The Plenary meeting of the Kimberley Process Certification Scheme (KPCS) is being hosted by India (the current chair) from 18th to 22nd November, 2019 in New Delhi.
Importance of KPCS for India
- Export potential: Currently, India exports around USD 24 billion cut and polished diamonds. It is expected that India will reach an export target of USD 1 trillion in coming years and the gem and jewellery sector particularly cut and polished diamonds will contribute significantly to achieve this target.
- Livelihood for a million: The importance of KPCS is immense to India as more than one million people are directly employed by the diamond industry. The industry also plays a pivotal role in sustaining livelihoods of these people.
India and KPCS
- India is one of the founder members of the Kimberley Process Certification Scheme and is the Chair of the Kimberley Process for the year 2019. India had earlier chaired KPCS in the year 2008.
- Since 2003, India has been actively participating in the KPCS process and is a member of all Working Groups of KP (except for WGAAP).
- Department of Commerce is the nodal Department and Gem & Jewellery Export Promotion Council (GJEPC) is designated as the KPCS Importing and Exporting Authority in India.
- GJEPC is responsible for issuing KP Certificates and is also the custodian of KP Certificates received in the country.
- The Kimberley Process is a joint initiative involving Government, International Diamond Industry and Civil Society to stem the flow of Conflict Diamonds.
- “Conflict Diamonds” means rough diamonds used by rebel movements or their allies to finance conflict aimed at undermining legitimate governments. It is also described in United Nations Security Council (UNSC) resolutions.
- With a view to find ways to stop trade in conflict diamonds, the world's diamond industry, United Nations, Governments and leading NGOs came together and in November 2002 at Interlaken, where the final draft of the Kimberley Process measures were ratified by more than fifty nations.
- The KPCS came into effect from 1st January, 2003 and evolved into an effective mechanism for stopping the trade in conflict diamonds. At present, KPCS has 55 members representing 82 countries including EU with 28 members.
- The Kimberley Process is chaired, on a rotating basis, by participating countries. KP Vice-Chair is generally elected by KP Plenary each year who becomes the Chair in the next year. India is the current Chair of KPCS with Russian Federation as Vice Chair for the year 2019.
- As per the Scheme, each shipment of rough diamonds being exported and imported by crossing an international border be transported in a tamper proof container and accompanied by a validated Kimberley Process Certificate.