I have the honour to speak on behalf of the European Union.
The European Union (EU) and its Member States, which act as a single Participant in the Kimberley Process Certification Scheme (KPCS), are happy to join consensus on this resolution today.
The year 2020 was a year like no other, including for the Kimberley Process, which collectively decided to make it a pause year and postpone the 2020 and 2021 Chairmanships of the Russian Federation and Botswana by one year. The COVID-19 pandemic brought on unprecedented challenges – from the threat to health and well-being, to the severe disruption to societies and economies and the devastating impact on lives and livelihoods.
Though the pandemic continues, the EU welcomes the resumption of the work of the Kimberley Process.
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, 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. The EU, as the Vice-Chair of the Working Group on Monitoring, remains committed to working together with Botswana in giving impetus to this work to further strengthen the effectiveness of the Kimberley Process Certification Scheme.
The EU welcomes the ongoing work towards the establishment of a Permanent Secretariat. In this context we welcome the candidacy of Austria to host its seat.
The EU continues to place artisanal mining communities at the core of its work in line with the Kimberly Process’s Moscow, Brussels and Washington Declarations and the Sustainable Development Goals to promote economic and social development and prosperity. The EU therefore continues to encourage and support cooperation on KP implementation with a regional dimension to address common challenges, building on the experience of the Mano River Union.
The EU strongly supports the calls on the Kimberley Process to evolve and adapt to meet future challenges in the global diamond supply chain. The EU welcomes efforts to continue strengthening the Kimberley Process to ensure it remains fit for purpose and provides assurance that diamonds are not tainted by violence and that they truly benefit those who mine them.
We strongly believe in transparency and accountability in the rough diamond supply chain to ensure a diligent approach towards responsible rough diamond sourcing.
As a member of the KP’s Monitoring Team for the Central African Republic, the EU remains concerned by the situation on the ground and continues to closely follow developments. The EU welcomes the continuing commitment of the Government of the Central African Republic to work collaboratively with the Monitoring Team to ensure the traceability of rough diamond shipments, 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.
The EU looks forward to working constructively in this regard with the Kimberley Process Chair, Vice-Chair, and with all Participants and Observers in the year ahead.
Thank you, Mr. President.