Diamond Stakeholders Convene in Dubai to Discuss Industry Reform

Representatives of the global diamond industry, including government officials, civil society organizations, and industry leaders, convened in Dubai this week for the Kimberley Process (KP) Intersessional meeting. The focus of the meeting is to address ongoing challenges within the diamond trade and strengthen the Kimberley Process Certification Scheme (KPCS), an international mechanism established to prevent conflict diamonds from entering the legitimate market.

The United Arab Emirates (UAE) currently holds the chairmanship of the KP for the second time, and Dubai is serving as the host city for the intersessional meeting. This year's gathering is particularly significant as the UAE has designated 2024 as the "Year of Delivery" for the KP. The goal of this initiative is to accelerate progress on key reforms aimed at ensuring the long-term effectiveness of the KPCS.

During the opening ceremony, Dr. Thani bin Ahmed Al Zeyoudi, the UAE Minister of State for Foreign Trade, emphasized the vital role that the KP has played in curbing the trade in conflict diamonds. He highlighted the need for continued collaboration between governments, civil society, and industry to address emerging challenges and maintain consumer confidence in diamonds.

One of the key areas of discussion at the intersessional meeting is the issue of transparency within the diamond supply chain. Civil society organizations have long called for greater transparency in the origin of diamonds, arguing that this is essential for ensuring that consumers are not unknowingly purchasing conflict diamonds. The World Diamond Council (WDC), an industry body, has urged KP participants to consider disclosing the country of origin on Kimberley Process certificates, whenever such information is available.

Another topic on the agenda is the modernization of the KP's working methods. The establishment of a permanent Kimberley Process Secretariat, led by an Executive Secretary, is a significant development in this regard. The Secretariat is expected to provide greater continuity and efficiency in the organization's work.

The diamond industry is facing a number of challenges, including declining consumer demand in some markets and the emergence of synthetic diamonds. The KP Intersessional meeting provides a crucial platform for stakeholders to come together to discuss these challenges and identify solutions that will ensure the future sustainability of the diamond trade.

The discussions in Dubai are expected to continue throughout the week, culminating in the issuance of a communique that will outline the key outcomes of the meeting and any agreements reached by participants. The success of the intersessional meeting will be judged by its ability to deliver concrete progress on the reform agenda and to strengthen the KP's role in promoting a responsible and ethical diamond industry.

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