UAE takes over KP Chair; sets sight on digitising certificates in diamond sector


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THE United Arab Emirates begins its influential chairmanship of the Kimberley Process, focusing on actionable steps to combat conflict diamonds.

Under the guidance of the Dubai Multi Commodities Centre‘s CEO, Ahmed Bin Sulayem, the UAE aims to drive key initiatives, including the digitization of certificates and operational enhancements, marking a pivotal year for the diamond industry.

The United Arab Emirates (UAE) has commenced its pivotal chairmanship of the Kimberley Process (KP), the United Nations’ key initiative dedicated to preventing the entry of conflict diamonds into the global rough diamond market. This marks the UAE’s second time leading the KP, with its first chairmanship occurring in 2016.

Ahmed Bin Sulayem, the Executive Chairman and CEO of DMCC, spearheads the UAE’s leadership role in the KP for 2024. Under his guidance, the KP is set to embark on a ‘Year of Delivery’, a period marked by decisive action and tangible progress in several areas vital to the KP’s mission.

Key focuses during the UAE’s chairmanship include operationalizing the permanent secretariat in Botswana, a proposal initially put forth by the UAE in 2016. Additionally, the KP aims to complete its review and reform cycle, an initiative led by Angola.

A significant aspect of the UAE’s agenda is the modernization of the KP’s operational framework, including the transition from paper-based to blockchain-based KP certificates. This move is intended to enhance security and prevent forgeries, solidifying the KP’s role in the future of diamond trade.

Bin Sulayem commented on the urgency of the KP’s mission during the 2023 plenary session in Zimbabwe, emphasizing the collective responsibility to ensure stability and prosperity for economies reliant on the diamond industry. He stressed the need for operational autonomy and efficiency within the KP.

He also addressed the recent Plenary’s conclusion without a complete communique, highlighting the challenges posed by geopolitical gridlocks. Bin Sulayem criticized the use of the forum by some governments to stall critical decisions, which adversely affects Africa and its dependent populations. He affirmed the UAE’s commitment to initiating immediate collaborative efforts within the KP to translate intentions into action, making 2024 a pivotal year for the initiative.

The UAE’s deep involvement with the KP dates back to its joining in 2003, making it the first Arab country to do so. The UAE’s KP office, the first in the world to be ISO certified in 2019, underscores its commitment to maintaining high international standards.

The UAE, a major player in the diamond industry, is known for being a leading importer and exporter of diamonds under the KP certification. It issues one of the highest numbers of KP certificates globally, demonstrating its significant role in the industry.

The UAE’s chairmanship not only reinforces its position in the diamond sector but also aligns with its stature as a major global diamond trading hub. Dubai, in particular, has risen to prominence in the diamond trade, with the UAE’s rough and polished diamond trade showing remarkable growth, reaching US37.4 billion in 2022.

The UAE’s leadership of the KP in 2024 represents a significant step in its journey towards shaping the future of the global diamond industry.


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