Ahmed Bin Sulayem, the KP chair in 2016, delivered a speech on the draft resolution “The role of diamonds in fueling conflict” at the UN general assembly 69th plenary meeting, 71st session, on February 2.
The UAE-led resolution on “The role of diamonds in fueling conflict” includes important decisions of the Kimberley Process, which were made by consensus during UAE KP’s tenure as the KP chair in 2016, the former KP chair said in a statement.
“Adopted by the UN and co-sponsored by 41 countries, the resolution notes that the KP plenary took note of the UAE’s proposal to develop a methodology on the valuation of rough diamonds, welcomed the proposal to establish a permanent secretariat for the Kimberley Process, and welcomes ?that the plenary acknowledged the proposal of the KP chair 2016 to set up a multi-donor trust fund for the civil society. This work will now continue under the leadership of Australia, who takes over as KP chair in 2017.”
Bin Sulayem told the general assembly: “Representing the governments, the industry and the civil society that are involved in the diamond trade, I was able to visit more than 20 countries – both existing and prospective Kimberley Process members. Our belief is that everything we do in the Kimberley Process must support and direct work that is largely in the developing world. During my chairmanship, I have been proud to represent the officials who regulate the diamond trade in the producing countries. My trip to the Central African Republic, a country that had been excluded from the Kimberley Process, was particularly important in providing assistance to the country in meeting its Kimberley Process requirements, and enabling the resumption of the country’s export of rough diamonds from newly compliant zones.”
The UN also expressed its appreciation to the plenary meeting of the Kimberley Process for welcoming the resumption of participation in the Process by the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, and its commitment to hosting a review visit, the statement added.
Ahmed Bin Sulayem highlighted three specific proposals that were made by the UAE as chair in 2016 that were also reflected in the resolution: “First, the Kimberley Process suffers from a structural deficit, which is the lack of any form of permanent secretariat, with professional skills and resources that will outlive the rotation of country chairs. For example, the Kimberley Process family has worked hard with the Central African Republic authorities to bring back a legitimate diamond industry. But our working groups and teams are all volunteers, working without administrative infrastructure. Ideally, we should have been able to work to a higher standard of speed and effectiveness, but that cannot be done without moving towards a permanent secretariat. I am pleased that the UAE proposal to establish a permanent secretariat has been welcomed and is included in the draft resolution.”
Photo © UAE Permanent Mission to the UN