RAPAPORT… Taiwan gained observer status, for the first time, at the Kimberley Process Plenary held this past week in Brussels. Although Taiwan has complied with KPCS guidelines since 2003, the country previously participated in the annual plenary meetings as a World Diamond Council (WDC) member.
According to Taiwanese officials, this breakthrough was achieved with the help of the European Union, which served as chair of the KPCS in 2007.
The KP’s official website acknowledged that “the rough diamond-trading entity of Chinese Taipei has also met the minimum requirements of the KPCS.”
Chiang Shih-Huang, chief secretary of Taiwan’s Bureau of Foreign Trade attended the meeting in Brussels and was quoted by The Taipei Times as saying that Taiwan was “fully eligible” for participant status in the KP.
“Requiring the nation to take part in the Kimberley Process’ meetings as a WDC member was unreasonable,” he said.
More than 300 delegates met in Brussels at the plenary meeting. Othere outcomes of the meeting included re-admitting the Republic of Congo, and an initiative to improve regional cooperation on rough diamonds from Cote d’Ivoire.
The plenary also approved the Brussels Declaration on internal controls of participants with rough diamond trading and manufacturing, which provided guidelines on record keeping, spot checks of trading companies, physical inspections of imports and exports, and maintenance of verifiable records of rough diamond inventories.