From Dubai, A Puzzling Press Release Follows KP Plenary

SourcingNov 21, 2016

From Dubai, A Puzzling Press Release Follows KP Plenary

The Kimberley Process chair touted the passage of two “historic” agreements but others are saying that’s actually not what happened at the meeting.

Incoming Kimberley Process Chair Robert Owen-Jones (left), current Chair Ahmed Bin Sulayem and World Diamond Council President Andrey Polyakov at the recent KP plenary meeting in Dubai. The chair said following the plenary that two major proposals passed, but the official record of the meeting indicates otherwise.

Dubai, United Arab Emirates--Following the Kimberley Process plenary meeting in Dubai, the KP chair nation touted the passage of two “historic” proposals, which would be a huge step for a process that’s perennially unable to move forward on substantive issues.

The only problem: It doesn’t seem that either of the agreements actually passed.

On Thursday, the United Arab Emirates sent out a press release stating that at the meeting, members of the KP had reached a “historic agreement,” voting to approve the establishment of a permanent secretariat for the process and a proposal to establish a common fund for its Civil Society Coalition, the group of NGOs involved in the process.

The release, which was picked up by trade websites IDEX Online and Rapaport, quoted KP Chair Ahmed Bin Sulayem as saying that, “The historic decisions made today will have an enduring impact on the long-term sustainability of the KP and the diamond industry. We are very proud of the way that the KP family has come together to enact these vital proposals that will lend greater structure and transparency to the Kimberley Process Certification Scheme. I look forward to working closely with the next KP chair to ensure these initiatives are implemented efficiently and effectively.”

The release also stated that both proposals would go before the United Nations General Assembly for adoption before the end of the year.

However, several people with knowledge of the situation told National Jeweler that neither of these proposals passed at the meeting, with one observer calling the UAE’s press release a “mischaracterization” that is “quite unprecedented.”

The final communiqué from the meeting posted on the KP website backs this up, as it states that the plenary “recognized the effort and took note of” these two proposals made by the KP chair and “looked forward to continued discussion of these proposals under the incoming chair.”

It states nothing about either proposal passing, and their alleged “historic” passage also wasn’t mentioned by World Diamond Council President Andrey Polyakov in his closing remarks at the plenary.

In fact, according to a transcript of those remarks shared with National Jeweler, Polyakov said: “We believe it is necessary to work further on key initiatives such as the establishment of a permanent secretariat and an independent fund for financing the participation of NGOs.”

When asked about the discrepancy between the press release and others’ accounts of the meeting, a spokesman for the KP

chair said on Friday, “The principles were adopted as reflected in the Final Communique, and will now need to be worked out further in detail. Per procedure, all that was adopted in the final communique goes for approval in a UN resolution. Without an annual UN resolution, the KP stops to exist.”

The KP chair did not respond when pressed further on the issue.

Dan Thomas, a spokesman for the president of the UN General Assembly, did not respond to multiple inquiries regarding the KP.

The press release distributed by the KP chair following the plenary caps off a year in which Bin Sulayem has been very active, traveling to multiple diamond-producing countries, initiating a series of workshops on rough diamond valuation, and pushing the ideas of both a permanent secretariat and funding for the Civil Society Coalition.

In addition, 2016 marked the resumption of rough diamond exports from several areas of the Central African Republic, a nation that had been suspended from the KP since 2013.

But the year has also been one in which Bin Sulayem’s statements to the press have been called into question multiple times, including this one regarding the KP Civil Society Coalition just before the plenary.

And Bin Sulayem has been unable to mend fences with the coalition, which stood by its year-long boycott of the process and still is undecided on what it will do in 2017, said Zuzia Danielski, a spokesperson for Partnership Africa Canada, a coordinator for the coalition.

At the plenary, the KP did vote to readmit Venezuela, which voluntarily withdrew in 2008.

KP members also came to an agreement that Australia would be the next nation to head the process.

Robert Owen-Jones, who is the assistant secretary of the Australian Competitiveness Branch of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, will be representing his country as chair.

Also at the plenary, the KP selected vice chairs for the next two years.

The European Union was tapped for the position in 2017 and India for 2018. This means the EU is in line to chair the process in 2018, followed by India in 2019.

In a press release sent out by the WDC following the meeting, Polyakov called the selection of two vice chairs an “extremely important precedent” that “will allow the KP to look ahead even further, empowering the stability and consistency of the organization.”
Michelle Graffis the editor-in-chief at National Jeweler, directing the publication’s coverage both online and in print.

The Latest

Model Wearing Eat Cake Collection
CollectionsApr 16, 2024
Akaila Reid Launches ‘Eat Cake’ Collection

It’s ultra-feminine and filled with gold, pearls, and soft pastels.

Emily Highet Morgan, Emily Bennett
MajorsApr 16, 2024
Loudr Adds 2 Directors

Emily Highet Morgan and Emily Bennett have joined the agency’s team.

Stuller catalogs
MajorsApr 16, 2024
Stuller Releases First Lab-Grown Diamond Jewelry Catalog

Its updated book for mountings is also now available.

Brought to you by
The Blueprint for Success in Scalable, Personalized Jewelry Retail

With Ho Brothers, you can unlock your brand's true potential and offer customers the personalized jewelry experiences they desire.

Joyce’s Jewelry
TechnologyApr 15, 2024
Judge Rules Jeweler’s Lawsuit Against PNC Bank Can Move Forward

Joyce’s Jewelry sued the bank after cybercriminals drained its accounts of nearly $1.6 million through a series of wire transfers.

Weekly QuizApr 11, 2024
This Week’s Quiz
Test your jewelry news knowledge with this seven-question quiz.
Take the Quiz
Alfred W. DeScenza
IndependentsApr 15, 2024
Alfred W. DeScenza of DeScenza Diamonds Dies at 95

He is remembered by loved ones for his loyalty, integrity, and kindness.

Madeleine K. Albright
AuctionsApr 15, 2024
Madeleine K. Albright Jewelry, Pins Coming to Auction

Hosted by Freeman’s | Hindman, the sale will take place May 7-8.

Jewelers of America Fly In Washington, D.C.
Brought to you by
How Jewelers of America Represents Your Business

For over 30 years, JA has advocated for the industry, fought against harmful legislation and backed measures that help jewelry businesses.

Audemars Piguet circa 1985 emerald car watch
AuctionsApr 15, 2024
All of Sotheby’s ‘Rough Diamonds’ Sold in Less Than an Hour

The auction house said all 24 timepieces offered in its underground sale of rare and avant-garde watches quickly found buyers.

AGS Conclave 2024 logo Austin
Events & AwardsApr 15, 2024
10 Can’t-Miss Sessions at AGS Conclave 2024

From lab-grown diamonds and AI to the inevitable Taylor Swift mention, here are some of Conclave’s most intriguing educational offerings.

My Next Question webinar
Recorded WebinarsApr 12, 2024
Watch: What Jewelers Need to Know About Insurance

From cybersecurity liability to trade show coverage, insurance experts share tips on how to build the right policy.

Evil Eye Charm with Turquoise Disc
CollectionsApr 12, 2024
Piece of the Week: Lionheart’s Evil Eye Gemstone Charm

The charm is a modern rendition of the evil eye amulet that has been worn for thousands of years.

The Jewelry Symposium scholarship winners 2024
Events & AwardsApr 12, 2024
The Jewelry Symposium Announces 4 Scholarship Winners

Ahead of its trade show next month, TJS awarded free registration and accommodations to one jewelry professional and three students.

SRK Empire and SRK House
Policies & IssuesApr 11, 2024
SRK Exports’ Journey Toward Net Zero Impact

By the end of this year, SRK’s diamond manufacturing complexes will achieve net zero emissions, one of an impressive array of achievements.

AGTA logo
Lab-GrownApr 11, 2024
AGTA Bans Lab-Grown Diamonds, Gemstones at GemFair

Members can still sell lab-grown stones, it said, but only natural gems are allowed on the show floor.

Steven Rosdal
IndependentsApr 11, 2024
Steven Rosdal, Co-Founder of Hyde Park Jewelers, Dies at 77

He is remembered for his charisma, passion, integrity, kindness, and wit.

Macy’s Herald Square store
MajorsApr 11, 2024
Macy’s Opens Books for Possible Buyout

The retailer also appointed two new board members, avoiding a proxy fight from a potential buyer.

Sylvie Jewelry model
CollectionsApr 10, 2024
Sylvie Launches New Nature-Inspired Collection, ‘Tulira’

The bridal collection consists of 35 engagement rings and seven wedding bands.

Rolex Oyster Perpetual Deepsea in 18-karat yellow gold
WatchesApr 10, 2024
These Are Rolex’s New Watches for 2024

The crown introduced a dozen timepieces in Geneva, including a heavy metal version of its deep-sea divers’ watch.

Levy’s Fine Jewelry diamond education
IndependentsApr 10, 2024
Levy's Fine Jewelry Explores Diamond History

The family-owned jeweler has a new education section on its website dedicated to the history of diamond cutting.

With Clarity NFL wedding bands
CollectionsApr 10, 2024
With Clarity Partners With NFL on Wedding Bands

The limited-edition men’s rings can be customized with one of 12 team logos.

Chrono24 watch inspection lab
WatchesApr 09, 2024
Chrono24 Debuts Pre-Owned Watch Authentication Program

The program, now live in Europe, will roll out to the U.S. this summer.

6.21-carat fancy vivid pink diamond
AuctionsApr 09, 2024
Phillips to Offer 6.21-Carat Vivid Pink Diamond

Colored gemstones and signed jewels are the focus of its upcoming Geneva sale.

Lucapa rough colorless and pink diamonds
SourcingApr 09, 2024
Former De Beers Exec Appointed to Lucapa Board

Stuart Brown, who was De Beers’ CFO and interim CEO, is now Lucapa’s independent non-executive chairman.

Jewelers for Children POS System Donations
MajorsApr 09, 2024
Jewel360 Announces New POS Integration, JFC Partnership

The point-of-sale software can now prompt customers to round up their credit card purchases as a donation to Jewelers for Children.

Bharat Ratnam, a Mega Common Facilitation Centre (CFC)
SourcingApr 09, 2024
Reinvigorating SEEPZ, the Epicenter of India’s Studded Jewelry Exports

The zone’s modernization will enhance and increase India’s jewelry manufacturing capabilities while aiding small and mid-sized businesses.

Charles & Colvard moissanite bypass engagement ring
SourcingApr 08, 2024
Charles & Colvard Debuts B2B Portal for Moissanite

Select independent jewelers and retailers can now purchase moissanite through Charles & Colvard Direct.


This site uses cookies to give you the best online experience. By continuing to use & browse this site, we assume you agree to our Privacy Policy