Sunday, May 19, 2024
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Kimberley Process Intersessional Commences in Dubai to Address Global Diamond Trade Challenges

Dubai— The Kimberley Process (KP) Intersessional meeting has commenced at Uptown Tower, the headquarters of DMCC—the world’s flagship free zone and the Government of Dubai Authority on commodities trade and enterprise. This global gathering includes hundreds of diamond industry representatives, civil society members, and government officials. The UAE is chairing the UN-mandated KP for a historic second time in 2024, under the leadership of DMCC’s CEO and Executive Chairman Ahmed Bin Sulayem.

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Under the theme “Year of Delivery,” the UAE aims to break political deadlocks and drive concrete actions. Key objectives include establishing a permanent secretariat in Botswana, which was achieved in April, completing the KP review and reform cycle, and advancing the long-term digitalization of the KP.

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The week-long event features numerous discussions, culminating in an unprecedented special plenary session on Friday. The opening session emphasized the need for greater consensus and accelerated decision-making to address pressing issues in the global diamond trade.

In his address, His Excellency Dr. Thani bin Ahmed Al Zeyoudi, UAE Minister of State for Foreign Trade, highlighted the Kimberley Process’s critical role over the past 21 years in curbing the trade of conflict diamonds and supporting economic development, particularly in Africa. He urged for continued focus on consensus and collaboration to refine the KP’s functioning.

Ahmed Bin Sulayem, the UAE’s Chair of the Kimberley Process, announced the first-ever Special Session of Plenary to pass key administrative decisions and recognize best practices. He emphasized the importance of seeking solutions to strengthen the KP, ensuring transparency and accountability, and implementing bold decisions for the future.

Feriel Zerouki, President of the World Diamond Council, discussed key trends in the global diamond industry, calling on participants to make progress during the intersessional week. She noted the impact of global events on diamond jewelry demand and highlighted the significance of the special plenary session for mid-year decision-making.

Jaff Bamenjo, representing the Civil Society Coalition, called for a more comprehensive approach within the KP. He stressed that the Kimberley Process should not only focus on banning diamonds that fund rebel groups but also on using diamond mining to drive development and enhance the well-being of communities.

The UAE first chaired the Kimberley Process in 2016, becoming the only Arab country to do so. Established by the United Nations in 2003, the KP involves 85 countries working to ensure that unregulated rough diamonds do not finance conflict. The UAE has assumed the chairmanship once again in 2024, continuing its commitment to regulating the global diamond trade.

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