RAPAPORT… Attendees at the Kimberley Process (KP) plenary in Dubai
voted in favor of a proposal to set up a United Nations-mandated permanent
secretariat to oversee the return of excluded countries to the diamond trade.
More than 300 delegates also gave the go-ahead to KP chair
Ahmed Bin Sulayem’s plan to introduce a common fund to finance non-governmental
organizations’ attendance at KP events. United Arab Emirates-based Bin Sulayem
said his office will contribute $25,000 to help set up the fund and urged the
industry to contribute the rest to create a total fund of $105,000.
Both proposals agreed on at the plenary will go before the
UN General Assembly for adoption before the end of the year, the KP said.
“I look forward to working closely with the next KP chair to
ensure these initiatives are implemented efficiently and effectively,” Bin
Delegates also voiced support for work undertaken by the KP
this year on a methodology for valuing rough diamonds. Australia-based Robert
Owen-Jones, the KP chair for 2017, said the organization will continue to work on this under his leadership.
The Civil Society Coalition of non-profits boycotted the
plenary but “five NGOs and industry experts did however attend,” the KP said.
These included Albert Kabuya Muyeba, the former KP representative of Democratic
Republic of the Congo-based CENADEP. Kabuya Muyeba was suspended
for 15 days for accepting an invitation to the conference on CENADEP’s
behalf in October.