Statement by Representative of Russia Alexander Pshenichnikov at the side-event dedicated to Russia's Chairmanship at the Kimberley Process in 2020
The Kimberley process is a permanent intergovernmental initiative under the auspices of the UN, represents by more than 80 States. The main goal is to exclude conflict diamonds used for arming and supporting anti-government groups from legitimate diamond trade. The KP provides the control of export and import regime that covers up to 99 % of the world diamond trade. Today, the KP is the main global platform to regulate rough diamond trade.
The diamond trade is the most controlled area of world mineral trade.
The KP Certification Scheme had only 37 Participants (KPCS) which was adopted in 2002 in Interlaken.
The KPCS sets minimum requirements for countries that want to join the KP, as well as rules for trading in rough diamonds.
Based on 20-year existence the KP contributed to the peace restoration and the legitimate diamond trade in Angola, Cote d'Ivoire, Liberia, Sierra Leone.
In addition, the entire world communities are interested in the KP work due to its tripartite structure, which includes the state, industry and civil society as observers.
Therefore, there are 55 Participants and Observers from 82 countries, which confirm the KP relevance.
In particular, we observe the changes of preferences and life postulates by modern society and the consumers of diamonds. New generations of consumers became the main «driving force» in the market.
Therefore, the KP becomes either a platform for compliance with KPCS requirements or a platform that defines and promotes the development of the rough diamond market.
They impose new requirements on our products: maximum transparency, responsible supply chains and business conduct, including respect for human rights, labor rights, anti-money laundering and countering terrorist financing, minimizing the impact on the environment and its protection, socio-economic development of the regions, and transparency of the origin.
In this regard, the Russian Federation with Botswana has developed and intended to present a draft Principles for Responsible Diamond Sourcing Framework (“Frame7”) that reflects key issues responsible business conduct, including the framework of relevant international organizations, which we are going to propose for adoption at the KP.
The draft is accompanied by a preamble that fixes the KPCS effectiveness, its tripartite structure, and the industry initiatives to conduct responsible business and engage with external organizations.
Top international organizations and industry associations have already implemented the so-called «principles for responsible business conduct» (System of Guarantees guidelines by World Diamond Council, UN Guiding Principles, OECD Due Diligence Guidance for Responsible Supply Chains of Minerals from Conflict-Affected and High-Risk Areas, the CIBJO Responsible Sourcing Policy, etc.).
In the diamond industry we may observe the failure of certain participants to correspond modern standards. This fact is actively used for by synthetic stone producers which develop a negative background for our industry.
Therefore, as the main intergovernmental forum the KP should keep up with the times to support self-regulation industry, which is already being implemented by associations (WDC and CIBJO).
We offer to support 7 principles of responsible business management: labor rights, human rights, protection of environment, development of communities, differentiation between natural and synthetic diamonds, combatting corruption and anti-money laundering.
At present 10 million artisanal and alluvial miners are involved in rough diamond market. Their future depends on the consumers’ preferences to be more special working conditions and rough diamond production in general.
The point of the draft is to support the generally recognized standards of doing business in our industry.
Russia and Botswana suppose that the draft should be declarative, fixing States, industry and civil society to achieve joint goals and strengthening the KP interaction with some relevant international institutions, to be more exact with the UN.
We also note that we do not propose to impose additional obligations on KP participants to comply with the above-mentioned norms.
For these purposes, there is a similar KP Administrative decision on KP engagement with external organizations (2018), which establishes the procedure for KP engagement with any international organizations.
Thus, we do not propose to establish any obligations or a mechanism for compliance with these rules.
Labour rights that are based on ILO Declaration on Fundamental Principles and Rights at Work, 1998. The KP Participants are also members of ILO which have previously assumed these obligations.
- freedom of association and the effective recognition of the right to collective bargaining,
- the elimination of forced or compulsory labour,
- the abolition of child labour
- and the elimination of discrimination in respect of employment and occupation.
It has already included in System of Warranties guidelines by World Diamond Council.
Human rights are based on the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights. All KP Participants are the UN members. Thus, they have already assumed previous obligations.
The document includes 31 principles that are based on 3 components:
- The State duty to protect human rights
- The corporate responsibility to respect human rights
- Access to legal remedies for victims of business abuse.
The key UN principles are reflected WDC and CIBJO.
Protection of environment
We offer to support the UN primacy in doing business in our environmental protection, based on the UN Rio Declaration on Environment and Development, 1992.
The KP participants are also UN members and commit the relevance of the Declaration.
The Rio Declaration proclaims 27 principles. It includes the wording of the precautionary principle (principle 15) and the polluter pays principle (principle 16).
The Declaration is contained in the documents of WDC and CIBJO.
Development of communities
In fact, we reiterate the relevance of doing business in the artisanal and alluvial production based on Moscow and Washington Declarations.
All KP States have already confirmed these commitments which develop local communities.
In order to exclude «conflict diamonds» from entering the legitimate diamond trade Moscow and Washington Declarations are the fundamental KP documents that display terms of references for artisanal and alluvial mining as the best practice.
Differentiation between natural and synthetic diamonds
In last year WCO adopted a separate classification of natural diamonds and synthetics.
In addition to this, Kimberley process accepted the relevant Administrative decision that was separated both markets.
We support the development of both markets, but we suppose it is essential to separate market, which is based on the methods of production and types of goods sale.
The key point it is impossible to equalize 2 stones based on the following differences:
- synthetics are not unique and are industry product.
- natural stones have specific characteristics: color, quality, weight in carats.
- synthetic stone doesn’t have specific characteristics, because it is produces on the technical specification.
We confirm that the UN Convention against Corruption is a relevant legislation for responsible business conduct.
The KP States are also the UN members. The obligations have already been approved.
The Convention sets out the following principles to work: preventive measures, criminalization and law enforcement, international cooperation, asset recovery, technical assistance and information exchange.
The Convention is implemented in WDC and CIBJO.
Countering the legalization of income.
The 40 recommendations, which are the main FATF document, are divided into the following principles:
- anti-money laundering and
- countering the financing of terrorism policies and coordination
- money laundering and confiscation
- terrorist financing and financing of proliferation
- preventive measures
- transparency and beneficial ownership of legal persons and arrangements
- powers and responsibilities of competent authorities and other institutional measures
- international cooperation.
The Kimberley process is not a political organization.
In conclusion, I would like to emphasize here that we do not propose to expand KP or to establish additional obligations, or to introduce a mechanism for monitoring compliance with the above-mentioned norms.
The Kimberley process confirms the UN primacy, which has given a mandate to control rough diamond trade.
The KP goals have been solved. Today there are new challenges that we cannot ignore.
We hope that our joint proposal with Botswana will have a positive impact on the industry in terms of KPCS implementation.