Tensions Rise over Definition of Conflict Diamonds – by Joshua Freedman (Diamonds.net – July 5, 2021)


RAPAPORT… A recent global meeting of the Kimberley Process (KP) ended in controversy as Chinese delegates allegedly clashed with a representative of nonprofit organizations on the issue of conflict diamonds.

Attendees from China interrupted a closing statement by Shamiso Mtisi, the coordinator of the Civil Society Coalition, after he criticized the country’s approach to the matter, Mtisi claimed this week. Part of the Chinese delegation left the Zoom meeting in protest, according to another participant.

Speaking at last month’s intersessional, Mtisi singled out China, India and Angola for failing to make progress on the KP’s definition of conflict stones, a central point of debate within the KP.

Proposals to update the definition have been under discussion for many years. The current language limits the term to rough goods used by a rebel group to finance conflict but excludes violence by ruling authorities.

The topic was on the agenda at the intersessional meeting from June 21 to 25, which took place online for the first time because of the Covid-19 pandemic.

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