Conflict-Diamond Definition on KP Agenda

140 95 Rapaport News

RAPAPORT… The World Diamond Council (WDC) will propose an expanded
definition of conflict diamonds at this week’s Kimberley Process (KP) plenary
meeting in Brussels.

The broader wording will address “grave and systematic
violence,” the WDC said Thursday, without giving more details. The council will
present the change to attendees before member states vote on the matter, WDC
president Stephane Fischler told Rapaport News. All countries must agree
for the amendment to take effect.

“As long as no one votes against the motion, it is adopted,”
Fischler said.

The definition has been the subject of debate for several
years, as critics have argued that the current language doesn’t reflect the
present situation. It defines conflict diamonds as “rough diamonds used by
rebel movements or their allies to finance conflict aimed at undermining
legitimate governments,” but doesn’t mention human-rights abuses by states

The WDC, which represents the diamond industry at the KP,
also wants to establish a permanent secretariat responsible for overseeing
banned countries’ return to the market. In addition, it aims to improve the
peer-review mechanism under which countries assess each other’s KP compliance.
It will also discuss how the KP can engage a “stronger and more diverse set” of
African nations and help African countries become compliant with the KP’s

“This is our final KP meeting of the year, and it marks an
important milestone as we close the second [year] of a three-year review cycle
for the KPCS [Kimberley Process Certification Scheme],” Fischler said. “I am encouraged so far by how members are
embracing the spirit of collaboration and desire for reform. This makes it
possible for us to remain singularly focused on driving meaningful change as
part of the sustainable-development commitment of the diamond industry.”

The KP plenary runs from Monday through Thursday.

Image: Stephane Fischler.

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