Other Facets no 32
In ‘Kimberley Process Plenary in Namibia: rearranging the deck chairs?’ Israel was chosen to lead the KP in 2010, with the Democratic Republic of Congo being elected Vice-Chair. The choice of Israel brings the promise that it will champion some reforms in the KP. But for it to lead decisively, it will need the backing of key governments and of the diamond industry. The question remains, though, is there enough collective will among KP participants to move now to reform the KP? In ‘Israel takes over KP leadership’ Boaz Hirsch is the new chairman of the KP for 2010. There are then short articles on Venezuela and Côte d'Ivoire. In ‘KP announces Monitor for Marange’ Abbey Chikane, a former chairperson of the KP and head of the South African diamond board, has been named as the KP Monitor to Zimbabwe’s troubled Marange diamond fields. Chikane’s appointment was made official after the Zimbabwean government gave its approval in early February. Zimbabwe had previously rejected a proposed European monitor. In ‘Rapaport calls for Marange diamond ban’ the human rights abuses occurring in Marange are not going unnoticed by industry insiders. In a letter in January 2010 to the Responsible Jewellery Council, Martin Rapaport, the founder of the Rapaport Diamond Report and early supporter of the KP, called for an immediate halt “in the purchase, sale, or manufacture of all diamonds or jewelry containing diamonds from Marange…[including] rough and polished diamonds already in the diamond distribution system.” ‘Civil Society under Attack by KP member states’ reports that in a shocking display of unstatesman-like behaviour, two countries used the November 2009 Namibia Plenary to declare open season on civil society organizations insouciant enough to expose their violations of the KP. In ‘From tragedy to farce: Zimbabwe flouts us still’ events of the last several weeks have been nothing short of jaw dropping. Far from being chastened by the appointment of the KP Monitor, those behind the illegal extraction of diamonds at Chiadzwa (Marange) in Eastern Zimbabwe are showing signs of flouting every law in the book to get the diamonds to market.