Global meet on ‘blood diamonds’ concludes

June 19th, 2008 - 11:13 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, June 19 (IANS) A global meet with participants from 34 nations concluded here Thursday after three days of deliberations on how to check the trade in illegally mined diamonds. It was the first inter-sessional conclave of the Kimberley Process Certificate Scheme (KPCS), of which India became the chair in January this year. The global conference aims at eliminating conflict or “blood” diamonds.

Some of the key participating nations were Australia, the US, the UAE, Canada, Congo, Israel, Liberia, Namibia, South Africa, Russia, China, Britain, Romania, Brazil and Tanzania.

At the outset of the KPCS meet, India observed that the guns might have fallen silent over “blood diamonds” but the situation remained fragile and it was necessary to ensure that diamonds sold by rebel groups, who mine them illegally, were not allowed to enter the global market.

“Our vigil is not over. And we must continue to be alert and active,” Commerce Secretary G.K. Pillai told the annual conference.

“The guns are becoming increasingly silent, but we must be alive to the fact that several fragile situations exist,” he told the delegates from 34 out of 74 countries that are members of the Kimberly Process.

Under the initiative of the United Nations, KPCS seeks to ensure that only those diamonds that are sold by legitimate entities - as opposed to rebel groups - enter the global market.

“We must also find solution to the problem of fake KP certificates. It undermines the very core of what KPCS wants to achieve. The problem must be addressed.”

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