Didier Reynders pleads for a continued commitment of the Kimberley Process to strengthen the fight against conflict diamonds

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Didier Reynders calls for a continued commitment to strengthen the Kimberley Process (KP) and to extend the definition of conflict diamonds. "Belgium is satisfied with the progress made by the Kimberley Process during its plenary meeting in New Delhi last week. Our country will keep working to extend the definition of conflict diamonds. This is indeed crucial to keep leading a credible and efficient fight against conflict diamonds."

Last week, the 82 participating countries of the Kimberley Process (KP) failed to reach an agreement on a new definition of conflict diamonds. The Kimberley Process is an international partnership between countries, Non-Governmental Organisations and the diamond industry to stop the trade in conflict diamonds worldwide. The extension of the definition of conflict diamonds is necessary to better combat the misuse of financial revenues from diamond production and trade. In this way, the KP would also meet consumers' increasing demand for transparent and durable diamonds.

Our country welcomes the European Union’s solid commitment, which stems from the progress that was made in 2018 in Brussels, under EU presidency. In May 2020, South Africa will organize, with support from our country and the Antwerp World Diamond Centre (AWDC) a second edition of the African Diamond Conference. After a first conference in Brussels in 2017, this conference aims to strengthen the dialogue with African diamond producing countries, for instance on reforming the Kimberley Process.

The Kimberley Process is a central platform in the fight against the trade in conflict diamonds. With Antwerp as the most important world trade centre in rough diamonds, our country, together with industry and civil society, has long advocated a reform of the definition of conflict diamonds. Belgium has been a pioneer in its commitment to a rigorous application of the KP standards. With 84% of the world trade in rough diamonds, the Belgian control mechanism Diamond Office plays an important role in the worldwide implementation of the Kimberley certification system.