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KP Chair Visits Russia to Discuss Strengthening of KPCS Foundations

October 27 2016
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Bin Sulayem meets with Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs and Deputy Minister of Finance to advocate importance of Permanent Secretariat in the United Nations

 

After the successful implementation of his Africa Initiative, the UAE Kimberley Process (KP) Chair, Ahmed Bin Sulayem, has conducted an official visit to 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 3 other working groups.

During his stay, the KP Chair visited the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Ministry of Finance of the Russian Federation, where he held meetings with Vasily Nebenzya, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs, and Aleksei Moiseev, Deputy Minister of Finance. The rough diamond trade is a lucrative industry in Russia, with the country producing over 41 million carats last year with exports worth $3.42 billion.

During the talks, the officials discussed the 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 as 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 CAR, 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 (PJSC), where Mr. Bin Sulayem 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 employees.

“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 the representatives of 81 countries, industry players and the civil society coalition - who officially confirmed their attendance at the upcoming conference - will take place in Dubai from 13 to 17 of November.

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