Remarks by KP Civil Society Coalition
New Delhi, India
of the World Diamond Council,
behalf of the KP Civil Society Coalition, let me start by congratulating India
for chairing and hosting this 2019 Plenary meeting and the June Intersessional
meeting in Mumbai.
year, the CSC has again expanded its membership. I am pleased to introduce our
new CSC member, Action Mines Guinea,
here represented by Mamadou Lamarana
Diallo. During the process of reviewing the application to join the CSC, Action
Mines Guinea demonstrated a deep commitment, expertise and shared concerns on
local and national governance of the diamond sector and protection of community
rights. We are proud and open to bring new committed defenders of the rights of
mining affected communities to our ranks from different geographical regions. This enlargement process will continue based
on our due diligence and internal membership processes.
plenary provides the final platform and meeting of another 3-year reform cycle. We urge all participants to
constructively work toward reaching a conclusion on all reform areas.
Scope: On Scope, I want to
thank the chair of the sub-group and all those who actively contributed to
seeking a way forward on this. In our view, it is self-evident that the KP must
expand the conflict diamond definition. The KP cannot claim to stop conflict
diamonds and issue certificates that guarantee the conflict-free provenance of
stones without defining what conflict is. It cannot claim to be a conflict
prevention tool without adequate measures to stop diamonds from funding
violence and conflict. Today, it is failing to do this, and thereby it is open
to abuse by those seeking to lubricate all kinds of illicit, violent and
criminal operations. So any participating state that still seeks to obstruct
discussions during this make or break moment for the KP, is not just escaping
its responsibilities. It is wilfully seeking to keep in place this
self-destructive loophole of the KP. They will be held accountable for that.
Our proposals to make the KP work are straightforward. The bottom bar
should be stopping major cases of serious violence across rough diamond
supply chains, irrespective of the perpetrator or context in which these occur.
that the KP still attracted passionate public debate are clearly over. This is
convenient for those seeking to cover up its many weaknesses, and frustrating
for those still trying to make it fit for purpose. But rest assured,
indifference never lasts. Gradually it turns into withdrawal, condemnation and
eventually resistance. This holds all the more true for diamond governance. For
one because diamonds still spark so much imagination, for another because the
continuing abuses hold an enormous social interest factor. This means that it
is only a matter of time before public interest will return to this scheme and consumers
will realise they have been fooled when relying on KP assurance. This will
undoubtedly raise the question of whether the KP, with its niche focus on
rebels fighting governments, is worth all these resources. It will raise the
question of how the KP is in fact preventing conflict and improving livelihoods
of local communities. It will raise the question of why diamonds are so exceptional
that they are not included in other evolving mineral governance schemes and
Peer Review: Discussions have been going
on in the Peer Review sub-group. However, we are not happy at all with attempts
by some participants to truncate and sever the tripartite nature of the KP by
deleting references to the role of civil society and their linkages to communities
in diamond mining areas. We understand that every national context is
different, and different kinds of actors play different roles in different
countries. We need proper drafting to cater for these differences, not just
deleting references to actors that play a key role in this body, as well as in
the diamond sector of many KP participating countries.
On this point, I want to remind you that the KP has
from the start been a tripartite process. Everybody who joined the KP,
voluntarily joined a tripartite system. It is alarming that some Participants
are seeking to close civic space within the Kimberley Process. We call on all
participants to actively value and protect the much-needed watchdog role of
civil society. Again, those who seek to silence us, not only undermine the role
of civil society, they undermine the existence of the KP as such.
Like I said earlier, this plenary provides a crucial opportunity to agree
and adopt proposed reforms related to establishing a Permanent Secretariat,
Multi-Donor Fund and improving the Peer Review System.
The situation in the CAR remains of deep concern to
the CSC. We regret that communities continue to suffer from conflict and
benefit little from the country’s diamond production. It is no secret that,
despite the embargo and despite the still very fragile peace agreement,
conflict diamonds from CAR continue to find their way to international markets
and thereby finance conflict in the country. This problem goes to the essence
of the functioning of the Kimberley Process. Failing to stop diamonds from
funding conflict, is a failure of the KP.
Despite the many outstanding challenges in the
country, the CSC would like to thank the CAR Monitoring Team and other
supportive working groups for working towards a solution in the CAR. The CSC
supports constructive proposals for changes to the Operational Framework of the
CAR Monitoring Team. We however realise that this will only be a small part of
the solution for a very complex problem.
To reach a more comprehensive solution, we first of
all call on the CAR government to cooperate with the KP and take prompt action
to enhance internal controls across the country. The CSC additionally calls for
strong action to make the Central African Regional Approach work. We encourage
all participants at this Plenary to develop a way forward with clear benchmarks
and specific objectives to support the CAR government in its ultimate goal of normalizing
diamond production and trade for the benefit of its people.
Finally, the Civil
Society Coalition looks forward to robust debates that lead to clear and
ambitious outcomes. We have all been doing a lot of talking the past years, now
is the time for bold decision-making.