PAC: Kimberley Process Flawed

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(Rapaport… April 28, 2003) On April 28, 2003, representatives of some 70 governments, the world’s diamond industry and civil society organizations met in Johannesburg, South Africa, to assess the progress and address the problems of the Kimberley Process Certification Scheme.

Nongovernmental organization, Partnership Africa Canada (PAC), will be advocating for more effective provisions in the Scheme to stop conflict diamonds from threatening human security in Africa. PAC identifies three unresolved elements in the Scheme:

First, although participating countries agreed to provide trade and production statistics to help monitor the flow of diamonds, no mechanism for gathering and analysing data has yet been agreed to. Second, because membership in the Kimberley System is open to all countries, some with “very bad reputations” have been admitted such as the Republic of Congo (Brazzaville) and Burkina Faso – two non-producing country. Third, there is no provision for regular, independent monitoring of national diamond control mechanisms.

“Without this,” explains Ian Smillie, PAC’s research coordinator, “the new system will be no more effective in halting conflict diamonds than the laws against smuggling and war crimes that are already on the books.”

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