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2021 KP PLENARY CSC CLOSING SPEECH

2021 KP PLENARY, NOVEMBER 12TH 2021

Chair of KP,

Vice Chair

Dear Participants and observers

On behalf of the KP CSC, I would like to thank the Russian Federation for hosting the hybrid 2021 KP Plenary meeting and the ASM for logistical support to all participants and observers.

We are getting used to being disappointed about the lack of progress in the seemingly endless discussions on updating the KP’s conflict diamond definition. We now know everybody’s arguments and excuses by heart. This was another record of instances when discussions had to be stopped prematurely, as those opposing dialogue refused to move an inch. This offers little hope about any future efforts to make the KP catch up with reality, for which the conflict diamond definition is only one of the many weaknesses that require serious reform. 

A sprinkle of hope is the Declaration on Principles for Responsible Diamond Sourcing. It was a sad sight however to see Participants tone down the language of this non-binding document and seek continuous assurances that it would in no way require them to take any action on giving effect to it. For the KP CSC, this document can only be a first step, and we are hopeful that Botswana’s Chairmanship will start a new trajectory on how the KP can turn these words into action, in cooperation with other international initiatives such as the OECD, the Inter-governmental Forum on Mining, IRMA and the United Nations.

Regarding the proposed administrative decision for the creation of national multi-stakeholder working groups in producing countries, we want to thank all those who provided relevant and very rich contributions to improve the proposed document.  Work to refine this document will continue within WGAAP and we are confident that its adoption will meet with everyone’s approval during the next plenary.

We welcome the interest expressed by DELVE to cooperate with the KP on enhancing data collection and dissemination on artisanal and small-scale diamond mining. The data voids in this area are indeed huge, complicating efforts to improve the governance of this essential livelihoods driver for millions of families. In this light, the KP CSC this year started a systematic cross-country data collection and mapping campaign in 8 African diamond producing countries. We look forward to exploring how this work can be complemented to leverage on the work of DELVE.

The situation in CAR remains of concern to us; especially the involvement of armed groups, mercenaries and criminal elements in illegal diamond mining and the widespread smuggling that allow these diamonds to be traded internationally, often with KP Certificates. We fully appreciate the work done by the CAR MT and urge the CAR government and the KP to cooperate constructively and take full advantage of the KP’s operational framework to facilitate the legal trade. We hope that, once conditions permit, a KP Review Mission can be send to CAR with clear and specific Terms of Reference. To make sure such a visit is adequately informed on evolving conditions on the ground, it will be essential to make sure that the ongoing monitoring, in particular by the UN Panel of Experts, takes place without any limitations.

As we stated in our opening speech, we hope authorities in DRC and Angola will take adequate measures to mitigate and address the impact of the pollution of the Congo River Basin by diamond mines in Angola, including the attendant human and environmental health impacts.

Finally, CSC welcomes the admission of Mozambique, Qatar and the Kyrgyzkstan into the Kimberley Process. We hope they will readily implement the legal and institutional controls they put in place. For Mozambique in particular, we appreciate the inclusion of civil society in the tripartite National KP Council, and the country’s participation in EITI especially given the challenging context of conflict in this country.

Ladies and gentlemen on that note, I want to thank you all.

Shamiso Mtisi

Coordinator-KP CSC

On Behalf of KP Civil Society Coalition

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