The Antwerp World Diamond Centre wants to sell 12 million carats of diamonds from Zimbabwe this year, which would make the southern African country one of the six biggest suppliers to the Belgian-based trading group.
The Kimberley Process , the global body that monitors sales of so-called conflict diamonds, may decide tomorrow whether Zimbabwe can export gems from its Marange diamond fields, Chairman Boaz Hirsch said.
Zimbabwe can export diamonds from its Marange fields under the Kimberley Process Certification Scheme even after some member countries protested the resumption of shipments, the head of the organization said.
It being the feast of Saint Valentine, today is a favored moment to give or receive that ultimate lovers’ gift: a diamond. This year, however, isn’t a good one for those who want to know for sure that the stone’s origins are above reproach.
The Kimberley Process’s decision to allow Zimbabwe to export diamonds under certain conditions “falls far short” of what is needed to protect civilians in the country, said Partnership Africa Canada, an advocacy group.
The Kimberley Process, which aims to curb the sale of diamonds used to fund wars, is being undermined by gems from Zimbabwe, accused by human rights groups of committing abuses against its residents, Martin Rapaport, chairman of Rapaport Group.
Kimberley Process members ended four days of talks in Johannesburg without agreeing on an updated definition of the conflict diamonds whose sale to help finance wars or violence the group was set up to eradicate.