Spotlight now on India to strengthen Kimberley Process
Kimberley Process Civil Society Coalition PRESS RELEASE
Thursday, 08 November 2007
Progress was made this week at the fifth Plenary session of the Kimberley Process to further combat the trade in conflict diamonds. The session closed today with action taken on Venezuelan non-compliance, and on strengthening controls over rough diamond trading and manufacturing.
Venezuela agreed to a visit led by the KP Chair, to take place during the first quarter of 2008, to review Venezuela’s controls and make recommendations for strengthening them.
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.
“Weak controls and enforcement in major trading and manufacturing centres are undermining the effectiveness of the KP and allowing conflict and illicit diamonds to enter the legitimate trade,” said Annie Dunnebacke of Global Witness. “Countries should move quickly to strengthen internal controls as outlined in the Brussels declaration.”
A record number of NGOs attended the Plenary session. This coalition of civil society groups from 16 countries called for the Kimberley Process to meaningfully engage and consult with civil society on Kimberley Process implementation at the national level, particularly during review visits and preparation of annual reports.
“Many KP member governments are not meaningfully engaging civil society organisations in KP implementation in their home countries. The KP has everything to gain from broadening, deepening and financing civil society participation,” said Alfred Brownell of Green Advocates in Liberia. “We in West Africa are a long haul away from prosperity diamonds.”
NGOs are calling on India, as incoming Chair of the Kimberley Process and the world’s largest diamond cutting and polishing centre, to demonstrate strong leadership in strengthening the Kimberley Process and to build on ongoing efforts to close loopholes in cutting and polishing centres.
Centre National d’Appui au Développement et à la Participation Populaire
Democratic Republic of Congo
Centre pour le commerce international et le développement
Comité de Liaison des ONG du Congo
Republic of Congo
Cooperativa dos Garimperiros de Coromandel e Regiao
Cooperativa Regional Garimpeira de Diamantina
Netherlands, Belgium, Germany
Network Movement for Justice and Development
ONG Développement Femme
Partnership Africa Canada
Southern Africa Resource Watch
Annie Dunnebacke, Global Witness: +44 (0) 7703 108 401
Ian Smillie, Partnership Africa Canada: +32 (0) 477 526 755
Anneke Galama, Fatal Transactions: +31 (0) 648 938 156
Note to the editor: The Kimberley Process is a government-led rough diamond certification scheme that was created to prevent the trade in conflict diamonds. Member governments are required to pass national legislation and set up an import/export control system to implement the Kimberley Process.