Kimberley Process Annual Plenary to Open Nov. 6

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RAPAPORT… Botswana’s minister of minerals energy and water resources, Mbiganyi Charles Tibone, will officially open the Kimberley Process Annual Plenary Conference on November 6, 2006,  at the Gabornone International Convention Center (GICC.)

Approximately 300 representatives from 71 countries, non-governmental organizations, and the World Diamond Council will review the progress achieved by various working groups of the Kimberley Process during the year at the meeting. The participants represent major diamond producers, diamond traders, and cutting centers from around the world.
Delegates will discuss, behind closed doors, the three year review report of the Kimberley Process Certification Scheme (KPCS.)  They will discuss the impact of the KPCS on the international trade in rough diamonds and the extent to which the scheme has been effective in preventing the flow of conflict diamonds into the legitimate trade, as well as, the technical provisions of the KPCS and whether it is functioning as planned.  Delegates will also review the operations of the scheme, its efficiency and effectiveness, and whether or not improvements are required.

Botswana serves as the organizations’s chair in 2006. The European Union has been designated to head up the chairmanship of the Kimberley Process in 2007.
High on the agenda at the plenary is the tightening of internal controls in countries in order to prevent the flow of conflict diamonds into the legitimate trade. A United Nations panel of experts will present a report on dealing with conflict diamonds in various countries.
An opening ceremony will be held on November 6. A post conference press briefing will be held on November 9 at the GICC. 

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