Tuesday, June 29, 2010

No Resolution of Kimberley Process Intersessional Meeting

The Intersessional Meeting of the Kimberley Process (KP), presided over by
Israel as Chair of the KP, has concluded today June 24th. On the agenda of the meeting
were a number of initiatives relating to the on-going work of the KP and to the
consolidation of the process such the creation of an office for administration and support and the establishment of a Working Group on Trade Facilitation. The center of attention, however, was the KP minimum standards implementation in the Marange diamond
fields in Zimbabwe.

The meeting convened in light of the second report of the KP monitor to Zimbabwe. In
question was the continued implementation of the Joint Work Plan (JWP), agreed upon
at the Plenary meeting in Swakopmund, Namibia in November 2009. The meeting was
clouded by the arrest of NGO activist Farai Mguwu by the Zimbabwean authorities three
weeks earlier and the reports of his condition.

The Intersessional could not reach consensus regarding the implementation of the JWP
and the work carried out by the KP Monitor to Marange. As such, the meeting ended at
an impasse. The KP Chair, Mr. Boaz Hirsch, has declared an impasse after night long
discussions through the morning and called for another a meeting to attempt to resolve
the differences followed by an extension to the Intersessional.

Mr. Hirsch, along with the Chair of the Working-Group on Monitoring, Mr. Stephane
Chardon and Mr. Eli Izhakoff, President of the World Diamond Council (WDC), played a
pivotal role in attempting to breach the gap between the sides. "This situation is
unprecedented in the Kimberley Process meeting," declared the Chair, "but all parties
are committed to further engagement. The KP is based on a partnership between
governments, the diamond industry and the civil society. I am committed to that end and
I have asked Mr. Izhakoff to jointly convene within the WDC Annual Meeting coming
July 14th-15th, in St. Petersburg, a mini-summit of the KP major stakeholders.
Deliberations will continue in order to find a consensus based resolution."

Israel will host the Plenary meeting in Jerusalem between the 1st and 4th of November of this year.

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