Kimberley Process Makes Headway, But No Final Agreement

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(Rapaport…March 25, 2002) Kimberley Process Chairman Abbey Chikane, chairman of South Africa’s Diamond Board, said that the latest round of discussions held in Ottawa, Canada during the week ended March 24, had produced a “breakthrough,” as government representatives and diamond industry officials reached a consensus on a system for providing certificates of origin for all stones. Chikane said he is confident that an international certification plan can be in place by the end of the year. Chikane seemed satisfied that the agreement works within World Trade Organization rules.

Disagreement remains, however, on several details, including the issue of monitoring. The Kimberley Process has been criticized for subjecting many activities to recommended controls, as opposed to mandatory ones. Some participants are concerned with the notion of being forced to allow outside agencies to monitor diamond trading within their home countries.

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