India to host Kimberley Process meet

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New Delhi, June 14: India will host from June 17 to 19, the fifth Intersessional meeting of Kimberley Process, a United Nations sponsored joint government, industry and civil society initiative, to stem the flow of conflict diamonds. The event, to be held at sprawling Vigyan Bhavan, will see participation from as many as 35 countries.

Conflict diamonds are rough diamonds used by rebel movements to finance wars against legitimate governments. Kimberley Process Certificate Scheme (KPCS) imposes extensive requirement on its members to enable them to certify shipment of rough diamonds as conflict diamonds. As of June this year, KPCS has 48 members representing 74 countries. The meet will take stock of the progress made in implementation of KPCS and discuss ways to strengthen the Scheme.

India is sixth in succession to hold the Chair of KPCS after South Africa, Canada, Russian Federation, Botswana and European Commission. All the Working Groups of KPCS meet at descend at the Intersessional meeting to take a half-yearly stock of the implementation of the Scheme and for planning for the year ahead. The Intersessional is structured around working group meetings and does the background work for the decisions to be taken in the Plenary.

On January 1, 2008, India assumed the chair of the KPCS for a year. In November 2006, during the plenary of KPCS in Botswana, India was unanimously selected to hold the Vice Chair of the Scheme for 2007 and therefore, Chair of the Scheme for 2008. Namibia is the Vice Chair for 2008.

KPCS was adopted in a Ministerial meeting held at Interlaken, Switzerland, on November 5, 2002. India is a signatory to the Interlaken Declaration and is a founder member of KPCS.

UNI

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