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KP Intersessional Meeting begins with Focus on Zimbabwe
Changes to system urged
By: Diamond World News Service
Jun 21 2010 7:47PM
Reference: 5057  


The industry continues to debate on the efficacy and worthiness of the Kimberly Process, as the KP Intersessoinal Meeting started today in TelAviv. The Meet will end on June 23, 2010.

On the opening day, Eli Izhakoff, President of the World Diamond Council said, “Our goal as human beings is to ensure that the citizens of Zimbabwe are able to go about their lives without their basic rights being violated. It is for this reason that the World Diamond Council raised its voice to demonstrate against the recent detention by the Zimbabwe authorities of NGO activists.” He further added that "We call today for the immediate and unconditional release of Farai Maguwu.”

He also added, “The Kimberley Process will continue to pay dividends if we keep our eyes on the ball, and in the case of Zimbabwe that means monitoring carefully what is happening in Marange. We will not rest until this diamond producing area is operating for the benefit of all the country's citizens”. Stating that KP was not above criticism, Izhakoff cautioned, "However, we should never overlook what has been achieved”.

On the sidelines, Martin Rapaport, Chairman of the Rapaport Group began a three day water-only fast just outside the venue of the Meetings, to protest against issue of Kimberley Process Certificates for blood diamonds and to highlight that it is unethical for the diamond and jewellery trade to rely upon the Kimberley Process Certificate Scheme or System of Warranties. In a statement released earlier he stated, "Its time for the World Diamond Council and responsible NGOs to withdraw from the KP. The solution is outside the KP. The diamond trade must take full responsibility for how and where it buys its diamonds.”

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