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India to Chair Kimberley Process Certification Scheme from January 2019

India will Chair Kimberley Process Certification Scheme (KPCS) from 1st January 2019. It was was handed Chairmanship by the European Union during KPCS Plenary 2018, which was held in Brussels, Belgium. India as KPCS Chair will be committed to

Commitments of India as KPCS Chair

  • Make KPCS stronger process in terms of inclusiveness, strengthened administration and implementation.
  • Make KPCS more efficient in terms of delivery of what it promises, more transparent and empathetic towards living standards of people who are dependent on production, trade and manufacture of diamonds.
  • Support Artisanal & Small-Scale Mining (ASM) with capacity building, technical assistance and education on valuation, differentiation between natural and lab-grown diamonds and importance of legal and formal mining practices.

Kimberley Process

It is joint initiative of governments, industry and civil societies to stem flow of ‘conflict diamonds’, rough diamonds used by rebel groups to finance wars against legitimate governments. It is also described in United Nations Security Council (UNSC) resolutions. India is one of the founding members of KPCS. At present, KPCS has 54 members representing 81 countries including EU with 28 members.

KPCS came into effect from 1 January, 2003 through United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) Resolution. It outlines the rules that govern trade in rough diamonds. It has evolved into effective mechanism for stopping trade in conflict diamonds. It sets minimum requirements that each participant must meet. In India, the scheme is administered through Department of Commerce under aegis of the Union Commerce and Industry Ministry.

India and KPCS

India is founding member of KPCS. It is actively involved in KPCS activities to ensure that almost 99% of diamond trade in world is conflict free. It is committed to maintaining KPCS as efficient and effective process in order to ensure conflict diamond free status. It is also at forefront in addressing issue of differentiation between Natural Diamonds and Lab Grown Diamonds and ensure responsible business in this area.

India earlier had chaired Ad hoc Committee on Review and Reform (AHCRR). It had held one joint session with Chairs of other Working Groups and 4 sessions with AHCRR committee members to discuss issue of funding of Permanent Secretariat (PS), Multi-Donor Trust Fund (MDTF), peer review mechanism and consolidation to the core document.

Conflict diamonds

Conflict diamonds or blood diamonds are the rough diamonds used by rebel movements in the third world countries especially in Africa to finance (civil) wars with an aim to topple legitimate governments. The KPCS completely bans import and export of rough diamonds without certification.

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12th ASEM Summit held in Brussels, Belgium

The 12th Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM) Summit was held in Brussels, Belgium. The theme of summit was ‘Global Partners for Global Challenges’. It was chaired by European Council President Donald Tusk. The summit was attended by heads of state of 51 European and Asian countries, representatives of European Union and Secretary General of Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN). India was represented by Vice President M. Venkaiah Naidu. This edition of summit has prioritised issues related to trade and investment, connectivity, sustainable development, climate change, terrorism, migration, maritime security and cyberspace.

Asia-Europe Meeting Summit (ASEM)

ASEM is informal political dialogue and cooperation forum that brings 53 entities – including 51 countries (including India) from Asia and Europe and two regional bodies European Union (EU) and ASEAN. It represents around 62.3% of the world’s population, 57.2% of the global GDP and almost 60% of the world’s trade.

ASEM was officially established in March 1996 at the first summit in Bangkok, Thailand. The dialogue addresses political, economic and cultural issues between the two regions. It also seeks to strengthen relationship between the two regions in a spirit of mutual respect and equal partnership. Three main pillars ASEM process are Political & Security, Economic & Financial and Social, Cultural & Educational.

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