RAPAPORT… The Kimberley Process, comprising 71 nations (including the 25 members of the EC,) representatives of civil society and the World Diamond Council, concluded its 2006 Plenary meeting in Gaborone with agreements on measures that will further strengthen the Kimberley Process.
Progress was achieved on several important issues including:
· The implementation and development of all recommendations contained in the Kimberley Process Three-Year Review, including the publication of Kimberley Process statistics.
· The development of stronger internal controls to strengthen government oversight of the industry within the next year, as demanded by NGOs and the diamond industry itself.
· Strong measures and assistance from governments and the diamond industry to assist participants with compliance. In this respect assistance was extended to Ghana to enable it to strengthen its internal controls, or face a possible loss of its Kimberley Process status.
· The development of formal procedures to deal with significant non-compliance by participant nations.
In addition, it was agreed that the Kimberley Process will continue to cooperate and liaise with the United Nations and other organisations and initiatives, such as Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative, the Diamond Development Initiative and international and local NGOs to address the governance, regulatory, social and development issues facing countries with artisanal diamond mining and develop closer partnerships with the communities affected and civil society at the local level.
Mr. K.G. Moshashane, Chair of the Kimberley Process, said: “I am pleased that this very important Plenary session of the Kimberley Process has been concluded on a positive note. The clear message being sent by Participant nations, civil society and the diamond industry is that this unique collaboration is determined to continue to work together. We may not always agree on everything, but we are united in our view that the Kimberley Process is the best mechanism to bring a complete end to the trade in conflict diamonds.”
Ian Smillie, of Partnership Africa Canada, said: “We came to this meeting with deep concerns about the future of the Kimberley Process. We are very pleased with the great amount of progress made in dealing quickly and effectively with serious problems.”
Eli Izhakoff, Chairman of the World Diamond Council, said: “Considering the challenges we faced before this Plenary, we are delighted by the progress achieved here in Gaborone. Much credit must go to Botswana’s excellent leadership of a watershed in the history of the Kimberley Process. All the industry’s demands have been met and this demonstrates the determination of Participant governments to ensure that the Process has credibility and the resolve to rise to the challenges of the future.”
In 2007 the European Commission will assume the Chair. India was elected by consensus to the post of vice-Chair.
Mr. Karel Kovanda, on assuming the Chair of the Kimberley Process on behalf of the European Commission, said: “The nature of our disagreements is such that the Kimberley Process emerges from them stronger. The nature of the points of agreement is unparalleled, and thanks to them, we are changing the world.”