UAE Kimberley Process Chair visits Russia

DUBAI, — After the successful implementation of his Africa Initiative, the UAE Kimberley Process, KP, Chair, Ahmed bin Sulayem, has visited the Russian Federation, the biggest exporter of rough diamonds in the world.

As one of the founders of the KP in 2002, Russia is an active participant of the global initiative. It serves as the Chair of the Committee on Rules and Procedures, and is a member of three other working groups.

The KP Chair held meetings with Vasily Nebenzya, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs, and Aleksei Moiseev, Deputy Minister of Finance. The parties discussed topical issues on the agenda of the KP, including the achievements made in the past year around furthering the standardisation of rough diamond valuation and the proposal to establish a Permanent Secretariat in the UN.

“As part of its mandate, the KP has been instrumental in stemming the flow of conflict diamonds, and over the last decade, embargos were imposed on countries where mining conditions were non-compliant,” added bin Sulayem. “However, we have seen that once countries resolve these issues, the re-entry process is long and complex, which severely impacts the living conditions and the livelihood in those countries, especially in Africa. Through our work with the Central African Republic, we have recognised that with a Permanent Secretariat in the UN, we will be able to facilitate the KP’s mandate and provide it with the necessary resources to enhance its current mechanisms.

“Since collaboration is central in the KP, we look forward to continue working with Russia this year and beyond to further strengthen the initiative’s framework and ensure the legitimate diamond trade continues to be free of conflict diamonds.”

Mr. bin Sulayem also met with ALROSA’s President, Andrey Zharkov, and Vice President, Andrey Polyakov, who also serves as the President of the World Diamond Council, an observer in the Kimberley Process. The KP Chair visited the United Selling Organisation of ALROSA, and held talks with its director, Oleg Petrov. After being briefed on ALROSA’s activities, he had the opportunity to visit the operation of the sorting facilities, which employ around one thousand people.

“As the largest producer of rough diamonds, Russia has always been a strong advocate and participant in the important work being done by the KP,” said bin Sulayem. “Their ongoing support has helped drive a number of significant initiatives that have contributed to our goal of delivering greater value to everyone in the diamond supply chain and ensuring the continued strengthening of this global initiative.”

The next Plenary meeting of the KP, which will gather representatives of 81 countries, industry players and the civil society coalition, will take place in Dubai from November 13th to 17th.

Source: Emirates News Agency