Commerce Secy to address opening session of Kimberley meeting

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New Delhi, Jun 16 (UNI) Commerce Secretary G K Pillai will address the opening session of the 5th Intersessional meeting of the Kimberley Process here tomorrow.

According to an official release issued here today, the Kimberley Process Certification Scheme (KPCS) is an international scheme that regulates trade in rough diamonds. It aims to prevent the flow of conflict diamonds, while helping to protect legitimate trade.

Delegates from about 35 countries will be attending the Intersessional meeting and will participate in the various joint sessions to take stock of the progress made in implementation of KPCS and discuss ways to strengthen the scheme.

Global organizations like World Diamond Council (WDC), Global Witness (GW), Partnership Africa Canada (PAC) and United Nations will also be participating in the 3-day conference. 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 will take half-yearly stock of the implementation of the scheme and will plan 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.

India assumed the Chair of Kimberley Process Certificate Scheme (KPCS) earlier on January one this year for a period of one 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.

Under the aegis of United Nations, KPCS is a joint Government, industry and civil society initiative to stem the flow of conflict diamonds rough diamonds used by rebel movements to finance wars against legitimate governments.

KPCS imposes extensive requirements on its members to enable them to certify shipments of rough diamonds as 'conflict-free'.

As of June 2008, KPCS has 48 members, representing 74 countries (with the European Community and its Member States counted as an individual participant).

Kimberley Process Certification Scheme was adopted in a Ministerial meeting held at Interlaken, Switzerland, on November 5th, 2002. India is a signatory to the Interlaken Declaration and is a founder member of KPCS, the release added.


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