NGOs Boycotting Kimberley Process Meeting

The NGO coalition that participates in the Kimberley Process has declared it will not attend the organization’s upcoming plenary in November—and the member groups have considered withdrawing support for the scheme altogether.

In a note emailed Sept. 22 to KP chairman Mattheiu Yamba and other organization officials, the NGO coalition, which includes Global Witness and Partnership Africa Canada, said the decision to boycott the meeting was based on several factors.

“We have grave concerns about the ability of the Kimberley Process to respond effectively to situations where diamonds are fuelling armed violence and gross human rights violations,” said the email, signed by Alan Martin of Partnership Africa Canada. “We remain particularly concerned that this Plenary will likely end all meaningful oversight of Marange, despite ongoing and credible concerns about its compliance and cooperation with the KP in meeting minimum standards. We also note the reluctance within the KP to adopt the institutional reforms necessary to ensure robust and credible oversight of the rough diamond supply chain.”

The email continued: “Coalition members have considered a range of options with respect to their involvement with the Kimberley Process, including complete withdrawal from the scheme. We are developing an approach that will guide civil society engagement with the KP. We will circulate this plan in due course.”

The email ended with, “The Civil Society Coalition remains committed to supporting a diverse range of initiatives, both inside and outside of the Kimberley Process, that aim to improve the lives of people in diamond mining communities.”

The NGO coalition walked out of the KP plenary in June.

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