Conflict Diamonds Current Affairs - 2019

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India to host the Kimberely Process Certification Scheme

The Plenary meeting of Kimberley Process Certification Scheme (KPCS) is to be hosted by India between November 18, 2019 and November 22, 2019. The event is hosted by Ministry of Commerce and Industry. The meeting is held annually to make sure that the trade of diamonds is conflict free.

Highlights of the meeting

During the meeting three special forums are to be held. It includes adapting to changes in diamond industry, financial inclusion and women empowerment in the diamond industry and origin and identification of diamonds. Also, several meetings of the working groups and committees of Kimbereley Process Certification Scheme.

Why is KPCS important for India?

  • Currently India is exporting 24 billion USD. In the coming years it is expected that the target will reach 1 trillion USD.
  • There are more than 1 million people employed in diamond industry in India.

About KPCS

  • India is one of the founding members of the KPCS
  • The Scheme outlines the rules that govern the trade of diamonds. The purpose of the scheme is to prevent the flow of conflict diamonds. It is not an organization. There are no offices or headquarters for KPCS. It cannot frame agreements. It simply relies on contributions of the participants, industries, governments, civil society observers
  • The KPCS has been agreed by the United Nations and the World Diamond Council.

Working of KPCS

The scheme works on certain terms and conditions. The participating countries should implement national legislation, export and import controls and should exchange statistical data. The countries should also be transparent to the scheme meetings.

What are conflict diamonds?

Conflict diamonds are rough diamonds that are used by the rebel movements to finance wars, especially in the third world countries

India selected as Chair of Ad Hoc Committee of Kimberley Certification Scheme

India was selected as Chair of Ad Hoc Committee on Review & Reforms to look into various issues pertaining to the Kimberley Process Certification Scheme (KPSC) at recently held KP Plenary Session in Brisbane, Australia.

Angola will be the Vice Chair of this Adhoc Committee and will work with India and other members of Committee on reform issues related to changes in core document, expansion of scope of KP.

India was appointed as the Kimberly Process (KP) Vice Chair for 2018 & Chair for 2019 in the last plenary of KP held in Dubai in November, 2016. The EU will be KP Chair for 2018.

Kimberley Process

Kimberley Process 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.

The KPCS came into effect from 1 January, 2003 through a United Nations General Assembly 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.

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.