The United States participated in the annual Kimberley Process (KP) Plenary in New Delhi, India, from November 18–22.  Representatives from most of the 82 KP countries also participated in the Plenary, which was chaired this year by India.

The KP is an international, multi-stakeholder initiative created to increase transparency and oversight in the diamond industry in order to eliminate trade in conflict diamonds, or rough diamonds sold by rebel groups or their allies to fund conflict against legitimate governments.

The KP reform process did not reach consensus on a new, expanded definition of conflict diamonds that would include violence by a broader set of actors, including state security forces.  The United States is committed to a strong and sustainable diamond industry and has expressed concern that the current definition’s limited focus on rebel groups does not sufficiently protect the legitimacy of the rough diamond supply chain.

The United States worked closely with the Central African Republic (CAR) Government and other KP members to make limited provisional modifications to the current KP oversight mechanism focused on the CAR.  Under these modifications, the CAR Government can now export rough diamonds from the eight KP-compliant zones in the western CAR at will.  The exports will be subject to quarterly reviews by the KP CAR Monitoring Team.  In addition, importers must notify the Monitoring Team when they receive rough diamonds from CAR.  Due to lack of government control and widespread rebel activity in the east, KP-compliant exports from eastern CAR are not possible.

International endorsement for due diligence and responsible sourcing with respect to natural resources such as diamonds has been expressed in the OECD Due Diligence Guidance for Responsible Supply Chains of Minerals from Conflict-Affected and High-Risk Areas, the Lusaka Declaration pertaining to responsible treatment of natural resources in Africa, and the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights.  The United States continues to encourage our partners to express positions in the KP that reflect these endorsements.

 

U.S. Department of State

The Lessons of 1989: Freedom and Our Future