(No. 334 - November 9, 2009 - 12:25 p.m. EST) The Honourable Lawrence Cannon, Minister of Foreign Affairs, today urged Zimbabwe to implement the Kimberley Process Plenary work plan aimed at bringing the country into compliance with Kimberley Process standards in diamond production. The plan was endorsed by Plenary participants, including Canada, in Swakopmund, Namibia, on November 5.
“The success of the work plan rests squarely on the Government of Zimbabwe, and I urge the government to implement it fully and without delay,” said the Minister. “If implemented, this work plan will help Zimbabwe improve its compliance in many areas.”
The work plan also includes a provision for sending a monitor to Zimbabwe to verify its compliance.
The Kimberley Process has significantly reduced the trade in conflict diamonds since it was established in 2003, following campaigns by governments, the international diamond industry, civil society organizations and consumer groups worldwide.
In July, prompted by reports of police and military violence against civilians living in Zimbabwe’s Chiadzwa diamond fields, Kimberley Process members sent a team to Zimbabwe. The team determined that Zimbabwe was not complying with Process standards. The country’s internal controls are weak, diamond smuggling is widespread, and human rights in the Chiadzwa area are abused.
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