During today’s opening session of the Kimberley Process (KP) Intersessional meeting, Shamiso Mtisi, the Coordinator of the KP Civil Society Coalition, addressed the 55 KP participating countries and observers. This Intersessional meeting, which for the first time takes place in a virtual format due to COVID-19 restrictions, is the half-yearly gathering of the KP in preparation of the annual Plenary meeting in November. In his speech, which followed that of this year’s Russian Chair and the President of the World Diamond Council, Shamiso Mtisi highlighted ongoing human rights abuses which the KP CSC has documented and called on industry and governments to keep these in mind throughout this week’s discussions.
“It is our mission and responsibility to bring the voice of these marginalized communities to this forum, as we feel many of the discussions we are having here are so disconnected from this reality. […] This is a call to all KP Participants and Observers to meaningfully address these concerns, so that we don’t have to go back to our constituencies and explain that the KP has no relevance for them.
“Bad practices and bad actors contaminating the diamond trade are a threat to all of us. […] An important question for this forum is how the KP will ensure that these abusers are held accountable for their actions. Read full speech here