Even as 98 per cent diamonds are conflict free, the rest two per cent are equally important and India will continue to play an active role in the evolution of the Kimberley Process (KP), a senior government official said.
Diamonds which were called blood or conflict diamonds have been almost completely excluded from global trade and every rough diamond is accompanied by a certificate confirming its non-conflict origin, and export-import procedures in most of the countries are now subject to rigorous control, Director General of Foreign Trade (DGFT) and KP Chair (India) Alok Vardhan Chaturvedi Monday said.
Addressing the opening session of the Kimberley Process Intersessional Meeting 2019, Chaturvedi said, India is committed to make this process stronger in terms of inclusiveness, strengthened administration and implementation, efficiency in delivery and transparent and empathetic approach towards lives of the people dependent on the production, trade and manufacture of diamonds.
India is one of the prominent members of KP Certification scheme and as the largest manufacturing centre and major importer of rough diamonds, the country has a unique position in between producers of rough diamonds and consumers of cut and polished diamonds.
"Importance of KPCS is immense to India, with more than 1 million people being directly employed by the industry and with diamond exports amounting to more than USD 24 billion," he added.
Chaturvedi said in 2018, the KP Plenary adopted the decision on the use of unified diamond nomenclature and terminology.
"This would enable differentiation between diamonds and synthetics on the national level and help introduce separate HS codes for the two categories," he added.
He said there is a need to continue the good work and act on issues such as support, technical assistance, capacity building of artisanal mining countries, finalisation of best practice document by Working Group on Statistics (WGS) and coordination of joint work programme by Working Group on Monitoring (WGM) and Working Group on Artisanal and Alluvial Production (WGAAP) with respect to Central Africa.
Coordinator, KP Civil Society Coalition, Shamiso Mtisi also present on the occasion said diamonds have the potential to be a positive driver of development, but that it can be achieved only under the right conditions.
Where diamonds involve violence, it affects sustainability and KP is the last chance to set things on the right course, he added.