National Jeweler Network

Social Issues

New report details ups, downs of the KP

September 24, 2013

Ottawa, Ontario--Partnership Africa Canada (PAC) recently published a report on the Kimberley Process on behalf of the KP’s civil society coalition, intended for use by the industry and the general public.

According to the report, since the implementation of the Kimberley Process Certification Scheme in 2003, large volumes of rough diamonds have been brought into the legal trade and the process has injected transparency into the diamond industry and inspired the formation of other systems, such as the Extractive Industry Transparency Initiative.

However, it notes that there are problems with the process, many of which have been widely reported.

These include the “limited and outdated” definition of conflict diamonds--a new definition failed to pass last year--the need for unanimity instead of a strong majority to make any decisions and the need for the KP to address human rights.

The report also mentions weak internal controls in artisanal producing countries, where authorities cannot verify the origin of 25 to 50 percent of the diamonds they export, “extreme reluctance” to impose suspensions on non-compliant members, ineffectiveness in the peer review mechanism and lack of transparency.

The report states that although the KP has an agreement in place to publish annual and review reports on the KP website, it’s not being done, an issue that arose earlier this year in light of the just-conducted review mission on the United States. Civil society recommends all monitoring reports, participants’ annual reports and statistics be made public.

“The shortcomings of the KP are not insurmountable,” the report states. “And yet time and again, some governments appear unwilling to use the tools at their disposal to ensure effective implementation and enforce compliance. Alarm at KP ineffectiveness is so strong in some quarters that there are concerns that the KP could become irrelevant.”

A total of 11 organizations form the KP’s civil society coalition, which serves as a non-voting observer of the process along with the World Diamond Council, the Diamond Development Initiative and the African Diamond Producers Association.

The entire 33-page report is posted on PAC’s website and is available in both English and French. A listing of all 11 members of the KP’s civil society coalition can be found on KimberleyProcess.com