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Global Witness leaves Kimberly Process
Its exit sparks regret amongst some trade bodies
By: Diamond World News Service
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Dec 8 2011 9:00AM
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Reference: 6537  

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Few trade bodies of the diamond industry expressed regret upon the Global Witness, an NGO, deciding to leave the Kimberley Process, especially after some of the recent achievements of the KP. The World Diamond Council, and Antwerp World Diamond Council expressed their disappointment, and hope that the Global Witness would re-enter the KP.

The AWDC noted that the KP “had always been the example for a well profound and excellent collaboration between states, NGOs and the diamond industry”. It welcomed the KP decisions taken in Kinshasa and also hoped that the Civil Society will continue to be a productive partner in this important initiative. Ari Epstein Chief Executive Officer of the AWDC noted that the active and constructive participation of the NGO Coalition has supported the authoritative nature of the Scheme and should be continued: He said that “a constructive and inclusive dialogue with the civil society can continue to preserve the credibility of the Scheme”.

Also, the WDC noted that that “progress in the campaign to end the trade in conflict diamonds will come through dialogue and engagement, and in this respect feels that the decision by Global Witness to walk away from the table will be counterproductive”. The WDC applauded the recent ‘agreement’ at Kinshasa, where operations in Zimbabwe that were compliant with the KOP were permitted to export rough diamonds, also, the the close work with the United Nations to continue to monitor the Ivory Coast, and the December 20 deadline presented to Venezuela to provide the documents or be removed from the list of KP participants, The close work with UN agencies to identify diamonds from the Ivory Coast, which had been suspended from the KP for several years and having given Venezuela, which also is suspended from the KP, a deadline until December 20 to provide the documents or be "removed from the list of KP participants." Eli Izhakoff, WDC President said that “The system is not perfect, and is in need of constant review. However, you cannot contribute to the process if you are no longer engaged".

WDC called upon the leadership of the Global Witness to reconsider its position.

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Chuck Blakeman
(Denver)
Global Witness took credit for creating Kimberley and writing the Kimberley Process Technical Documentation. It was supposed to rid Africa of criminals connected to diamonds, an incredibly naive and misguided approach. Kimberley, as with the new Dodd-Frank approach to minerals in the Congo, targeted the symptom (one of many revenue sources for the militia), instead of the cause - the militia themselves. Even if it would have been successful at keeping criminals from selling diamonds, which it was not, the criminals would have just moved on to gold, tantalum, tungsten and tin. So to solve that, let's just create an onerous and unworkable process for those minerals as well called Dodd-Frank. And who will this hurt? Only the innocent, law-abiding miner. The criminals will just keep on like they do in the diamond trade. Criminals in the Congo also own restaurants - should we put together a verification process to make it harder for law-abiding restaurant owners to do business
Chuck Blakeman
(Denver)
Global Witness took credit for creating Kimberley and writing the Kimberley Process Technical Documentation. It was supposed to rid Africa of criminals connected to diamonds, an incredibly naive and misguided approach. Kimberley, as with the new Dodd-Frank approach to minerals in the Congo, targeted the symptom (one of many revenue sources for the militia), instead of the cause - the militia themselves. Even if it would have been successful at keeping criminals from selling diamonds, which it was not, the criminals would have just moved on to gold, tantalum, tungsten and tin. So to solve that, let's just create an onerous and unworkable process for those minerals as well called Dodd-Frank. And who will this hurt? Only the innocent, law-abiding miner. The criminals will just keep on like they do in the diamond trade. Criminals in the Congo also own restaurants - should we put together a verification process to make it harder for law-abiding restaurant owners to do business
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