Botswana’s KP dream deferred

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Gaborone - Botswana’s dream of assuming chairmanship of the Kimberly Process Certification Scheme will have to wait until 2022 at the very least.

Botswana expected to take over chairmanship of the international diamond mining and trading regulator this year.

However, the KP Secretariat said an administrative decision to postpone Russia’s chairmanship to 2021 and Botswana’s to 2022 was approved in August 2020.

The organisation said in 2020 the world reeled under the COVID-19 pandemic, and this had drastically affected the daily work of participants and observers in the Kimberly Process. It also precluded organisation of the KP International and Plenary meetings last year. As such, Russia would continue as chair, with Botswana taking over in 2022.

The KP added that holding the International and Plenary meetings of the organisation in “a virtual format would not guarantee the attendance of all interested participants and observers due to technical reasons and efficient work on the KP agenda and welcoming the understandings reached by the Russian Federation, Botswana, the chairs of the KP working bodies and observers during the teleconference meeting decided that the chairmanship of the Russian Federation will be postponed to 2021 and 2022 respectively”.

The KP pointed out that the role of Russia would be limited to a caretaker capacity, “namely, if necessary, co-ordinating the activity of the working bodies of this decision and refraining from any policy initiatives or decisions, including in the context of representation of the KP in the United Nations inclusive of preparing a draft UN General Assembly resolution on the KP and in other international organisations”.

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