Final Communique, Ottawa Meeting
Kimberley Process Meeting, Ottawa, 18 to 20 March 2002
The Participants in the Kimberley Process met in Ottawa, Canada from 18 to 20 March 2002, to consider technical issues related to detailed proposals for an international certification scheme for rough diamonds. Thirty-seven countries and the European Community were represented at the meeting. Also participating were representatives of the World Diamond Council representing the diamond industry, and several non-governmental organizations (NGOs). The Participants expressed their gratitude to the Canadian Government for hosting the meeting and for the warm hospitality they had enjoyed.
Participants welcomed the resolution adopted by the United Nations General Assembly on 13 March 2002, which expressed firm support for the work being done by the Kimberley Process. Participants also affirmed the important progress achieved to date, including the declaration by ministers at the recent meeting in Gaborone, Botswana, that the proposals developed by the Kimberley Process provide a good basis for the envisaged certification scheme.
The Ottawa meeting dealt with a number of outstanding technical implementation issues. The first concerned the compatibility of the international certification scheme for rough diamonds with international trade law obligations. The Government of Switzerland led the Working Group dealing with this issue. Participants intend to implement the scheme in a WTO compatible manner in order to respond to the great humanitarian challenge posed by conflict diamonds. Participants agree to continue efforts to promote the widest possible participation in the proposed certification scheme for rough diamonds and further examination of WTO related aspects at the request of Participants.
The Working Group on Statistics, led by the Government of Canada, proposed technical clarifications to the text of Annex III of the Framework Document, which were subsequently endorsed by the Plenary. Reflecting the need to take into account the role of statistics in supporting effective implementation of the certification scheme, as well as the need to protect commercially sensitive information, these proposals further elaborated the scope and nature of the statistics to be collected and the frequency according to which these should be published.
The Working Group on Participant Measures, led by the Government of South Africa, clarified the question of the monitoring and implementation of the scheme. This clarification was endorsed by the Plenary, allowing an earlier reservation to be withdrawn.
The meeting also considered the nature and scope of the administrative support services required for the optimal functioning of the international certification scheme for rough diamonds. This Working Group, convened by the representative of the European Community, provided an analysis of the tasks to be performed. The Plenary concluded that a permanent Secretariat would not be required at this stage. The convenor of the Working Group agreed to develop the analysis in more detail for later consideration by Participants.
The meeting furthermore considered the layout and logo of Kimberley Process Certificates, and encouraged each Participant to design its own certificate along common lines.
Each Participant intends to concentrate its efforts on preparing for implementation of the international certification scheme. In this context, the Participants accepted the invitation of the Government of Switzerland to host in November 2002 a plenary meeting with a view to the simultaneous launch of the certification scheme before the end of this year.