Other Facets no 36
‘The Case for KP Reform: If Not Now, When?’ looks at how lost and directionless for many years, the KP (Kimberley Process) has rightly been criticized of late for coasting on autopilot and deferring any hard action on problems that come its way. ‘Civil Society and the KP: Where to Next?’ briefly recaps events of how the KP Civil Society coalition walked out of the June Intersessional in response to an objectionable speech by Zimbabwean Minister of Mines Obert Mpofo, in which he denigrated civil society. ‘Venezuela: A time of reckoning?’ talks of how Venezuela has never been a big industry player, but considering the artisanal mining technology commonly used there, that level of production would conservatively account for the work of five miners—a number so improbably low as to be laughable. ‘Angola: The case for the “other” conflict diamonds’ says that those following the growing debate around the need for more explicit human rights language in the Kimberley Process should take note of a precedent setting court case currently being heard in the Angolan capital, Luanda. At issue are rights abuses, including torture and murder, which are alleged to have occurred at the hands of security companies protecting diamond mines in Lunda-Norte and Lunda-Sul, Angola’s most lucrative diamond producing area, once the preserve of UNITA leader Jonas Savimbi. ‘Enforcement: West African Countries discuss joint strategy’ identified improved training of customs officials as the best way to tackle the illicit flows of diamonds from the region. In addition to agreeing to facilitate greater information sharing and collaboration between them and other regional and international actors involved in controlling the trade in rough diamonds, participants also committed to work with civil society and community representatives in efforts to stem the illicit traffic in diamonds, particularly conflict diamonds.