Kimberley Process Intersessional Meeting

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YourExcellencies, ladies and gentlemen, welcome to my home town of Perth for theKimberley Process Intersessional meeting.

Australia isdelighted to chair the Kimberley Process in 2017 for the very first time.

Australiais the world's thirteenth largest economy with about 24 million people, but inmining and resources and energy terms we are in fact a superpower.

Australiais the largest producer in the world of iron ore, uranium, gold, nickel, lead,zinc; we are the second largest producer of copper and bauxite.

Weare currently the largest exporter of LNG and, I believe by 2020 we will be thelargest global exporter of LNG.

As the sixthlargest exporter of minerals and resources and energy worldwide, we also have aresponsibility – a responsibility to ensure that our industries are sustainable,are conducted ethically and that we embrace world's best practice.

Andthat brings me to diamonds – the beautiful, evocative jewels; thepractical, industrial diamonds.

InAustralia, diamonds have been mined in small amounts since the 19th century but today the total productionof Australian diamonds comes from the Argyle Diamond Mine, which is in the EastKimberley in the north of this state. It makes us the fifth largest producer ofdiamonds worldwide.

Asdelegates know, in December 2000 the United Nations General Assembly passed aresolution to establish an international certification scheme for the roughdiamond trade.

Governments,the diamond industry, and civil society came together to establish theKimberley Process certification scheme specifically to stop the trade inconflict diamonds, which were being used to fund violence byrebel groups against legitimate governments.

Australiahas been an active contributor to the Kimberley Process since that time.

TheKimberley Process is specifically focussing on ensuring that shipments of roughdiamonds are conflict free, that conflict diamonds do not enter the legitimateglobal diamond trade.

As Chair ofthe Kimberley Process, Australia will focus on a couple of objectives.

First, thesecurity of the certification process to ensure that the certificates ofshipments are not subjected to fraud, tampering, smuggling.

Secondly, wewant to focus on a review of the Kimberley Process overall to ensure decadeslater that the integrity and the efficacy of the Kimberley Process willcontinue, will endure into the future.

Australiawill also follow the precedent of conducting special forums – one will be heldthis afternoon on collaboration and cooperation between the diamond industryand indigenous communities.

Givenour vast landscape in Australia, replete with many precious minerals, it is soimportant for us to respect the cultural significance that indigenouscommunities attach to our land, and we want to share the experiences, thelessons that we've learnt from the cooperation between industry and indigenouscommunities.

The secondspecial forum will be held on Wednesday andthat will focus on consumers' expectations of the diamond industry and diamondsgenerally.

Weknow that for a very long time consumers, buyers, have focused on the 4 Cs –Carat, Clarity, Colour and Cut.

I believethat these days there's a fifth C, and that's Conscience.

Accordingto De Beers research last year, the Millenials are three times more likely thanolder buyers to avoid diamonds unless they have complete confidence that theyhave been responsibly sourced.

Theseissues, these challenges can be overcome by cooperation and collaborationbetween industry, governments, civil society.

Argyle is an exemplar – not only does the ArgyleDiamond Mine produce the most beautiful and precious pink diamonds that adornmany very special jewellery collections, including Tiffany's 'Celeste'collection, the Asprey-designed'Pink Argyle Diamond Tiara' and the 'Arygyle Library Egg', but Argyle alsoengage in world's best practice in supporting indigenous communities andoperating sustainably and responsibly.

Wehave the trifecta here in Western Australia: pink Argyle diamonds, Kalgoorliegold, and South Sea pearls, and I hope that you will take the opportunity tomeet some of our local producers in Paspaley Pearls, Linneys and of courseArgyle.

On Thursday night I will be honoured to host with Rio Tinto afarewell reception for the delegates to this Kimberley Process Intersessionalmeeting.

Itrust that you have a productive meeting, that you remember why the KimberleyProcess was established in the first place and that you focus your efforts andenergy on ensuring that the diamond trade, the global diamond trade remainsfull of integrity, efficacy and responsible, ethical practices.

Iwelcome you to the beautiful city of Perth – our Indian Ocean capital – andhope that you take the opportunity to see more of this great city and thisstate.

Ifyou've not been here before, I hope it will delight you; if you've been herebefore, welcome back.

Pleaseenjoy this Intersessional meeting of the Kimberley Process.

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