October 21, 2003
WDC Urges Kimberley Compliance, Peer Review
In advance of the next meeting of the Kimberley Process in Sun City, South Africa scheduled for Oct. 29-31, the World Diamond Council in New York City is advocating member nations adopt strict measures of compliance that can endure peer review.
"It is absolutely vital that a peer review regime be devised that insures the public and consumers alike that the Kimberley Process Certification Scheme for cross-border trade in rough diamonds is working precisely as its framers originally intended in order to stop the trade in conflict diamonds," says Eli Izhakoff, WDC chairman and CEO. "This is critical to the credibility of the system because monitoring of government controls on cross-border trade will verify compliance with Kimberley Process Certification Scheme measures. This credibility is essential if we are to safeguard against conflict diamonds and if the reputation of diamonds as a consumer good is to be protected."
WDC says peer review mechanisms should include:
Standard formulation for annual reporting by participants.
Participants may request additional information/clarification from other participants in cases where credible indications of significant noncompliance with KPCS exist. Review missions may be dispatched.
Review of KPCS implementation by all participants, in full accordance with national laws on an equal and non-discriminatory basis and with particular emphasis on cases where such indications exist.
These peer review mechanisms, combined with the ability by members to improve the process systems in the future, are expected to allow for the eventual adoption of "best practices" compliance techniques.
by Robert Weldon, G.G.