Monday, July 04, 2011

Zimbabwe Diamonds Causes Split Between Imperialists and Developing States

KP set for split as diamond war rages

Sunday, 03 July 2011 01:02
By Tafadzwa Chiremba
Zimbabwe Sunday Mail

ZIMBABWE’S diamonds have divided the Kimberley Process Certification Scheme (KPCS) into two, with developing nations resolving to protest the dictatorial tendencies and politicking of the developed countries which they say are bent on pursuing their anti-Zimbabwe agendas at the expense of the body’s core business.

South Africa, India, Dubai and China have accused Canada, Europe and the USA of violating the KPCS principles, especially after the recent decision by the developed group to disregard KP chair Mr Mathieu Yamba’s recommendation for Zimbabwe to be allowed to sell diamonds from Marange. The president of India’s diamond sector umbrella organisation, Gems and Jewellery Export Promotion Council (GJEPC), Mr Rajiv Jain, recently told stakeholders in a diamond briefing report that the West’s dictatorial tendencies in the KP were a matter of concern and deplored attempts to block Zimbabwe from trading in diamonds.

“Being the largest stakeholders in the diamond manufacturing world today, we decry the divisions that are stopping the rightful exports from compliant mines in Zimbabwe.

“The politicisation of the process is demeaning the good efforts of the industry in forging an effective alliance and creating a mechanism against conflict diamonds in today’s world.

“Being founders of the KP, we will not allow these happenings to stop African people from benefiting from their own resources,” said Mr Jain.

India has also said the decision by US and the EU to stop exports from Marange would have a bearing on the millions of its nationals that were benefiting from the local diamond industry.

Outgoing Canadian envoy “GJEPC is deeply disheartened by the disagreement in position between the consuming countries and the Africa producers. The decision affects the livelihood of millions in India who are involved in the diamond industry in different capacities.”

The World Federation of Diamond Bourses (WFDB) president, Mr Aviv Paz, has also warned that the decision to bar Zimbabwe from exporting its gems from Marange would be detrimental to the world.

He said the US and the EU were blinkered by the politicisation of the KP, with the result that they were failing to see the consequences of their hardline stance.

After Mr Yamba gave Zimbabwe the greenlight to sell its diamonds, a US State Department spokesperson, Mrs Victoria Nuland, disregarded his decision, saying it was not reached through consensus. EU Foreign Affairs High Commissioner Mrs Catherine Ashton also joined the US in going against the decision by the KP chair.

“It is very sad that through the politicisation of the KP talks, some of the KP members have lost sight of what the original objectives of the KP are,” said Mr Paz.

“At the same time they are using the unique structure of the KP, with its consensual decision-making process, to hold up the process and serve secondary goals that are foreign to the KP.”

Meanwhile, Mines and Mining Development Minister Cde Mpofu has vowed to go ahead with the sale of diamonds from Chiadzwa.
India, Dubai and China have agreed to act in unison and abide by Mr Yamba’s decision on Zimbabwe. -The Sunday Mail

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