The United States participated in the annual Kimberley Process Plenary in Gaborone, Botswana.
The Kimberley Process is an international, multi-stakeholder initiative created to increase transparency and oversight in the diamond industry in order to eliminate trade in conflict diamonds.
The United States was pleased to support Botswana’s bid to host the Kimberley Process Permanent Secretariat, which was approved during the 2022 Kimberley Process Plenary meetings. Botswana’s legacy of mining good governance makes it a welcome champion for transparency and accountability in the rough diamond trade.
During the Plenary, Russia and Belarus abused the consensus-based rules to block participants from discussing the implications for the Kimberley Process of Russia’s war in Ukraine and Russia’s diamond production. The United States and like-minded countries urged Kimberley Process participants, first in letters to the Kimberley Process chair and again during Plenary meetings, to include this issue in the agenda. The final Plenary communique formally included these letters criticizing Russia’s aggression towards Ukraine and calling for action within the Kimberley Process.
The United States is committed to a responsible, and sustainable diamond industry and is concerned that the Kimberley Process definition of a conflict diamond does not sufficiently address human rights and other important standards. The United States will advocate to expand the definition of a conflict diamond in the Kimberley Process, including during the formal review of the Kimberley Process Certification Scheme in 2023.
The United States remains gravely concerned with the ongoing conflict in the Central African Republic (CAR) and the impact on its rough diamond exports. The CAR is the only country in the world where conflict diamonds, as defined by the Kimberley Process, are produced. The United States remains committed to working with the CAR government and continues to work tirelessly to balance the need for legitimate exports with the Kimberley Process mandate to prevent conflict diamonds from entering the commercial supply chain.
The United States looks forward to participating in Kimberley Process meetings in 2023 with Zimbabwe as the new chair.