Kimberley Process (KP) Chair, Ahmed Bin Sulayem, has held talks with government officials during an official visit to the Russian Federation – the biggest exporter of rough diamonds in the world.
During his stay, the KP Chair visited the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Ministry of Finance of the Russian Federation, where he held meetings with Vasily Nebenzya, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs, and Aleksei Moiseev, Deputy Minister of Finance. Russia produced over 41 million carats of rough diamonds last year with exports of $3.42 billion.
The officials discussed KP-related issues, including the achievements made in the past year on furthering the standardization of rough diamond valuation and the proposal to establish a Permanent Secretariat in the UN.
“As part of its mandate, the KP has been instrumental in stemming the flow of conflict diamonds, and over the last decade embargos were imposed on countries where mining conditions were non-compliant,” said Bin Sulayem. “However, we have seen that once countries resolve these issues, the re-entry process is long and complex, which severely impacts the living conditions and the livelihood in those countries, especially in Africa. Through our work with the CAR (Central African Republic) , we have recognized that with a Permanent Secretariat in the UN we will be able to facilitate the KP’s mandate and provide it with the necessary resources to enhance its current mechanisms.
“Since collaboration is central in the KP, we look forward to continue working with Russia this year and beyond to further strengthen the initiative’s framework and ensure the legitimate diamond trade continues to be free of conflict diamonds.”
Bin Sulayem also met with ALROSA’s President, Andrey Zharkov, and Vice President, Andrey Polyakov, who also serves as the President of the World Diamond Council, an observer in the Kimberley Process. The KP Chair visited the United Selling Organisation of ALROSA (PJSC), where he held talks with its director – Oleg Petrov. After being briefed on ALROSA’s activities, he visited the operation of the sorting facilities, which employ around 1,000 employees.
“As the largest producer of rough diamonds, Russia has always been a strong advocate and participant in the important work being done by the KP,” said Bin Sulayem. “Their ongoing support has helped drive a number of significant initiatives that have contributed to our goal of delivering greater value to everyone in the diamond supply chain and ensuring the continued strengthening of this global initiative.”
The next Plenary meeting of the KP will take place in Dubai from November 13 to 17.