Zimbabwe: Kimberly Process should stop self-praise & acknowledge weaknesses, urges civil society group

Author: Mining Review Africa, Published on: 11 March 2020

"Civil society challenges complacency of the Kimberley Process", 5 March 2020

…During events organized around the adoption of the UN Resolution in New York, CSC representative from Zimbabwe, Mukasiri Sibanda, pressed the Process to stop the obstinate self-praise and finally face its long-known weaknesses. The UN Resolution presents the Kimberley Process as “an effective multilateral tool for conflict prevention”, “but when has the Kimberley Process actually prevented any conflict from emerging?” questioned Sibanda.

“The Kimberley Process does not have the means at its disposal to act promptly upon early warning signs of wide-scale violence, let alone to stop it from escalating. It is an indolent organ with embargoes as its sole response to react after the damage is already done. "Even worse, ‘damage’ in Kimberley Process terms refers solely to situations where diamonds finance rebels that fight governments. The Kimberley Process turns a blind eye to all other forms of violence such as human rights abuses, torture, inhumane or degrading treatment, environmental degradation and economic crimes.”

…“There is a huge unexploited potential within the Process, which brings together all countries involved in the diamond sector with industry and civil society. “This unique position makes it best placed to develop a diamond governance mechanism that genuinely prevents conflict and promotes development,” explains Hans Merket, researcher for Belgian-based Process CSC member IPIS. “Unfortunately, we note that time and energy within the Process are predominantly wasted on procedural navel-gazing with no relevance whatsoever for communities impacted by diamond mining.”

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