Didier Reynders welcomes European Union chairing the Kimberley Process in 2018
Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Didier Reynders welcomes the decision that the European Union will chair the Kimberley Process in 2018.
Last week, the 81 countries participating in the Kimberley Process (KP) rallied behind the EU candidacy. The KP is a central platform in the fight against the trade in conflict diamonds. Belgium considers the EU Chairmanship as a unique opportunity to successfully continue the reform process of the KP. The reform cycle will be initiated in 2017 by the incoming Australian Chair and will be further developed during the European Chairmanship in 2018.
Belgium wishes the Australian Chair every success, and assures it of its full support for the consultation process that Australia is planning to launch in preparation of the reforms.
Our country also thanks the United Arab Emirates (UAE) for its KP Chairmanship in 2016. The reform proposals that the UAE launched during its Chairmanship are the starting point for the reform cycle. For Belgium, the implementation of the KP and the role of the Civil Society Coalition (CSC) are major priorities in these reforms.
Antwerp being the main international centre for trade in rough diamonds, Belgium works closely with the European Union and other partners in the KP. Belgium calls for the reintegration of the civil society organisations that are members of the Civil Society Coalition (CSC). These are an essential partner in the tripartite structure of the KP. Together with governments and industries, they must reinforce the efficiency and implementation of the KP.
Belgium has always been committed to a rigorous application of the KP standards. With 84% of world trade in rough diamonds, the Belgian control mechanism Diamond Office plays a leading role in the implementation of the KPCS (Kimberley Process Certification Scheme) in which efficiency and transparency are key. Belgium is committed to share the accumulated experience with diamond producing countries through capacity building. Belgium remains committed to a level playing field of the KP rules.
The Kimberley Process Certification Scheme (KPCS) imposes extensive requirements on its members to enable them to certify the trade in rough diamonds as 'conflict-free’, thereby preventing conflict diamonds from entering the legitimate trade.