India to Chair Kimberley Process Certification Scheme from January 2018
The Kimberley Process Certification Scheme (KPCS) Plenary 2018, was held in Brussels, Belgium, from 12th-16thNovember 2018.EU handed over the Chairmanship of KPCS to India from 1st January, 2019.
On the concluding day of the Plenary, Ms. Federica Mogherini, High representative for Foreign Affairs and Security policy, Vice- President of the European Commission,in the closing ceremony, handed over KPCS Chairmanship to India, from 2019, by passing on the gavel to Commerce Secretary, Dr. AnupWadhawan.
On the sidelines of the Plenary, Chair of Working Groups conducted meetings to discuss some key issues like KP statistics and confidentiality, synthetic diamonds and separate HS code for synthetic rough diamonds, issues relating to review visit and review mission and the issue of Central African Republic (CAR).
The 4-day Plenary also witnessed discussion on environmental challenges in diamond mining and industry responsibility.
During the Plenary session, India held bilateral meetings with Botswana, USA, Russian Federation & World Diamond Council to discuss on various issues related to KPCS and its working groups.
India is the founding member of KPCS and is actively involved in KP activities to ensure that almost 99% of the diamond trade in the world is conflict free. Indiais committed to maintain KP as an efficient and effective process in order to ensure the conflict diamond free status. India is at the forefront in addressing the issue of differentiation between Natural Diamonds and Lab Grown Diamonds and ensure responsible business in this area.
India chaired the Ad hoc Committee on Review and Reform (AHCRR).
The AHCRR held one joint session with Chairs of other Working Groups and 4 sessions with AHCRR committee members to discuss the issue of funding of Permanent Secretariat (PS), Multi Donor Trust Fund (MDTF), peer review mechanism and consolidation to the core document.
This year was the fifteenth anniversary of KPCS. Since its launch in 2003, the Kimberley Process has contributed towards peace, security and prosperity. It has proven to be an effective multilateral tool for conflict prevention in stemming the flow of conflict diamonds. The Kimberley Process has made valuable developmental impact in improving the lives of most people dependent on the trade in diamonds.
The next Intersessional session is slated to be held in India as Chair. Botswana and the Russian Federation will serve as Vice-Chair during the period of 2019-2020.