Kimberley Process Civil Society Coalition

2021 Plenary Moscow – Closing Speech by the Civil Society Coalition

We are getting used to being disappointed about the lack of progress in the seemingly endless discussions on updating the KP’s conflict diamond definition. We now know everybody’s arguments and excuses by heart. This was another record of instances as discussions had to be stopped prematurely because those opposing dialogue refused to move an inch. This offers little hope about any future efforts to make the KP catch up with reality, for which the conflict diamond definition is only one of the many weaknesses that require serious reform. 

A sprinkle of hope is the Declaration on Principles for Responsible Diamond Sourcing.  Even though it was a sad sight to see Participants tone down the language of this non-binding document and seek continuous assurances that it would in no way require them to take any action on giving effect to it. For the KP CSC, this document can only be a first step, and we are hopeful that Botswana’s Chairmanship in 2022 will start a trajectory on how the KP can turn these words into action, in cooperation with other international initiatives such as the OECD, the Intergovernmental Forum on Mining, IRMA and the United Nations.

The situation in the Central African Republic (CAR) remains of concern to us; especially the suffering of the local population, the involvement of armed groups, mercenaries and criminal elements in illegal diamond mining and trade, and the widespread smuggling that allow these diamonds to be traded internationally, often with KP Certificates of Mixed Origin. (…) We hope that, once conditions permit, a KP Review Mission can be sent. (…) Yet, such a one-time visit only makes sense if it can be adequately informed on evolving conditions on the ground. In this regard, it will be essential to make sure that the ongoing monitoring, in particular by the UN Panel of Experts and civil society, can take place without any limitations“- Shamiso Mtisi, on behalf of the KP CSC.

On Friday the 12th of November 2021, for the first time ever, there was no time left for civil society and industry observers to deliver their standard closing remarks at the 2021 Plenary Meeting. You can still read our closing remarks here:

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