Zimbabwe hosts Kimberly Process Certification Scheme meetings

Minister Soda Zhemu

ZIMBABWE hosts the Kimberley Process Certification Scheme (KPCS) this week in Victoria Falls where local and foreign delegates will deliberate on a range of issues affecting the sector including coming up with strategies to eradicate conflict diamonds.

Zimbabwe assumed the KPCS chairmanship last year in November and it is during its term at the helm that the diamond-producing country will preside over the process to curtail trading in conflict diamonds. 

More than 400 delegates from 59 countries, including Zimbabwe are attending the summit, which started on Sunday with a special forum on the Kimberley Process definition of conflict diamonds and special forum on principles of responsible sourcing.

The sessions are closed to the media. Yesterday there was a meeting of Kimberley Process chairs of working groups and committees while respective ministers will meet today ahead of the official opening tomorrow. 

The Ministry of Mines and Mining Development is hosting the meeting, which will end on Sunday and the organizers have invited President Mnangagwa to open the summit.

Established in 2003, following the United Nations Security Council Resolution 1459, the KPCS regulates trade in rough diamonds to increase transparency and eliminate trade in conflict diamonds.

Conflict diamonds are diamonds that originate from areas controlled by forces or factions opposed to legitimate and internationally recognised governments, and are used to fund military action in opposition to those governments, or in contravention of the decisions of the Security Council.

Also to be discussed are peer review visits to assess compliance, the Kimberley Process Review Reform Cycle, and the establishment of a Kimberley Process permanent secretariat.

Discussions will also be centred on the admission of new members into the KPCS, the resolution of restrictive measures in the Central Africa Republic and the scheme’s 2023 Communique, which will be presented to the United Nations in March next year.

he KPCS is open to all countries that are willing and able to implement its requirements. The KPCS has 59 participants representing 85 countries with the European Union and its 27 member States counting as a single participant represented by the European Commission.

KPCS members account for approximately 99,8 percent of the global production of rough diamonds. Last year, Zimbabwe realised about 4,2 million carats of diamonds from Chiadzwa and earned US$220 million.

According to GlobalData Research Centre, Zimbabwe was the world’s seventh-largest producer of diamonds in 2022. The country accounts for three percent of global production, with the largest producers being Russia, Botswana, Canada and the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

Active producers in Zimbabwe include Russian miner, Alrosa, RioZim-Murowa and Chinese firm, Anjin, which are allowed to extract diamonds in line with Zimbabwe’s new Diamond Policy.

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