|The United Arab Emirates (UAE) Kimberley Process Chair (KP Chair), Ahmed Bin Sulayem, has extended a formal invitation to all members of the KP Civil Society Coalition (CSC) to attend the upcoming KP Plenary in Dubai, which is set to take place from November 13 to 17.
Towards the end of 2015, the KP Civil Society Coalition had declared that they intended to boycott the UAE's chairmanship of the KP in 2016, and would not attend either intersessional or plenary meetings of the KP in the UAE.
Bin Sulayem's invitation, delivered by letter on October 17, 2016, outlines the progress made by the KP during the first nine months of 2016, as well as pointing out what it views as a "structural deficiency", where there is a lack of a permanent internal structure to guide previously non-KP compliant countries back to compliance and full KP membership. The letter stresses the KP Chair's position that there is great need for the establishment of a Permanent Secretariat for the KP under the mandate of the United Nations, to be fully funded by the diamond consumer countries.
The invitation was accompanied by an in-depth document responding to and addressing previous issues and concerns raised by the CSC at the beginning of the UAE KP Chairmanship.
In the invitation letter, the UAE KP Chair has extended an offer to pay the travel costs for all the members of the Civil Society Coalition, not just for the upcoming Dubai Plenary, but also for the Intersessional meeting which will take place next year under the Australian KP Chairmanship.Says Bin Sulayem: "As KP Chair, it is our sincere wish to be able to collaboratively bring all the work which has been done over the last nine months to a good end. Hence, our proposal is to extend this also into the next year and show our willingness to fund the participation of all members of the CSC at the Plenary so that we can demonstrate to the world that the Kimberley Process has re-found an active tripartite which looks at solving the issues at stake proactively and jointly."