During a plenary session of the Kimberley Process Certification Scheme held in Johannesburg, South Africa, the country of Angola was elected vice chair for 2014, and chairman for 2015. Angola has a long history of attempting to stem the tide of conflict diamonds, the foundation of which was laid by creating a certificate of origin for stones in a move to save lives in Angola, Liberia, Sierra Leone, and the Democratic Republic of Congo.
Carlos Sumbula, CEO of the National Diamond Company of Angola, aka Endiama E.P., told the press that the honor reflects the engagement of Angola in the process.
World Diamond Council president Avi Paz sent his formal congratulations to Angola, and in a statement welcomed another decision by the KP Plenary—to extend by three years its agreement with the WDC, which manages the KP’s Administrative Support Mechanism, a means of providing logistical, organizational, and communications support to the KP Chair through four member organizations: the Israel Diamond Institute, the Gem and Jewellery Export Promotion Council of India, the Antwerp World Diamond Center, and the Diamond House of the Government of Ghana.
“It is a proud moment for the Kimberley Process that a country which, once afflicted by civil conflict, has now regained political and economic stability and, as a consequence, is in a position to assume a position of leadership in the very institution that helped set it on its way to recovery,” Paz told the media.
He also welcomed the decision of the KP Plenary to continue deliberating how to potentially expand the definition of conflict diamonds.