The Kimberley Process (KP) chair called for
the establishment of a permanent secretariat to oversee the rehabilitation of
nations that have been banned from exporting diamonds.
The proposal will be part of the agenda at
the KP plenary in Dubai from November 13 to 17, the chair’s office said.
“We need to jointly address the issue that
the KP today lacks a permanent structure able to handle the numerous issues
faced by countries that have been prohibited to export, and guiding them back
to normalization,” said Ahmed Bin Sulayem, the United Arab Emirates-based chair
for 2016. The industry needs a “well-structured permanent body” to take over
the work which is currently carried out by volunteers, he added.
The secretariat, which would be under the
mandate of the United Nations, should be funded by diamond-consuming nations,
not producing nations, the KP said. Furthermore, Bin Sulayem added it should be
manned by an African national with in-depth knowledge of the KP, its
regulations, the working bodies of the KP Certification Scheme and the
continent’s natural resources sector.
The proposal came as the KP chair made a
wide-ranging pitch to the Civil Society Coalition (CSC) of non-profit
organizations, calling upon them to end
their boycott of the KP. Bin Sulayem invited all members of the CSC to
attend the plenary and published an extensive document detailing the KP’s
efforts to deal with the CSC’s concerns.