Canada To Keep KP Chair If Russia Doesn’t Issue Data -Report

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(Rapaport…November 1, 2004) The Canadian head of the Kimberley Process (KP), Tim Martin, said that if Russia does not provide its diamond data in time, Canada will continue to lead the KP, Reuters has reported.

Russia is scheduled to take over the chair on January 1.

Martin said the KP was not able to do its job properly because of data collection problems. The 42 diamond-producing nations belonging to the KP gathered and analyzed information in different ways, making it difficult to judge the extent of illicit diamond trading.

“While we have these problems of comparison because of different methodologies, we can’t tell whether an anomaly is (the result) of different methodologies or whether it’s a real problem. We need to investigate,” said Martin.

“It (the system) needs to be strengthened …We need to reinforce it and we hope that by the next time (we meet) we’ll be able to overcome these obstacles,” he told reporters after a three-day meeting of Kimberley Process members in Gatineau, Quebec.

“They’ve been working for two years on this and what we’ve found is that there’s a lot of talk but as of yet no concrete resolutions,” said Corinna Gilfillan of Global Witness.

Gilfillan told reporters that the problem could be blamed partly on Canada and the US, which collected data in a different way from many other countries.

Martin, a Canadian diplomat who is chairing the body this year, said that despite the drawbacks, the process is working and had been helped by peace deals in producer countries such as Sierra Leone, the Democratic Republic of Congo and Angola.

(The Reuters reported appeared on the web site of Yahoo News on Friday October 29, 2004. Web site: http://news.yahoo.com)

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