Kimberley Process Chair to Hold Forum on Synthetic Diamonds

Ahmed Bin Sulayem also announced his two priorities for the upcoming plenary

Ahmed Bin Sulayem, who chairs the Kimberley Process on behalf of the United Arab Emirates, will be holding a special forum on lab-grown diamonds and their impact on the industry in Dubai on Nov. 14.

The forum will be held in conjunction with the annual Kimberley Process plenary, which runs from Nov. 13 to Nov. 17, also in Dubai.

The meeting, titled “Natural and Synthetic Gem Diamonds: A Symbiotic Relationship or Zero-Sum Game?,” will be led by industry analyst Chaim Even-Zohar and will feature panels made up of wholesale traders, labs, media, trade specialists, and industry leaders.

Bin Sulayem has also announced his two priorities for the upcoming plenary: a permanent KP secretariat under the United Nations, and an independent fund, backed by industry, that would underwrite expenses for NGOs that participate in the certificate scheme.

“The proposal for an independent fund also centers on the issue of transparency, as it will allow African NGOs to participate on equal terms … without any undue control by industry or any individual member of civil society,” Ben Sulayem said.

In a response to an overture from the chair sent out last month, members of the Kimberley Process Civil Society Coalition (CSC) rejected the latter proposal, saying it presents a possibility for conflicts of interest.

The statement also reiterated that the coalition’s ongoing boycott of the UAE’s chairmanship would continue, and the 11 activist groups comprising it will not attend the upcoming plenary.

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JCK News Director

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