Brussels, 19 July 2010
Kimberley Process: Agreement reached on Zimbabwe’s diamond exports
The European Union welcomes that an agreement has been reached within the Kimberley Process on a way forward. A work plan which allows Zimbabwe the possibility to make limited exports of rough diamonds from its Marange diamond field has been agreed at the meeting organised by the Chair of the Kimberley Process in St Petersburg on 14 and 15 July.
The encounter, organised after the earlier meeting in June failed to produce results, gathered representatives from the Kimberley Process and Zimbabwe in the margins of a meeting of the World Diamond Council.
Under the agreement reached, Zimbabwe could be authorised by the KP Monitor in the course of August 2010 to export a proportion of its diamonds mined in Marange, provided that it meets certain prior requirements, including the provision of an audit of its diamond stocks, and the receiving of a review mission. Zimbabwe will also allow for the KP Monitor to be assisted by a civil society representative to advise on Zimbabwe’s compliance with the agreed work plan.
The EU urges Zimbabwe and all KP parties to spare no effort to ensure the good faith implementation of the agreement in full, so that it can pave the way to a lasting solution.
The EU welcomes the recent judicial decision on the release on bail on of Farai Maguwu, a prominent Zimbabwean human rights activist, arrested in June and Zimbabwe’s restated commitment to the key role of civil society in the Kimberley Process.
The Kimberley Process grew out of discussions in May 2000 in Kimberley, South Africa among interested governments, the international diamond industry and civil society, as a unique initiative to combat ‘conflict diamonds’ – rough diamonds used to finance devastating conflicts in some of Africa’s diamond-producing countries.
In November 2002, an agreement was reached on the Kimberley Process Certification Scheme (KPCS): an innovative system imposing extensive requirements on all Participants to control all imports and exports of rough diamonds and to put in place rigorous internal controls over production and trade to ensure that conflict diamonds could not enter the legal diamond trade. In a few years, the Kimberley Process has helped to reduce the amount of conflict diamonds to a tiny fraction of world trade. The Kimberley Process is backed by the United Nations; and the General Assembly renewed its support most recently in December 2009.
The Kimberley Process Certification Scheme now has 49 Participants (equalling 75 countries with the European Union counting as a single Participant), including all major diamond producing, trading and polishing centres, and counts on the active participation of civil society and industry groups.
To ensure the effectiveness of the Kimberley Process, its requirements – including effective internal controls over diamond production and trade – must be applied in full by all Participants. The Kimberley Process has developed a number of tools to enable assessment of implementation and to address any issues which may arise. These tools include regular statistical reporting, annual reports and other compliance verification measures, such as review missions.
In response to ‘indications of serious non-compliance’ since late 2008 in the Marange diamond mining area in Zimbabwe, the KP adopted in its Plenary meeting in November 2009 the Swakopmund Decision and Joint Work Plan providing for ambitious actions to bring diamond mining in Marange into compliance. The Tel Aviv Intersessional meeting reviewed its implementation and discussed plans for certification of certain diamonds mined in Marange, but could not reach consensus on the way ahead, despite real effort by the KP Chair. Therefore, the chair organised a follow-up meeting of key KP participants in St Petersburg, in the margins of the WDC annual meeting.
The arrest in June 2010 of Farai Maguwu, director of CRD (an NGO in Zimbabwe), following his meeting with the KP’s appointed Monitor in Zimbabwe, was an issue of particular concern for some participants and observers in the Tel Aviv meeting. On 12 July, Mr Maguwu was released on bail by a Zimbabwean judge.
For further details, please see:
The EU & the Kimberley Process:
Kimberley process: The EU urges further efforts to overcome the impasse regarding the implementation of the KP in Zimbabwe's Marange diamond fields IP/10/856