The European Union will take over chairmanship of the Kimberley Process in 2018, according to the diamond certification scheme’s final 2017 communiqué, which was issued following its year-end Plenary in Brisbane, Australia.
Federica Mogherini, pictured, will hold the role of chair. She also serves as the EU’s high representative for foreign affairs and security policy.
The EU previously held the chair role in 2007. India, another prior chair, will serve as vice-chair next year and is slated to take over in 2019. Australia held the role in 2017.
The Kimberley Process “is part of our work for sustainable peace—to prevent new conflicts and cut the revenues of criminal and terrorist groups,” Mogherini said in a statement. “It is part of our work for human rights—to make sure that diamonds produce wealth, not modern slavery. It has spread the idea that natural resources belong to communities, not militias.”
The Plenary also set up an ad hoc committee on review and reform, which will be chaired by India. The committee will look at “ways to enhance administrative and financial support to the [KP], including consideration of a permanent secretariat and a voluntary multidonor fund to support participation from least developed countries, civil society, and experts who implement our work,” according to the communiqué.
All that wasn’t enough for nonprofit IMPACT, formerly known as Partnership Africa Canada. The Ottawa, Ontario–based group, considered one of the scheme’s founders, quit its civil society coalition following the Plenary, citing frustrations with the slow pace of reform.