Trade and sustainable development
a) The Kimberley Process (KP) is a voluntary initiative involving international governments, NGOs and the diamond industry, intended to ban conflict diamonds. The KP has around 50 participants representing 75 countries. The European Commission represents the EU and chaired the process in 2007.
The KP meets up twice a year to discuss the current situation, compliance with the Kimberley Process Certification Scheme system and the outlook for the future.
The regulatory system, the Kimberley Process Certification System (KPCS), imposes restrictions on trade in conflict diamonds. In Belgium the KPCS is jointly monitored by the FPS Economy (Licensing Service), FPS Foreign Affairs, FPS Finance and customs authorities, working together with the diamond industry in Antwerp.
Being the world’s largest diamond trading and sorting centre, Belgium is regarded as a worthy key international player in the Kimberley Process.
b) The Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI) is a programme that was launched back in 2002 by British Prime Minister Tony Blair at the World Summit on Sustainable Development in Johannesburg. EITI promotes ‘good governance’ in countries rich in natural resources by establishing voluntary, tripartite relations between the relevant government, private sector and civil society. EITI focuses on verifying the full publication of company invoices and government revenues from the oil, gas and mining sectors. Belgium is an active champion of the EITI programme in developing countries rich in natural resources, but focuses primarily on the programme’s implementation in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). The EITI programme is financed by the Multi-Donor Trust Fund (MDTF), under the auspices of the World Bank. Belgium signed up to the fund in 2007.
c) UN Global Compact (GC) is a UN initiative designed to encourage companies to embrace a more socially responsible sustainable form of management.
The companies that sign up to the programme ensure greater transparency in their corporate activities regarding human rights, social standards, the fight against corruption and the environment. UN Global Compact unites over 6,700 organisations worldwide, including 5,200 companies from 130 countries. Participation is voluntary, but requires companies to submit regular reports on the application of UN principles in their corporate culture.
At the time of writing, GC had 50 local networks and participants in 90 countries, including Belgium. A local GC network brings together companies that promote the principles of human rights, environmental protection, the fight against corruption, and social standards at national level, taking account of the respective culture, language and customs.
The Belgian network was officially launched on 15 October 2009.