Consensus paralysis: KP faces rocky road to reforms

Unimpressed: Yoboue had strong words for the Kimberley Process’ closing ceremony PIC: KPCS.ORG
Unimpressed: Yoboue had strong words for the Kimberley Process’ closing ceremony PIC: KPCS.ORG

Having failed to agree on debating Russia’s invasion of Ukraine after a four-hour stand-off in Kasane last week, Kimberley Process members are now focussed on reforming the global conflict diamonds body. However, the same consensus requirement that foiled the Russia debate is set to complicate negotiations on the reforms, notes Staff Writer, MBONGENI MGUNI

The Kimberley Process, a United Nations’ backed supranational group that has fought conflict diamonds for nearly two decades, is stuck in a consensus paralysis that has led observers to question its relevance in keeping the global diamond industry clean.

Ahead of the week-long Kasane meeting, the United States, European Union (EU), Ukraine, and a leading non-governmental organisation had proposed including Russia’s invasion of Ukraine on the agenda, a move blocked by Moscow, Belarus and, reportedly, the Central African Republic. While the West has sanctioned Russian rough diamonds since that country invaded Ukraine in February, the stones are still flowing through the global diamond industry through Russo-neutral cutting and polishing centres such as India and China.

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