Israel Volunteers for Kimberley Process Review (Update)

150 150 Rapaport News

(Rapaport…May 11, 2004) Israel has invited Kimberley Process representatives to review Israel’s implementation of the process certification scheme.

The group, in Israel from May 17 to 19, will include representatives from Canada, Switzerland, Botswana and the World Diamond Council. Ian Smillie of Partnership Africa Canada will represent the nongovernmental organizations.

The Kimberley Process was developed to remove so-called conflict diamonds from the legitimate diamond trade. Sales of conflict diamonds have funded insurgencies and fueled bloody years-long wars in Sierra Leone, Angola and Congo. Analysts also fear that illicit diamond sales may have funded terrorist groups.

In 2003, the diamond council, the NGOs and a group of U.S. senators led by Mike DeWine, Republican of Ohio, pressured the Kimberley Process members to implement a peer-review system.

“It is absolutely vital that a peer-review regime be devised that ensures the public and consumers alike that the Kimberley Process certification scheme for cross-border trade in rough diamonds is working precisely as its framers originally intended in order to stop the trade in conflict diamonds,” said Eli Izhakoff, the WDC’s chairman and chief executive.

“Effective peer review is critical to the credibility of the system because monitoring of government controls on cross-border trade will verify compliance with certification scheme measures.”

The New York-based World Diamond Council, formed by the World Federation of Diamond Bourses and the International Diamond Manufacturers Association, tracks imports and exports to prevent trade in conflict diamonds.

In October 2003, participants agreed to the Kimberley Process system, provided that it would be voluntary.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.