The UAE Kimberley Process (KP) Chair, Ahmed Bin Sulayem, has issued a proposal for fair, independent funding of NGOs in the Kimberley Process Certification Scheme (KPCS).
According to the proposal, which was sent to Civil Society Coalition (CSC) on October 25, the KP Chair will lead the creation of a Fund, which would allow African NGOs to participate on equal terms in Review Visits and Missions, as well as KP Intersessional and Plenary Meetings as Observers, Bin Sulayem said in a statement.
“While NGOs have been at the forefront in the successful combat against blood diamonds, trade bodies – who have significant resources – typically do not contribute to the NGOs participation in review visits, missions or KP meetings,” he commented.
“Our position is that this is not fair, nor an effective way of harnessing Civil Society’s unique perspective and potential. If Industry participates in a Kimberley Process activity, our proposal stipulates that it should also pay for a member of Civil Society to participate. And this should be equally distributed, discussed and decided amongst all individual members of Civil Society,” he said.
Bin Sulayem said it is his intention to have a decision on his proposal in the Final Communique at the upcoming KP Plenary in Dubai, November 13-17. It will then be adopted by UNGA by the end of the year.
The proposed statement in the communique would read: “Civil Society and Industry are two equal partners and Observers in the Kimberley Process. To support this equality and independence, and to give Civil Society a greater share in the KP decision process from 17 November 2016 onwards, each member of the diamond industry participating in a Review Visit/Mission or Meeting of the KP Intersession and Plenary will contribute matching funds for the participation of a member of Civil Society. The distributing Fund will be organized in a way to guarantee full independence of Civil Society, in the decision as to who exactly will participate in the respective Review Visit, Mission, Intersessional Meeting or Plenary, and will preclude any undue control by Industry or any individual member of Civil Society.”
The proposal for fair and independent funding for African NGOs follows the KP Chair’s recent invitation to all members of the Civil Society Coalition (CSC) to attend the upcoming Plenary in Dubai.