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Kimberley Process Member States React to Yamba's Decision

Jun 27, 2011 11:20 AM   By Jeff Miller
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RAPAPORT... Following Friday's announcement by Kimberley Process chairman, Mathieu Yamba, that consensus was reached with member states during the Kinshasa intercessional meeting and that Marange rough diamonds were cleared for export, the largest member states released guidance for their respective trade.

The U.S. was first to issue a statement, as Rapaport News reported earlier, that Marange diamond exports should not proceed.  (Read Rapaport / RapNet client statement.)

The spokesperson of Catherine Ashton, the European Union (E.U.) high representative  for foreign affairs and security policy and vice president of the European Commission, stated that the E.U. operates from the point of view that consensus  is necessary before diamonds from Marange could be traded under the Kimberley Process Certification Scheme.

''The E.U. recalls that trade in Marange diamonds requires a consensual solution respecting Kimberley Process decision-making rules and is therefore concerned that the circulation of such non-agreed text may cause confusion for economic operators in the diamond sector.

''The E.U. considers that any agreement needs to provide sufficiently credible basis to bring the whole of the Marange mining area into compliance. This has to be done through a proper application of the Kimberley Process procedures," according to the note.

While a consensus had not been reached by Kimberley Process members,  the E.U.  continues its commitment to "finding rapidly a solution upholding the principles and integrity of the Kimberley Process."

John Baird, Canada’s Foreign Affairs Minister, noted that  Yamba's, statement  incorrectly stated  a compromise on Zimbabwe was reached during the Kinshasa meeting this past week.

“Contrary to [Yamba's]  notice, key concerns were not addressed and Canada, and like-minded states, did not endorse the proposal submitted by the chair,” said  Baird.

''The notice was issued in contravention of rules and procedures of the Kimberley Process. We are advising the Canadian diamond industry against trade in Marange diamonds.

Baird added that in light of Zimbabwe's  military’s brutal crackdown in the Marange during late 2008, Canada continues to call for "supervised exports from two Marange mines and a credible monitoring arrangement. Without these systems in place, Canada refuses to go along with the plan to certify Zimbabwe’s diamonds.

''All diamond-producing countries stand to lose if the Kimberley Process is rendered ineffective. Canada will continue to work to address the fundamental weaknesses of the Kimberley Process and find a credible solution that is satisfactory to all stakeholders.

Israel's diamond controller, Shmuel Mordechai, stated that Israel will not allow imports of rough diamonds from Zimbabwe.  Mordechai said that rough diamond shipments from countries that accept Zimbabwe's exports would  be opened and examined.

The Gems & Jewellery Export Promotion Council (GJEPC), posted a comment on its website from chairman Rajiv Jain, but did not guide traders on an action plan.

 "GJEPC is deeply disheartened by the disagreement in position between the consuming countries and African producers at Kimberley Process intercessional at Kinshasa. The decision affects the livelihood of millions in India who are involved with the diamond industry in different capacities.

''Being their representatives and on behalf of the largest stakeholder in the diamond manufacturing world today, we decry the divisions that are stopping the rightful exports from compliant mines in Marange of Zimbabwe," Jain said.

"The politicization of the process is demeaning the good efforts of the industry in forging an effective alliance and creating a mechanism against conflict diamonds in today's world. Being one of the founders of Kimberley Process, we will not allow these happenings to stop the rightful means of African people to earn their own resources.

''India remains committed to compliance with Kimberly Process and the continuance of the system with all its checks and balances in accordance to the directives and decision taken by Kimberley Process. We urge that good counsel should prevail amongst all the members and they come at a common position to move forward on treatment of the situation at Marange,'' he concluded.


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Tags: ban, diamonds, exports, Jeff Miller, kimberley, no, process, trading, Zimbabwe
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