WINDHOEK, June 13 (NNN-NAMPA) -- The definition of "conflict diamond" used within the Kimberley Process Certification Scheme should be modified to cover rough diamonds "used to finance, or otherwise directly related to armed conflict, or other situations of violence", says a US official.
This was stated here by the Public Affairs Officer at the US Embassy in Windhoek, Anthony Deaton, who indicated in a media statement that this would incorporate situations of violence perpetrated by parties other than rebel movements.
".... the Kimberley Process needs to be updated to reflect today’s realities, and to address the full range of concerns that consumers in the US and elsewhere have about the diamond trade. During our chairmanship of the Process this year, the US will be taking numerous steps to strengthen and improve the implementation of the Kimberley Process (KP) Certification Scheme," he added.
The US holds the Kimberley Process chairmanship this year.
US Assistant Secretary of State for Economic and Business Affairs Jose Fernandez and Ambassador Gillian Milovanovic, the chairperson of the Kimberley Process, hosted the annual Kimberley Process Inter-sessional dialogue at the US State Department in Washington earlier this month.
The attendees discussed a range of topics related to the mining and trading of conflict-free rough diamonds.
During the inter-sessional meeting, there were special sessions that focused on artisanal mining, strengthening enforcement measures and internal controls as well as other initiatives concerning natural resources.
Deaton explained that these exchanges provided examples of a number of best practices, including some which could be applied to overall efforts to update the KP, and contribute to improved sustainable development outcomes.
Since the Kimberley Process launched its Certification Scheme in January 2003, it has seen some notable achievements. Deaton said the KP had helped bring improved governance and transparency to the trade, particularly in countries which were previously marked by conflict.
The KP had fostered improved monitoring in the vast range of producing, trading and consuming countries; and it has also been a platform for focusing on diamond-related socio-economic development, particularly in artisanal mining communities.
"We look forward to continuing to work with our colleagues within the KP to achieve these and other reforms during 2012," he added.
The Kimberley Process is a joint initiative by governments, industry and civil society to stem the flow of conflict diamonds. -- NNN-NAMPA