By Ashley Bailey
, Monday, November 13, 2006
The World Diamond Council, along with representatives of 71 nations and civil society met November 6-9, 2006 in Gabrone, Botswana at the annual Kimberly Process plenary meeting. In a statement, participants reported progress and agreements to strengthen KP.
Participants called for stronger internal controls regarding trade, cut and polished diamonds. The plenary agreed to offer clearer guidance on implementation of controls from mine to export and will spot check industry compliance. The plenary will publish the names of participants who regularly fail to submit their statistics and develop stronger measures to penalize non-compliance. They approved the immediate release of Kimberly Process summary data on trade and production by value and volume and certificate counts for 2004 and 2005.
The Working Group on Statistics reported that the Kimberley Process monitored $37.6 billion in rough diamonds exports in 2006, representing more than 500 million carats of rough diamonds. Participants issued 59,000 certificates to accompany those shipments. The WGS says that participants are reporting data regularly and the quality of the data and the analysis has improved.
New Zealand and Bangladesh were welcomed as new participants in the Kimberly Process. Seven countries are seeking participant status. Liberia reported on progress in establishing a diamond certification scheme to satisfy the criteria of the Kimberley Process as requested in UN Security Council Resolution 1521.
Concern was voiced that diamonds mined in rebel-held territories of the Ivory Coast are making their way to international markets via Ghana. A plan was approved to research Ghana’s internal diamond control processes and will send a review mission to Ghana in three months to verify compliance. Ghana officials committed to do what is necessary to maintain the integrity of the Kimberly Process. The Working Group of Diamond Experts (WGDE) reported development of “footprints” which can characterize diamond production from the Ivory Coast. Further work will be done to develop similar “footprints” for other West African diamond producers.
A review mission will be sent to Venezuela in order to investigate compliance. Brazil agreed to meet with Venezuela to address regional diamond trade concerns regarding internal diamond controls. Guyana indicated strong interest in participating in the regional meeting.
The Kimberley Process Chair's authority was transferred to the European Community for 2007. India was elected Vice-Chair for 2007. Russia was appointed to chair the Rules of Procedure committee.
All decisions made by the Plenary will be considered to have been formally adopted once they have been translated into the official languages of the Plenary (English, French, Portuguese, Spanish and Russian), in accordance with Rule 26 of the KPCS Rules of Procedure, and made available to all Participants.