U.N. To Vote On Kimberley Process Resolution

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(Rapaport…December 20, 2005) The U.N. General Assembly will vote on a resolution reaffirming the assembly’s support for the Kimberley Process Certification Scheme (KPCS) on December 20.

As part of the resolution, U.N. members will be asked to reaffirm their “strong and continuing support” for the KPCS as well as adopt KP recommendations regarding alluvial diamond mining, improving data gathering and reporting, and encouraging participating nations to receive voluntary KP review visits.

The resolution was introduced by the Russia Federation, which chairs the KP, and is co-signed by 30 countries including Namibia, Botswana, Canada, the Central African Republic, Lesotho, Sierra Leone, and South Africa.

The General Assembly reaffirmed strong U.N. support for the KP in a draft resolution on December 19, which said that illegally traded diamonds “can be directly linked to the fueling of armed conflict” and therefore “continued action to curb the trade in conflict diamonds is imperative.”

A report presented to the assembly by Russia’s ambassador to the U.N., Andrey Denisov, stated that 98 percent of the world’s trade in rough diamonds takes place between 45 nations that have signed the scheme. However, Denisov maintains that the process of eradicating global trade in conflict diamonds does not come without challenges. “It is a process that is in a sensitive area and it works to the extent that it can work,” he said. “So don’t expect something rapid.”

The KP is a joint government, NGO and international diamond industry initiative aimed at stopping the flow of rough diamonds used by rebel groups to finance wars, otherwise known as ‘conflict diamonds.’

In 2005, Indonesia and Lebanon both joined the list of countries participating in the KP. Botswana is due to take over as chair of the KP in 2006.

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