Deputy News Editor
Zimbabwe was last night elected vice chairperson of the World Kimberley Process, which ensures that all global diamond mining and sales are done legally and following laid-down standards, with the vote being a further endorsement of the Second Republic’s global appeal as a properly governed country.
The election was done in Moscow, Russia, yesterday at the plenary meeting which ran from November 8 to 12.
In an interview from Moscow last night, Mines and Mining Development Minister Winston Chitando confirmed the development.
“Zimbabwe has this evening (last night) been elected as vice chairperson of the World Kimberley Process for 2022. It is a massive recognition for the country,” he said.
Zimbabwe is scheduled to take over the chair in 2023, the year that it expects the mining sector to become a US$12 billion industry.
Russia is the current chair.
The Kimberley Process is a body for certifying diamonds sold around the world and provides the practical process to remove conflict diamonds from the global supply chain.
Today, participants actively manage worldwide trade and have managed to end 99,8 percent of the global production of conflict diamonds, that is diamonds mined illegally and without proper regulation and used to fund illegal and terrorist activities.
The plenary meeting was held in a hybrid format, with some participants following proceedings virtually due to Covid-19 while others attended physically.
The agenda focused on finalisation of working plans of the Kimberley Process working bodies for 2021 as well as general issues reflected in the priority initiatives promoted by the Russian chair that were of high importance for the sustainable development of the global diamond industry.
A statement from the Kimberley Process said the agenda involved the digitalisation of Kimberley Process certificates accompanying every export and import operation of rough diamonds aimed at modernisation to meet the current technological realities, particularly under the challenging circumstances of Covid-19 pandemic restrictions and limitations.
Kimberley Process intended to set the basis for work in this direction and was also open to cooperation in this sphere with external organisations to learn from their experience.
Added the statement: “Secondly, the Russian chairmanship believes that it is essential for the future development of Kimberley Process that participants support the draft declaration on the so-called “Principles of Responsible Diamond Sourcing” as the best practice for the industry.
“Most of the participants and observers positively responded on the declaration co-drafted by the two largest diamond mining countries — Russia, chair of the KP, and Botswana, vice chair of the Kimberley Process.”
The other key topic was the situation in the Central African Republic.
The Kimberley Process is expected to send an expert mission to that country to evaluate the effectiveness of 2019 post-verification mechanism and compliance of individual regions with the minimum requirements of the certification scheme.
The meeting also considered the applications of new countries to join the certification scheme.