Conflict diamond new definition not likely to see the light this year

The official definition of conflict diamond, as outlined by the Kimberley Process (KP), isn't likely to change at the next week’s industry plenary in Washington D.C., the head of the certification scheme, Gillian Milovanovic, told JCK.

Changing the definition of conflict diamonds to include gems produced in violent conditions — i.e. diamonds related to human rights issues— has been the main topic at this year’s diamond industry’s meetings.

During the World Diamond Council meeting in Vicenza, Italy, held in May this year, most participants endorsed the initiative.

However, Milovanovic says there is only a slim chance of getting the final approval for the new definition before the end of the year, as it requires an absolute consensus among all participating countries.

“The fact that there is a proposal on the table that can be looked at and refined is important movement in the attitude of the Kimberley Process,” she told JCK. “What we are looking for is—if not an overt, then a clear recognition that change is needed. I think if we get a recognition that change is inevitable that is already an achievement.”

Some nations have expressed their concerns that internal issues could be used as an excuse to exclude them from KP on political grounds. Among them are most large diamond countries, such as Russia, China, Israel and most African countries, which mine, trade or manufacture diamonds.

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