|E-mail sent to KP chair cites NGO's particular concern that November plenary will end all "meaningful oversight" of Zimbabwe's Marange diamond fields|
A coalition of NGOs that takes part in the Kimberley Process Certification Scheme to keep conflict diamonds out of the international diamond trade has notified KP Chairman Mathieu Yamba that they will not be attending the KP’s November plenary session, JCK reports.
Alan Martin of Partnership Africa Canada signed off on the e-mail sent on behalf of the NGOs, which expressed the groups’ “grave concerns” about the KP’s ability to “respond effectively to situations where diamonds are fuelling armed violence and gross human rights violations.”
In particular, the e-mail continued, the NGOs were worried that the November plenary session would end “all meaningful oversight” of Zimbabwe’s Marange diamond fields, which according to diamond industry activists remain a human rights trouble spot.
The statement also criticized what it called a “reluctance within the KP” to make reforms that would ensure credible oversight of the rough diamond supply chain.
According to Martin, NGOs are considering their options in regard to continued involvement with the KP, including a possible withdrawal.