September 27th, 2005
By Justin Case.
Despite having been banished to strange lands, news of the dear Kimberly Process continues to percolate through. And now comes some troubling whispers of undervalued shipments finding a home where none should exist. Can this be so?
As a good European, I always took some comfort in the implied threat by the Antwerp diamond sector back in late 2002 that if the Commission turned the Kimberly Process into a draconian regulation, that sector would up and leave for warmer climes.
That suggested an overall desire to both stay put, despite the cold and damp, and to thumb a nose at bureaucracy. Good for them! The Commission, to its credit, listened. So harmony abounded.
And yet, and yet……If there is any substance in suggestions from certain quarters that undervalued shipments, often the subject of certain specific enquiries back in the cold climes, have by some strange linguistic irony recognised the metaphorical heat and sought the literal version, then it's a poor show.
Undervaluation is not something specifically highlighted by the Kimberley Process, true enough. Tackling conflict diamonds need not involve taking that route, or so it would seem on the surface.
But there is a clear underlying notion that all Participants will act in a way that is supportive of the overall objective of the certification scheme: the elimination of conflict diamonds by creating and maintaining a transparent international trade.
It is no coincidence that the recommendations in the KPCS specifically suggest the physical inspection of shipments to ensure the contents match the details on the certificate. But it is not a mandatory aspect of the KPCS, sadly.
So, for all those who lack the will or ability to check carefully for undervalued shipments, a message: try and find both, soon.
And if those reading this message include implementers of the KPCS whose ambition is to become a force in the industry to be reckoned with, then take a moment from the headlong rush to ponder the consequences of brazenly undermining the transparent nature of the rough diamond trade.
In the long run, it ain' t worth it bro'. Ask Brazzaville.
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