End Sought For Kimberley Process/Zimbabwe Impasse

Non-governmental organizations called for an end of the Kimberley Process’ current impasse with Zimbabwe in a statement released Friday night.

The annual meeting ended last week without an agreement on whether Zimbabwe can export diamonds from the Marange diamond fields.

“The KP Civil Society Coalition recognizes that some progress has been made in Marange,” the statement said. “However, key commitments  … remain unmet [by the Zimbabwe government].”

The statement is slightly more conciliatory than past ones from the NGOs. For example, when there was a similar stalemate in June at the KP Inter-Sessional in Tel Aviv, the NGOs dubbed this “the least bad option.”

The Civil Society Coaltion statement notes that once again, “discussions on Zimbabwe overshadowed positive progress on other issues.”

“At the Jerusalem plenary meeting, decisions were taken to establish a committee mandated to improve the future efficiency of the Kimberley Process, in-depth discussions were held on enforcement in West Africa and a decision was taken to formalize cooperation with the World Customs Organisation,” it said.

In an official Kimberley Process statement, chairman Boaz Hirsch said that the organization was “committed to reaching a consensus” on the Zimbabwe issue.

 “We are too close to fail and will relentlessly continue pursuing an agreement,” he said.

Last week, the Cutting Remarks blog ran analysis of the stalemate and speculation about what it means for the KP’s future.