BRISBANE, AUSTRALIA, November 14, 2017 - Honorable Guests, Ladies and Gentlemen,
Dear Participants, on behalf of the WDC, I would like to thank everyone for embracing the spirit of collaboration and extend a special thank you to the Chair of the KP for facilitating and leading such open discussions at this year’s KP Plenary session.
I would also like to acknowledge and thank the Department of Foreign Affairs & Trade for organizing and hosting such a successful event. I would also like to thank China for their impressive work on the Compendium on Rules and Procedures.
During the opening of the Plenary this week I spoke about the need for the diamond community to unite, to collaborate, and to act. I keep using the same words, as I believe them to be key to our common future. I think we have made great strides in this regard this week.
We spoke openly and transparently this week about areas of the KP in need of the most urgent reform. I am pleased that we have come together and agreed on the way forward for us both as the Kimberley Process and as the Diamond industry.
I applaud all of the hard work. And I am encouraged that we together, as the KP family, were able to make progress on important reform efforts. The WDC would like to extend our thanks to all the Chairs of working groups for their leadership commitment. Thank you Carolyn, Alexander, Sipho, Paolo, Mark, and last but not least Maryam who is leaving.
This week we have had lively and engaging discussions about expanding the meaning and scope of ‘conflict diamonds.’ We, the WDC, remain firm that we must all do what is necessary to expand the scope in order to secure better governance, human security and development so as to ensure consumer confidence in diamonds. We have all agreed this change is urgent and vital to meet consumer expectations. The agreement on the creation of the ad hoc Review and Reform Committee is an important commitment. We look forward for those it to be translated into meaningful progress.
The need for a permanent secretariat, a crucial role for strengthening the long-term implementation of the Kimberly Process Certification Scheme. Many inside and outside of the KP have expressed a desire to improve the implementation of KP agreed decision, more effectively restore KPCS implementation in sanctioned countries and better support development projects in Participant countries. Having such a secretariat based in a neutral country will make this possible.
We additionally shared a vision for KPCS reform with the goal of making it a lasting reality and strengthening the KPCS minimum standards by making the peer review mechanism stronger.
Many important proposals have now been agreed. We salute the positive and constructive spirit present during this Plenary that has contributed to secure these outcomes.
In closing I would like to wish the European Union and India all the best as the KP Chairs for respectively 2018 and 2019. We look forward to the second of three years in this cycle of the KPCS review. You can count on the active participation and support of the WDC
While we ARE industry, more importantly, we also represent the voice of our consumers.
The KP is the back bone of the industry, we are proud of what it has been achieved and are looking forward to work closely with governments in order to strengthen the protection and support to those most at risk. Essential to ensure the future of consumer confidence in the industry and allow us all to build a stronger story together
We realize that as WDC we are an Observer, not a Participant. We don’t have a vote, but we do have a voice, and we intend to continue to use it.
Thank you very much.