Kimberley Process restarts dialogue with Global Witness in bid for reconciliationMarch 2012
The diamond-monitoring Kimberley Process is attempting to rebuild bridges after a clash which saw its main NGO partner leave the scheme.
Gillian Milovanovic, Kimberley’s recently-appointed chairwoman, has said her organisation was involved in ‘continuing discussions’ with Global Witness, the campaign group that posed questions about its future existence by quitting in December.
Milovanovic, a former US ambassador to Mali and Macedonia, said that although she regretted the NGO’s decision, the two are “in constant touch”.
And she added that they would “continue to be speaking with one another gathering ideas, conversing so that it is not the end of the discussion”.
Global Witness pulled out over what it called Kimberley’s “refusal to evolve and address the clear links between diamonds, violence and tyranny [that] have rendered it increasingly outdated”, and especially over its failure to stem the flow of blood diamonds from Zimbabwe (EP13, issue 6, p1).
Kimberley has been quiet on the issue since then, but observers suggest it will need a reconciliation with Global Witness or, because its third-party stakeholder participation is now depleted, risk appearing as a front for the diamond producers it purports to monitor.
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