Thursday, April 24, 2014 Local time: 23:49

News / Civil society

UN Strengthens Kimberly Process Efforts to Halt Trade of Conflict Diamonds

UN member states backed a resolution calling for countries to be more consistent and thorough in reporting the origins of diamonds being traded and their compliance with Security Council measures.

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Tatenda Gumbo

The United Nations General Assembly has agreed to strengthen global efforts to halt the trade in so-called blood diamonds.

Proposed by Israel, which currently holds the chair of the Kimberly Process Certification Scheme, UN member states backed a resolution calling for countries to be more consistent and thorough in reporting the origins of diamonds being traded and compliance with Security Council measures.

Allegations of illicit trade and human rights violations in Zimbabwe and other countries have complicated the Kimberly consensus process.

The UN assembly called on Kimberley Process participants to continue to articulate and improve rules and procedures to enhance the effectiveness of the scheme.

With the Kimberly chairmanship soon moving to the Democratic Republic of Congo, the outgoing chairman, Boaz Hirsch, said he hopes the DRC will redouble efforts to reach consensus on Zimbabwe and diamonds from its Marange alluvial field.

Zimbabwe activist Farai Maguwu of the Center for Research and Development in Mutare, capital of Manicaland province in which the Marange field is located, said the UN measure strengthens the Kimberly process - but he was pessimistic as to the effectiveness of the Kimberly process with DRC holding its chair.

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