The Gem & Jewellery Export Promotion Council (GJEPC) expressed relief for a Kimberley Process resolution yesterday on the dispute of rough diamond exports from mining operations in the Marange region of Zimbabwe.
“This will not only stabilize the world diamond business by encouraging the traders to keep the illicit diamonds out of the system, but will also help millions of people of Zimbabwe to derive the fruits of their diamond wealth and create strong bonding with the workers on ground in India who eke out their living from cutting and polishing of diamonds,” said Rajiv Jain, GJEPC’s chairman.
GJEPC said that Indian diamond industry, which processes around 95 percent of the world’s rough diamonds, is strongly committed to the Kimberley Process and the ongoing dialogue between different stakeholders including governments, the industry and the civil society coalition. Continued involvement results in an effective Kimberley Process Certification System, which gives confidence to millions of consumers across the world, GJEPC added.
GJEPC recently implemented a code of conduct for ethical business practices amongst all its members, with a prerequisite of honoring the Kimberley Process in keeping the conflict diamonds out of the system. The council has 5,500 members and operates under the supervision of India’s Ministry of Commerce & Industry.
Jain noted that the resolution to allow Marange exports was a core issue which was dividing the Kimberley Process and obstructing dialogue amongst its members. India, being one of the largest stakeholders in the diamond industry, was part of the efforts to resolve the dispute through constructive dialogue these past 18 months.
”I express my gratitude to the chair of Kimberley Process, Mathieu Yamba, and the chair of Working Group on Monitoring (WGM), Stephane Chardon, for their special efforts in resolving the issue and moving a proposal which achieved consensus at the plenary,” Jain said.
Yesterday, the World Diamond Council (WDC) also welcomed the agreement, saying that rough diamond exports from two Kimberley Process-compliant operations in the Marange region of Zimbabwe will be permitted. Additionally, exports from other mining operations in the area will be allowed following the verification of compliance by the Kimberley Process monitoring team. The U.S. reportedly abstained voting on the agreement.