Obstacles Remain for Kimberley Process

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(Rapaport…October 1, 2002) About 10 percent of the 40 countries in the Kimberley Process may have trouble complying with the plan by the January 1, 2003 deadline, said a spokesman for Global Witness.

A meeting in November in Interlaken, Switzerland, is scheduled as the official launch of the Kimberley Process. Member countries would have until January to implement the plan, which is designed to certify legitimate diamonds and prevent smuggling of conflict diamonds.

Alex Yearsley of Global Witness, a nongovernmental organization, said about 10 percent of the countries may have trouble implementing the Kimberley Process because of their inability to pass local legislation. Yearsley would not specify the countries.

Countries who cannot meet the January deadline can request a three-month extension. Thereafter, a ban on diamonds will be imposed from those countries that do not implement the plan.

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