Ahmed bin Sulayem and Armenian President discusses Kimberley Process cooperation

DUBAI, 30th October, 2016 (WAM) — UAE Kimberley Process Chair, Ahmed bin Sulayem and Serzh Sargsyan, President of Armenia, have discussed cooperation around the Kimberley Process Certification Scheme, KPCS, the process established in 2003 to prevent “conflict diamonds” from entering the mainstream rough diamond market.

They also discussed Armenia’s evolving diamond industry and how it can continue to play a deeper role within the KP.

Mr. bin Sulayem also delivered the key note address at the World Jewellery Confederation, CIBJO, Annual Congress held recently in Yerevan, Armenia, where he spoke about the importance of Armenia in the diamond industry and the important role it plays in supporting the KP’s vital mandate. The congress was attended by leading individuals, organisations and companies in the jewellery, gemstones and precious metals sectors.

Armenia has been a member of the KP since 2003 and the diamond industry is a significant part of the country’s manufacturing sector. Employing an estimated 3,000 to 4,000 experts, Armenia imports and processes diamonds which are then exported across the world. In 2014, the country imported US$61.5 million worth of diamonds, with 40 percent of its supply coming from Belgium-Luxembourg and 25 percent from the UAE. As a centre for cutting and polishing diamonds, its traditionally vibrant jewellery-making sector is also a significant employer in the country.

“For decades Armenia’s precious metals sectors have been renowned for their high quality and prestige, and as one of the earliest members of the KP, the country has played a key role in strengthening the global initiative over the years,” said bin Sulayem after his meeting with Armenian President. “I was privileged to meet President Sargsyan and discuss with him Armenia’s evolving diamond industry, as well as how it can continue to play a deeper role within the KP. Over the past year, we have worked to engage numerous KP participants because we strongly believe that there is more that can be done to increase the vitality of this initiative, so that it can deliver greater value to everyone involved.”

In addition to discussing strengthening cooperation under the KP framework, President Sargsyan and Mr. bin Sulayem discussed the potential growth in bilateral projects between Armenia and the UAE. With diamonds making 7.1 percent of the country’s exports and 3.4 percent of its imports in 2014, both parties agreed that Armenia continues to have a vital stake in ensuring the robustness of the KP and covered recent initiatives proposed by the KP Chair, including the formation of a Permanent Secretariat in the UN.