PARTNERSHIP AFRICA CANADA
PRESS RELEASE: 29th November 2001
A GOOD WATCHDOG BUT CRUCIALLY LACKING TEETH
Non-governmental organisations believe that the final meeting of the Kimberley Process, which has been tasked by the United Nations General Assembly with establishing an international system of controls to certify the trade in rough diamonds, has made significant progress towards a final agreement – however there are several vital areas that still need to be addressed for the system to become truly effective upon implementation. The system is a good one but is currently weakened because of the failure to develop strong verification and monitoring measures.
The vitally important issues of compliance, verification and monitoring measures for new and current participants have been considerably weakened from previous meetings and the stated objectives of concerned stakeholders. The meeting has also failed to adequately address the crucial issue of a start date for the implementation of the scheme.
Non-governmental organisations (NGOs) are urging that all Participants of the Kimberley Process who still have concerns relating to the text of the agreement and who are cautious to proceed with implementation to urgently consult with their political masters and receive the necessary clearance to ensure that the system is complemented by strong, effective and pragmatic measures no later than the 1st of June 2002.
Finally, NGOs urge that the strongest possible agreement can be reached through a legally binding agreement – to do this the certification process must be passed as a United Nations Security Council resolution. We urge that all members of the Kimberley Process pursue this objective with the same vigour and with the same sense of urgency as the international community has with regard to the UNSC resolutions on the financing of and acts of terrorism. Only then will the full force of law be brought to bear on those individuals and countries that are perpetuating conflict through senseless acts of terrorism funded by diamonds.
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