Kimberley Process Marks 10-Year Anniversary, USAID Furthers Development Agenda

This week marks the 10-year anniversary of the Kimberley Process Certification Scheme (KP), an international certification process that regulates trade in rough diamonds in an effort to prevent conflict diamonds from entering the market and fueling rebel movement.

The U.S. Government continues to be an active member of the KP, and over the course of the 2013 Intercessional Meeting, symbolically held in Kimberley, South Africa, USAID was able to further the development agenda within the KP. Building on the recent adoption of the Washington Declaration, which formally incorporates development goals into the KP and specifically addresses the artisanal mining sector, USAID developed a diagnostic tool for Member states to measure progress in the implementation of the Washington Declaration. During a one-day workshop attended by over 50 representatives, the draft version of the diagnostic tool was presented, reviewed and commented on, which will result in a revised version ready for testing later this year.

Throughout the week, USAID also collaborated closely with The Central African Republic and Cote d’Ivoire, partners to the Property Rights and Artisanal Diamond Development (PRADD) program. With the provision of short-term technical assistance from USAID and its implementing partner Tetra Tech International Development, Cote d’Ivoire has made significant progress in recent months towards re-establishing KP compliant processes in country, as recognized by the Working Group on Monitoring, in an effort to have the ban on the diamond trade lifted. The Central African Republic, which recently underwent an unsanctioned transfer of power and was subsequently temporarily suspended from the KP, faces significant challenges as the new government tries to establish itself without the benefit of an industry that made up approximately 60% of exports. With assistance from USAID, the EU and other partners, a plan has been developed which would ensure a partial lifting of the suspension, should basic targets be met over the remainder of the year.