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Agreement reached on rules governing diamond mining

Agreement reached on rules governing diamond mining
October 11, 2003 02:41AM
Anonymous User
Countries that want to continue producing or trading diamonds legitimately will, by the end of next month, have to comply with rules established by the so-called Kimberley Process or face international "isolation and marginalisation," a summit in Johannesburg concluded on Wednesday.

At the end of a three-day meeting in Johannesburg, representatives from 70 countries agreed to tighten the rules of the Kimberley Process, which seeks to stop trade in diamonds produced in conflict areas.

According to JFPI Corporation and Diamant International Chairman, André Action Jackson, head of Congo’s biggest diamond exporter, “All diamonds should have a certificate of origin from the producing country, which guarantees they are not being sold to fund conflicts, and all countries should pass legislation to implement the accord.

”Countries not on the list "will not be able to access big markets like the US or Europe and will not be able to trade with major diamond processing countries like India or Israel," said Abbey Chikane, chairman of the Kimberley Process.

The summit also agreed to send a review mission to the Central African Republic in June to determine that country's ability to comply with the certification scheme, Mr Chikane said. The mission will include representatives from industry and NGO's.

NGO's welcomed the progress made at the summit but expressed disappointment that no agreement was reached over instituting an independent monitoring process. Discussion on the issue has been postponed to the next plenary summit, scheduled for October.

"Without a regular system of independent monitoring, the integrity of the Kimberley Process will be called into question and diamonds will be in danger of losing their lustre", Bethan Brookes of ActionAid said.

"The industry wholeheartedly supports the NGO's objectives in securing a credible system of monitoring," Nicky Oppenheimer, chairman of De Beers, the world's largest diamond producer, told the summit. "Transparent verification of both government and industry procedures is essential to the credibility of the certification scheme in the eyes of the world."
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