KP: Dispute over Conflict Diamond Continues

Ahmad Bin Sulayem

Dubai: In his opening comments to the KP Intersessional 2016, at Atlantis, Palm Jumeirah, Ahmad Bin Sulayem said the UAE had agreed to all conditions set by the World Diamond Council, acting as moderators between the CSC and the UAE, but that had not satisfied “self-appointed leader” of the CSC, Alan Martin, as per a report in

Pointing out Martin’s absence, Bin Sulayem said, “I urge Mr. Martin in the strongest possible terms to get back to work.” He also “strongly refuted and rejected” allegations from the CSC, made up of 11 rights groups, about the UAE’s suitability to chair KP. It is the first Arab nation to chair the group, which aims to regulate the international diamond industry to keep so-called “blood diamonds” or “conflict diamonds” off the market.

Saying that negotiations with Venezuela and the Central African Republic are in progress to rejoin the KP group, Sulayem hoped that it could be achieved this year with UAE’s KP chair.

Earlier, UAE Minister of Economy Sultan Bin Saeed Al Mansouri outlined the importance of the diamond trade to the UAE.

Kimberley Process chair Ahmed Bin Sulayem said the valuation of rough-shaped diamonds remained a concern for the group, but it was beginning to work with industry leaders and the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) to resolve it.

“Rough diamond valuation is a challenge that is not limited to one country, one diamond centre, or the Kimberley Process — it is a critical challenge for the entire diamond industry,” he said. “In particular, it is a top priority for the diamond exporting countries in Africa, which are looking to get the best value from their mineral resource wealth.”