Rob Bates: The New Voice of Kimberley Reform: Dubai?

02/07/2015 06:16

In his latest blog, Rob Bates takes stock of who will be the next KP Chair. The United Arab Emirate's bid was and is much contested by NGO's, Bates says, but it appears Dubai will assume the chairmanship next year - if Dubai agrees to certain conditions - after Australia backed out at the recent KP Intersessional in Luanda, Angola. Most strikingly, Bates argues, the UAE has engaged a PR agency specialized in reputation management in an attempt to change its rhetoric from a hardline attitude against NGO's to a proactive approach towards reform and collaboration, including with the KP's Civil Society Coalition. Bates reports the latter will not attend any KP meetings in Dubai "until they acknowledge the issues (i.a. transfer pricing and smuggling) civil society has raised", quoting Alan Martin of Partnership Africa Canada (PAC). The question remains, Bates concludes, if it is just talk or if Dubai really wants to tackle some thorny issues the industry is currently facing.