Canada Considers Kimberley Bill

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(Rapaport…October 10, 2002) A bill introduced today in the Canadian Parliament is designed to fulfill that nation’s commitment to the Kimberley Process. The nongovernmental organization (NGO) Partnership Africa Canada (PAC) welcomed the legislation but says it falls short of what is needed to ensure the conflict diamond trade will be eradicated.

“The legislation will depend on the creation of an auditable chain of warranties within the diamond industry, and this has not yet been developed,” said Ian Smillie, PAC’s research coordinator. “And the Kimberley Process does not yet provide for regular independent monitoring of the systems that the 48 governments are putting in place. This will be necessary if consumers are to have confidence that the system is really working. Such systems are necessary to ensure that diamonds can no longer be used to fuel conflict and war in Africa.”

The World Diamond Council (WDC), however, is equally adamant that any attempted expansion of the Kimberley mandate could endanger the entire plan. WDC officials issued a statement today imploring those governments committed to Kimberley to move forward without adding more regulations than those already agreed upon. Any flaws found in the system once it is implemented can be fixed later, they said.

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