Plenary Concludes with Agreements for Strengthening KP

The Kimberley Process (comprising 71 nations, representatives of civil society, and the World Diamond Council) concluded its 2006 plenary meeting in Gaborone, Botswana, with agreements on measures that participants said will further strengthen the Kimberley Process.

In a statement, participants said progress was achieved on several issues, including:

* The implementation and development of all recommendations contained in the Kimberley Process Three-Year Review, including the publication of Kimberley Process statistics.

* The development of stronger internal controls to strengthen government oversight of the industry within the next year, as demanded by NGOs and the diamond industry.

* Strong measures and assistance from governments and the diamond industry to assist participants with compliance. In this respect assistance was extended to Ghana to enable it to strengthen its internal controls, or face a possible loss of its Kimberley Process status.

* The development of formal procedures to deal with significant non-compliance by participant nations.

In addition, participants agreed that the Kimberley Process will continue to cooperate and liaise with the United Nations and other organisations and initiatives, such as Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative, the Diamond Development Initiative and international, and local NGOs to address the governance, regulatory, social, and development issues facing countries with artisan diamond mining and develop closer partnerships with the communities affected and civil society at the local level.