After months of discord, the Kimberley Process had reached an agreement which will enable Zimbabwe to exports diamonds from its Marange deposit.
Under the agreement, which was finalised during the 7th Annual Meeting of the World Diamond Council this month, Zimbabwe will be able to carry out two supervised exports of rough diamond from Marange by September.
During this period, the Kimberley Process will conduct a review mission to Zimbabwe in conjunction the Kimberley Process Monitor’s first visit to the country and the Kimberley Process Monitor will pay another visit to Zimbabwe on the week of September 6 to certify the second supervised export.
KP Chair Boaz Hirsch hailed the agreement as a major victory.
“If this is a victory for anyone, it is a victory for the Kimberly Process,” he said.
“The past several months have been difficult, but they have clearly demonstrated that not only does the Kimberley Process have teeth, it also is able to achieve results.”
The World Federation of Diamond Bourses also welcomed the agreement as “a convincing victory for the Kimberley Process”.
“The agreement was the result of persistence and a readiness to continue talking and listening to one another,” said WFDB president Avi Paz.
“It also offers conclusive proof of the effectiveness of the Kimberley Process.
“For nine months the KP blocked Marange exports, until such time that the country could demonstrate that it was in compliance with KP demands.
“The Kimberley Process showed that it has real muscle and that it is able to achieve results. The Government of Zimbabwe should also be commended for its flexibility and readiness to find common ground with the KP.”
“Just as importantly, the agreement paved the way for the people of Zimbabwe to legitimately benefit from their country’s rich diamond resources. That ultimately is KP’s truest value. All the people who were involved in the agreement can be proud over what they have achieved.”
More reservedly, World Diamond Council Eli Izhakoff said that although the agreement could be regarded as progress, “there remains much to do”.
“Although the discussions were often intense, a great deal of good will was shown. We need to build on this and to continue the hard work of the past several months.”