it is that the conflict diamonds definition incorporates all of the most severe instances of violence, whether they are carried out by rebel forces, private or state-run security forces, or criminal elements.»
Mr Shamiso Mtisi, Co-ordinator, KP Civil Society Coalition, commented: «The Civil Society Coalition looks forward to robust debates that lead to clear and ambitious outcomes. We have all been doing a lot of talking the past years, now is the time for bold decision-making.”
KPCS is an international mechanism mandated by the UN to reduce the flow of conflict diamonds which were being used to finance wars against legitimate governments. KP has 55 Participants, representing 82 countries, with the European Union represented collectively.
Image credit: KP