The United States of America and the Republic of South Africa welcome our selection as Kimberley Process (KP) Chair and Vice Chair for 2012. We are humbled by the trust of the KP members in accepting us into this leadership position at such a crucial time in the history of the KP. We would also like to express our gratitude to the current Chair, the Democratic Republic of Congo, for their work this year in leading the Kimberley Process.
Our world is fast changing and mineral resources play an even greater part in our economies particularly for producers. The KP serves a number of important and valuable functions including increased transparency and good governance in the diamond trade, prevention of the diversion of diamond revenues by rebel groups i.e. conflict diamonds, and enhanced development outcomes for communities involved in artisanal diamond mining. In recent years, however, the KP has faced a number of significant challenges. Our governments recognize these challenges and indeed have sought these leadership positions to work together to advance the important achievements and goals of the KP.
We view 2012 as a year for collaboration and careful deliberation on the state of the KP and look forward to strengthening the KP’s credibility and effectiveness. Although we intend to work on a number of areas we intend to focus on several key issues. Notably, the absence of civil society from the Kinshasa Plenary has left the KP without one of its founding partners.
It is our mutual goal and commitment to implement reforms sufficient to take KP forward. We recognize the importance of the tri-partite structures of KP, as all the parties have a pivotal role to play. We would like to encourage the return of civil society, so that all Participants and Observers can continue to work together cooperatively in the KP in line with the KP rules and procedures. This will strengthen the effectiveness and credibility of the KP.
To help reach this goal, we intend to continue to working jointly with all participants and Observers in the KP, as well as to engage with other stakeholders, to provide leadership to focus on reforms in the following critical areas:
It is our joint commitment to provide leadership for the goals of the Committee on KP Reform and to ensure that a clear, concrete, and consensus-based decision on each of these issues is presented to Plenary 2012 for adoption, enabling progress to begin and be presented to mark the KP’s 10-year anniversary during Plenary 2013.
We are pleased to embark upon this upcoming year in the spirit of collaboration and cooperation, while we jointly ensure the respect of the participants’ sovereignty at all times. We ask that all Participants and Observers work with us to reach these common goals of upholding and strengthening the integrity and value of the Kimberley Process.
Distributed to Kimberley Process Plenary meeting, November 3, 2011, Kinshasa, DRC