RAPAPORT… In a statement posted by Global Witness following the Kimberley Process plenary session, which ended November 8 in Brussels, the group reported that progress was made during the meeting.
One point of contention for many member participants this year has been the lack of response from Venezuela, however Global Witness report that the country agreed to an inspection visit by the Kimberley Process during the first quarter of 2008. For the past 24-hours (as of this posting,) no one from the Kimberley Process has been available for comment on two other hot topics: Zimbabwe and Cote d’Ivoire.
“NGOs welcomed a Brussels declaration adopted by plenary, calling on countries with trading and manufacturing to carry out effective enforcement measures to ensure adequate government oversight over the trade of rough diamonds,” the statement read from Global Witness.
Annie Dunnebacke of Global Witness said, “Weak controls and enforcement in major trading and manufacturing centers are undermining the effectiveness of the KP and allowing conflict and illicit diamonds to enter the legitimate trade.”
“Countries should move quickly to strengthen internal controls as outlined in the Brussels declaration,” she added.
The plenary was the final meeting for the Kimberley Process under European Union chairmanship. India takes the reigns in 2008. Global Witness called upon India to “demonstrate strong leadership in strengthening the Kimberley Process and to build on ongoing efforts to close loopholes in cutting and polishing centers.”