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Venezuela's Decision to Exit KPCS Leaves Trail of Diamonds in Question

Jun 19, 2008 10:11 AM   By Jeff Miller
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RAPAPORT...  The withdrawal of Venezuela from the Kimberley Process Certification Scheme (KPCS) "solves a longstanding problem in terms of Venezuelan non-compliance with KPCS minimum standards," according to a number of non-governmental organizations (NGOs.)

However, even though Venezuela will no longer participate in KPCS, the problem remains how to account for diamonds leaving that country. 

"This issue – the continued flow of illicit diamonds, whether from Venezuela, Côte d’Ivoire or anywhere else – remains a concern, and greater vigilance is still required," NGOs reported in a statement today.

As reported first on Rapaport News June 6, Fatal Transactions, Global Witness, Green Advocates, International Peace Information Service, and Partnership Africa Canada, called for the expulsion of Venezuela from the KP for non-compliance ahead of the KP meeting held in India this week.

NGOs reminded the trade that the KPCS "will have to pay greater attention, inter alia, to artisanal alluvial diamond mining and to rough diamonds that are supplied to cutting and polishing processes. These diamonds, to a large extent, remain beyond the purview of the KPCS and so diamond statistics at this level escape serious scrutiny and oversight."

NGOs praised the KP intersessional meeting for making progress on interim measures towards dealing with issues of non-compliance and better analysis of data that might lead to early detection of conflict diamonds.

"The KP has put a positive emphasis on specific issues related to conflict diamonds emanating from Côte d’Ivoire – both in understanding the nature and size of the issue and in attempting to halt the flow through neighboring countries," the NGOs reported.

Tags: Conflict Diamonds, Kimberley Process
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