The Russian Federation, as the Chair of the Kimberley Process (KP) announces KP Plenary meeting on 8-12 November 2021 in a hybrid format:
• in person – for those who will be able to visit Moscow (subject to national COVID-19 restrictions and quarantine rules applied when entering Russia).
The proposed format of conducting the Plenary in 2021 should become an effective tool for the continuation of the KP's work despite the global restrictions of holding face-to-face meetings.
The Plenary agenda will focus on finalization of the working plans of the KP working bodies for 2021 as well as general issues reflected in the priority initiatives promoted by the Russian Chairmanship that are of high importance for the sustainable development of the global diamond industry.
Firstly, the digitalization of KP Certificates accompanying every export-import operation with rough diamonds aimed at modernization to meet the current technological realities, particularly under the challenging circumstances of COVID-19 pandemic restrictions and limitations. KP will set the basis for work in this direction and is also open to cooperation in this sphere with external organizations to learn from their experience. Russian Ministry of Finance and Federal Customs Service are finalizing the first pilot electronic information exchange with one of the key trading partners and soon will be ready to present the experience of digital exchange for the whole KP Family as the best practice along with contributions from other KP Participants already implementing digital solutions.
We plan to build upon the progress of discussions related to the possibility of changing the KP documents amongst other ways to facilitate digitalization as much as possible within the Working Group of Diamond Experts and its Ad hoc group on digitalization co-founded by Russia and other venues for those who are willing to move forward on this issue.
At the same time, due to the lack of a global digital KP platform for exchange of information and complexity of searching for a universal technological solution, digitalization will be flexible for all countries that accept the proposed approach on a bilateral basis at present.
Secondly, the Russian Chairmanship believes that it is essential for the future development of KP that KP Participants support the draft Declaration on the so-called “Principles of Responsible Diamond Sourcing” as the best practice for the industry. Most of the Participants and Observers positively responded on the declaration co-drafted by the two largest diamond miningcountries – Russia, Chair of the KP, and Botswana, Vice Chair of the KP.
Another key topic is the situation in the Central African Republic (CAR). The KP is expected to send an expert mission to CAR to evaluate the effectiveness of 2019 post-verification mechanism and compliance of CAR individual regions with the minimum requirements of the KP Certification Scheme (KPCS).
KP will also consider the applications of new countries to join the KPCS. The pandemic had forced us to postpone business trips and, as a result, pause the assessment of new countries wishing to join the KPCS. Nevertheless, as the pandemic situation “normalized” to a certain extent the KP managed to organize expert missions to Qatar and Kyrgyz Republic and plans to apply the same approach towards the application of Mozambique. The dedicated Chairmanship and Participation Committee and the Plenary will consider the respective reports of the expert missions.
Russia will also keep working hard with the KP partners to facilitate a consensus on selecting location of the future permanent KP Secretariat that will allow to streamline the work of the KP Working Bodies and provide effective mechanisms of administrative support for the forum.
KP also needs to select a new KP Vice Chair for 2022 that will take the helm of the KP Chair in 2023.