Motion for a resolution - B9-0591/2021Motion for a resolution
B9-0591/2021

    MOTION FOR A RESOLUTION on the implementation of the Kimberley Process Certification Scheme

    13.12.2021 - (2021/2885(RSP))

    further to Question for Oral Answer B9‑0044/2021
    pursuant to Rule 136(5) of the Rules of Procedure

    Bernd Lange
    on behalf of the Committee on International Trade

    Procedure : 2021/2885(RSP)
    Document stages in plenary
    Document selected :  
    B9-0591/2021
    Texts tabled :
    B9-0591/2021
    Texts adopted :

    B9‑0591/2021

    European Parliament resolution on the implementation of the Kimberley Process Certification Scheme

    (2021/2885(RSP))

    The European Parliament,

     having regard to the Kimberley Process Certification Scheme (KPCS),

     having regard to Council Regulation (EC) No 2368/2002 of 20 December 2002 implementing the Kimberley Process certification scheme for the international trade in rough diamonds[1] and the Commission proposal for a regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council implementing the Kimberley Process certification scheme for the international trade in rough diamonds (COM(2021)0115), which aims to recast the subsequent amendments in the interests of clarity,

     having regard to Regulation (EU) 2017/821 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 17 May 2017 laying down supply chain due diligence obligations for Union importers of tin, tantalum and tungsten, their ores, and gold originating from conflict-affected and high-risk areas[2],

     having regard to Regulation (EU) 2021/947 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 9 June 2021 entitled ‘Establishing the Neighbourhood, Development and International Cooperation Instrument – Global Europe’[3],

     having regard to the question to the Commission on the implementation of the Kimberley Process Certification Scheme (O-000073/2021 – B9‑0044/2021),

     having regard to Rules 136(5) and 132(2) of its Rules of Procedure,

     having regard to the motion for a resolution of the Committee on International Trade,

    A. whereas the KPCS was established as a UN-mandated certification scheme in 2003 to stop the trade in conflict diamonds, which was fuelling civil wars; whereas the KPCS has a tripartite structure involving governments as decision-makers and international diamond industry and civil society representatives as observers; whereas decisions in the KPCS are made by an absolute consensus of its 56 participating members, which represent 82 countries, with the EU and its 27 Member States counting as a single participant;

    B. whereas the KPCS defines conflict diamonds as ‘rough diamonds used by rebel movements or their allies to finance conflict aimed at undermining legitimate governments’; whereas the KPCS claims to have been effective in almost completely stopping the trade in conflict diamonds as originally defined, with it now representing less than 1 % of the trade in rough diamonds, compared to 15 % in 2003;

    C. whereas human rights abuses continue to occur in relation to diamond mining across diamond-rich conflict-affected and high-risk areas and may include child and forced labour, beatings, torture, sexual violence, the forced disappearance of people, forced evictions and resettlement, illegal land grabs and the destruction of ritually or culturally significant sites;

    D. whereas since the entry into force of the KPCS as a global initiative in 2003, the nature of the conflicts and the realities on ground have changed; whereas the KPCS does not capture situations where public or private security forces, companies, criminals or armed groups use widespread or systematic violence to secure their economic interests in diamond production; whereas the desire of consumers to have certainty about the origin and ethical nature of diamonds cannot currently be met; whereas this results in declining demand for natural diamonds and consequently has negative implications for the legitimate diamond industry and artisanal miners; whereas mechanisms such as the KPCS need to be regularly reviewed and updated to ensure they are able to meet consumer expectations and international obligations relating to corporate social responsibility and sustainable development;

    E. whereas the EU has worked towards widening the scope of the original definition of conflict diamonds set out in the KPCS Core Document in order to include human rights abuses, but a successful outcome could not be reached due to the consensual nature of the decision-making process and opposition from some major producer, trading and consumer countries;

    F. whereas the World Diamond Council’s System of Warranties is an industry-wide voluntary self-regulation programme that tracks Kimberley-Process-certified diamonds through the supply chain down to the trading of cut and polished stones;

    1. Stresses the urgent need to revise the definition of conflict diamonds to include human rights and the social and environmental conflict-related dimensions of diamond production to ensure that diamonds coming into the EU market are not linked to any human rights abuses or environmental crimes, whether committed by rebel groups, governments or private companies; stresses that the KPCS should apply, in addition to rough diamonds, to cut and polished stones;

    2. Calls for the KPCS to be more effectively implemented to ensure that no conflict diamonds enter legitimate supply chains; calls for the strengthening and improved monitoring and enforcement of the internal controls of participating states; urges the parties to the KPCS to create an independent monitoring mechanism, as the recommendations issued by peer review visits are of a non-binding nature and often fail to address weaknesses in the implementation of internal controls or bring meaningful change in cases of non-compliance with KPCS minimum requirements;

    3. Is deeply concerned by recent reports about the attempts to silence civil society observers at the last Kimberley Process inter-sessional meeting; reiterates the central role of civil society in the tripartite structure of the KPCS and calls for full respect for the freedom of speech of civil society representatives; notes the importance of providing reliable financing to civil society organisations working in the field of conflict minerals and diamonds;

    4. Welcomes the commitment by the legitimate diamond industry to the KPCS and the establishment of the World Diamond Council’s System of Warranties; notes that job creation and income for mining communities is dependent on stable, transparent and responsible supply chains in the diamond sector;

    5. Points out that it is essential to be able to track diamonds from mine to market through more than just the paper trail accompanying diamond shipments; is fully receptive to the idea of using new technologies such as blockchain to improve traceability; welcomes the work towards the digitalisation of Kimberley Process certificates;

    6. Stresses the importance of addressing the root causes of diamond-related conflict and violence throughout the supply chain; calls for the Commission and the European External Action Service to ensure that sufficient funds are allocated for capacity-building under the Peace, Stability and Conflict Prevention thematic programme to support the sustainable and conflict-sensitive management of natural resources and compliance with the Kimberley Process and other similar initiatives applicable to conflict minerals, in order to improve the livelihoods of mining communities and enhance artisanal mining; calls for those who allocate geographic funds to also take capacity-building and conflict prevention activities into account;

    7. Calls for the EU to continue to be a global leader in implementing responsible sourcing initiatives such as the OECD Due Diligence Guidance for Responsible Supply Chains of Minerals from Conflict-Affected and High-Risk Areas and the updated OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises; reiterates that responsible sourcing and due diligence must consistent with the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights;

    8. Calls for the EU to lead by example and continue to implement its value-driven trade agenda to affect positive change in non-EU countries; notes, in this regard, that EU rules on the trade in diamonds must reflect the highest level of ambition; calls for the EU to consider additional autonomous measures to ensure that rough, cut and polished diamonds linked to human rights abuses are not placed on the EU market, in order to overcome the shortcomings of the KPCS;

    9. Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Commission, the Council, the European External Action Service and the current Chair and Vice-Chair of the Kimberley Process Certification Scheme.

     

    Last updated: 14 December 2021
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