Kimberley Process Plenary Ends in DeadlockNovember 12, 23
(IDEX Online) - The week-long Kimberley Process plenary in Zimbabwe ended in conflict and chaos yesterday (Saturday 11 November), primarily over Russia's use of diamond revenue to fund its war in Ukraine.
KP Civil Society Coalition (KPCSC) the observer group of mostly African diamond-producing countries, walked out of talks that dragged on until 2am, saying it had lost confidence in the discussions.
"This plenary can't even note the simple fact that it received a letter from Ukraine on the role of diamonds in financing Russia's war against Ukraine," said Dr. Michel Yoboue, KP Civil Society Coalition Coordinator. "We can no longer observe this sad spectacle that continues to erode responsible diamond governance."
Discussions on the plenary's closing communique were supposed to conclude at 4pm on Friday. They ended in deadlock at 4.30am the following morning.
In a statement KPCSC said: "It is unclear where this leaves the Kimberley Process and how to move forward now. One of the main stumbling blocks was how to address the role of diamonds in financing Russia's war against Ukraine.
"Since last year, efforts to include this matter on the agenda of KP meetings have been blocked by a small group of KP participants."
Russia, Belarus, Central African Republic (CAR) and Kyrgyzstan have opposed moves to broaden the current definition of conflict diamonds - "rough diamonds used to finance wars against governments" - claiming it was political, and beyond the KP's remit.