-- As delivered --
I have the honour to speak on behalf of the European Union.
We are happy to join consensus on this resolution today. The EU and its Member states would like to thank India for the excellent manner in proceeding with the resolution and the transparent and inclusive manner in which consultations were held.
The European Union (EU) and its Member States, which act as a single Participant in the Kimberley Process Certification Scheme (KPCS), would like to thank India for its Chairmanship of the Kimberley Process, and welcome the results achieved to address broader matters pertinent to the diamond trade.
The EU furthermore welcomes the Russian Federation as the current Chair, and Botswana as the current Vice-Chair and as Chair for 2021.
The EU is proud of what the Kimberley Process (KP) has achieved since the Certification Scheme entered into force in 2003. This joint initiative of governments, civil society and the industry has reinforced the message that diamonds belong to communities who mine them, not to militias. For several countries and communities, the Kimberley Process has made the difference between war and peace.
One of the unique, defining features of the KP is its tripartite structure. Both industry and civil society are essential elements of the KP. They have largely contributed to its establishment and operation.
The EU has been at the forefront of this unique global partnership, grounded in the United Nations, since the very beginning. It has worked, and will continue to work to advance the objectives of the Kimberley Process, with a view to ensuring that all KP participants meet minimum requirements.
In line with the rotation of Chairs of the KP Working Bodies, the EU would like to congratulate South Africa for its able leadership of the Working Group on Monitoring, and congratulate Botswana as the newly selected Chair, thanking it for its leadership and vision. The EU, as newly appointed Vice-Chair of this Working Group, looks forward to working closely together, with Botswana in giving impetus to this work to further strengthen the effectiveness of the Kimberley Process Certification Scheme.
The EU congratulates Angola and Canada for their leadership as Chair and Vice-Chair of the Ad Hoc Committee on Review and Reform, which finished its work in 2019. The EU welcomes the progress made towards the establishment of a Permanent Secretariat. In this context we welcome the expression of interest from Austria, an EUMS, to host the Secretariat in Vienna. The EU also welcomes the strengthened Peer Review mechanism, and encourages Participants to continue committing themselves to peer review visits on a regular basis.
The EU would like to thank Participants and Observers in the KP for their active engagement in the discussions on strengthening the scope of the Process which it had the honour to lead. These discussions demonstrated the importance Participants and Observers attach to capturing the changing nature of conflict and actors involved, and to linking the Kimberley process with the sustainable development goals. We regret that consensus on an updated definition of conflict diamonds, while within reach, could not be achieved at the 2019 Kimberley Process Plenary. The EU strongly supports the calls on the Kimberley Process to evolve and adapt to meet future challenges in the global diamond supply chain and provide assurance that diamonds are not tainted by violence.
We strongly believe in transparency and accountability in the rough diamond supply chain to ensure a responsible and diligent approach to rough diamond sourcing.
The EU continues to place artisanal mining communities at the core of its work in line with the Moscow, Brussels and Washington Declarations and the UN 2030 Sustainable Development Goals, in order to promote economic and social development and prosperity. The EU therefore continues to encourage and support cooperation on the implementation of the KP with a regional dimension to address common challenges, building on the experience of the Mano River Union.
We welcome the continuing commitment of the Government of the Central African Republic to work collaboratively with the Kimberley Process Monitoring Team to ensure the traceability of rough diamond shipments, and to promote legitimate trade from compliant zones. As a member of the Central African Republic Monitoring Team, the EU is strongly attached to seeing the operational framework in place duly implemented, as a crucial element for the integrity of the Kimberley Process. .
The Kimberley Process stands out as an example of the positive change the international community can bring about when we work together towards a common objective. It stands out as a practical example of rules-based multilateralism that has had a real impact on the lives of people and communities across the globe.
The EU remains committed to ensuring that the Kimberley Process continues to fulfil its role as a unique tool for conflict prevention, a catalyst for good governance and transparency in natural resources management, and as an instrument for peace-building and sustaining peace.
We look forward to working closely and constructively in this regard with the Russian Federation as Chair, Botswana as Vice-Chair, and with all Participants and Observers in the year ahead.
Thank you, Mr. President.