(Rapaport…February 13, 2002) A coalition of seven international organizations released a report card on February 12 that assessed progress on initiatives outlined in the Kimberley Process. The report card issued an “A” for “good intentions and hard work,” but attempts to comply with the UN General Assembly’s call for a system that is “effective, pragmatic and transparent, with appropriate measures to help ensure compliance” received an “F.”
“The system as it currently exists will be neither effective nor transparent,” the coalition members said in a statement. “It is a watchdog without teeth. And it may actually make it easier than before to disguise conflict diamonds.”
The coalition consisted of Amnesty International, Fatal Transactions, Global Witness, Oxfam International, Partnership Africa Canada, Physicians for Human Rights and World Vision.
The report card expressed particular concern over international division on compliance with World Trade Organization (WTO) regulations, a failure to come up with a way to compile comparable statistics on rough diamond production and trade, the lingering need for a dispute mechanism and deterrents for countries failing to meet minimum standards, and weak independent monitoring of national systems and industry warranties.
“Not one government spoke in favor of more effective monitoring at the November 2001 Kimberley Process meeting,” the coalition members said in a statement. “Weak monitoring? Only the killers will win.”