(IDEX Online) - The World Diamond Council (WDC) has reaffirmed its commitment to the Central African Republic (CAR), supporting its efforts in preventing trading in conflict diamonds originating from CAR and stressing the collaboration of intergovernmental organizations and civil society groups to monitor the situation on the ground.
A recent Global Witness report on diamond trading in CAR similarly highlights the importance of continual cooperation from all parties involved in the trade of diamonds in the region, the WDC said in a statement.
"Diamonds from the CAR have been slowly returning to the legitimate diamond supply chain under strict supervision of the Kimberley Process (KP) appointed Monitoring Team. This team comprised of government, industry and civil society representatives is tasked with upholding the strict guidelines put forward a year ago to prevent the trade of conflict diamonds. The monitoring process that has been put in place has not come without specific challenges, there have been instances where issues related to the lack of documentation have arisen and as a result the Monitoring Team took swift and proper action to block shipments that were not meeting the established monitoring guidelines.
"The WDC and the KP Monitoring Team recognize the challenging environment in which the CAR monitoring authorities operates, but nevertheless continue to press the CAR government to increase its efforts to guarantee the traceability of the diamond supply chain within the country and prevent the proliferation of the illicit diamond trade. As part of this work, there are regular United Nations security updates verifying that declared green zones, or sub-prefectures in CAR where the export of diamonds has been allowed to resume, continue to remain safe and follow KP procedures."
Acting WDC President Stephane Fischler said: "The KP continues to become more efficient in our common ability to monitor the exchange of diamonds in CAR, thanks to the more rigorous and efficient work by the local Kimberly Process focal point. The WDC encourages continued dialogue to identify additional solutions to further strengthen our efforts, but there remains the need for the established guidelines to be strictly followed and local monitoring capacity enhanced. Diamond exports not conform to the agreed procedures, will continue to be barred from being exported," added Fischler.