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Podcast: Is the Kimberley Process Broken?

May 9, 2024  |  Rapaport News

The Kimberley Process (KP) should focus on becoming more transparent, according to conflict-diamond expert Hans Merket. 

Confidentiality rules allow governments to block decisions and discussions without giving a reason, noted Merket, a researcher at the Antwerp-based International Peace Information Service (IPIS), which is a member of the KP Civil Society Coalition. 

The KP works on consensus, meaning every government must approve all decisions. While this principle is unlikely to change, the lack of transparency helps countries use the rule as a veto rather than to encourage compromise, Merket told the Rapaport Diamond Podcast. 

This has proven an obstacle to debating issues such as an updated definition of conflict diamonds and the Russia-Ukraine war. 

“As an observer, we’re not allowed to reveal positions that governments take within KP meetings, which means that everyone can use this veto power without having to be accountable for it,” he said in the conversation with Rapaport’s Joshua Freedman. “They don’t even have to explain why they’re against the decision. They can just simply say no.” 

Merket described what he believed were the other failings of the KP and gave an update on the Central African Republic (CAR), which is still in the process of cleaning up its diamond trade.  

The episode was recorded in early March, but its publication comes ahead of the KP intersessional, which will place in Dubai from May 13 to 17. 

Listen to the podcast here: 

This podcast is brought to you by GIA: protecting consumers and supporting the global gem and jewelry trade since 1931 through research, education, and laboratory services. 

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Podcast: Is the Kimberley Process Broken?

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