The European Union (EU) has taken over the chairmanship of the Kimberley Process for 2018, under the leadership of Italian politician Federica Mogherini.
The EU will head the international initiative to stem the trade in conflict diamonds during 2018.
Kimberley is a process started in 2003 following the United Nations General Assembly’s Resolution 55/56. It is aimed at removing conflict diamonds from the global supply chain, which means that participants have to go through a certification scheme that ensures that their diamond purchases are not financing violence by rebel movements aiming at undermining legitimate governments.
Mogherini, the EU’s High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy said: “For the European Union, the Kimberley Process is part of our work for sustainable development.
“It is part of our work for sustainable peace — to prevent new conflicts and cut the revenues of criminal and terrorist groups. It is part of our work for human rights, to make sure that diamonds produce wealth, not modern slavery.
“The main strength of the Kimberley process has always been that it looks beyond governments, to civil society and to private sector. This is our main asset as we chart the way ahead. We look forward to working closely with all stakeholders in this coming year.”
The EU was the process’ last year’s vice-chair, while Australia headed the body. As the group now moves to the top for the first time in 10 years, India becomes 2018’s vice-chair and as such will lead in 2019.