European Union takes over Kimberley Process

BRUSSELS, BELGIUM - JUNE 22:  The High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy for the EU Federica Mogherini speaks to the media at the EU Council headquarters ahead of a European Council meeting on June 22, 2017 in Brussels, Belgium.  (Photo by Leon Neal/Getty Images)

The European Union (EU) has taken over the chairmanship of the Kimberley Process (KP) for 2018.

The leadership of the KP switches every year, with Australia taking charge in 2017 and the United Arab Emirates in 2016.

This year, Italian politician Federica Mogherini, who also serves as the EU’s high representative for foreign affairs and security policy, will head the operation.

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India will vice chair for 2018, and become chair in 2019.

“For the European Union, the Kimberley Process is part of our work for sustainable development,” Mogherini said in a statement. “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 KP is a partnership of multiple governments, civil society and the diamond industry, aimed at ensuring a conflict-free diamond trade. Its participating member countries have served as chair on a rotating basis since its inception in 2002.

Under the KP, participating members adhere to internal controls over all rough-diamond imports and exports, and may only trade with other participating members.

The EU last chaired the organization in 2007.

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