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Civil Society Members of the Kimberley Process Consider Their Options

Coalition Declines to Participate in Upcoming Plenary

Sep 27, 2011 11:34 AM   By Jeff Miller
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RAPAPORT... The Kimberley Process's civil society members issued a joint position statement as the first of ''a rolling set of salvos'' that will be directed at the organization in coming weeks. In a letter to Kimberley Process chairman Mathieu Yamba, the civil society coalition confirmed that it had met at the end of August to discuss its future involvement with the Kimberley Process and to work on initiatives for the global diamond supply chain.

Foremost, the coalition has declined participating in the upcoming November 2011 Kimberley Process plenary session due to "grave concerns" about the organization's ability to respond effectively to those situations found where diamonds fuel armed conflicts and human rights abuse.

''We remain particularly concerned that this plenary will likely end all meaningful oversight of Marange, despite ongoing and credible concerns about its compliance and cooperation with the Kimberley Process in meeting minimum standards,'' according to the letter.

They also believed there was reluctance within the Kimberley Process to adopt the institutional reforms necessary to ensure robust and credible oversight of the rough diamond supply chain.
 
Coalition members are weighing their options, with respect to future involvement with the Kimberley Process, including complete withdrawal from the scheme.  ''We are developing an approach that will guide civil society engagement with the Kimberley Process. We will circulate this plan in due course.''
 
Nonetheless, civil society members remain committed to supporting a diverse range of initiatives, both inside and outside of the Kimberley Process, that aim to improve the lives of people in diamond mining communities.

Tags: abuse, conflict, diamonds, human rights, Jeff Miller, Kimberley Process, Marange, Zimbabwe
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