Leonard Ncube, Victoria Falls Reporter
ZIMBABWE has effectively taken over chairmanship of the Kimberly Process Certification Scheme (KPCS) for 2023, setting the country in line to host two international diamond mining events next year.
The country was elected vice chair of KP for 2022 at the plenary meeting held in Moscow from 8th to 12th November, 2021.
KP is a global body of diamond producing nations which has 52 participants, representing 82 countries, with the European Union and its Member States counting as a single participant.
The assumption of chairmanship is an endorsement of a cocktail of policies epitomised by President Mnangagwas Zimbabwe is Open for Business mantra and the engagement and re-engagement drive with all nations of the world.
Guided by this mantra, the Second Republic is restoring respect for the country through rolling our comprehensive economic reforms as well as driving inclusive development across sectors.
Established in 2003 by the United Nations General Council, the Kimberley Process objective is to prevent the flow of conflict diamonds.
Through it, member states implement safeguards on shipments of rough diamonds and certify them as conflict free.
The development is a remarkable feat for a country that over a decade ago was facing challenges in the export of its diamonds.
During the First Republic era, Zimbabwe was subjected to hostile treatment from bodies such as KP, after anti-Zimbabwe activists ratcheted up pressure on the body to disqualify the country from selling its diamonds ostensibly for human rights violations but, in reality, as an extension of the Western imposed illegal sanctions.
But now the world is seemingly mellowing to the Second Republic reform agenda as enunciated by the countrys chief diplomat, President Mnangagwa, who has declared the country a friend to all and enemy to none
Mines and Mining Development Minister Winston Chitando confirmed the latest developments at a meeting of diamond miners in Botswana.
He said Zimbabwe will be deputised by the United Arab Emirates who will be the KP vice chair for 2023.
Minister Chitando said the KP Unit technical committee for Zimbabwe will be led by Dr Engineer Mercy Manyuchi while Mr Arnold Mukombachoto will head the KP Focal Point as the country prepares for hosting of the two annual meetings of the KPCS in 2023, namely: the intersessional and plenary, establishment of a skeleton secretariat to start learning from other countries in hosting the chairmanship and secretariat.
He said Zimbabwe is committed to leave a positive impact on the KP as well as lasting legacy.
On behalf of the Republic of Zimbabwe we are honoured to accept the KP chairmanship 2023. We will diligently work closely with the working groups and communities to deliver.
The KP Review Cycle is starting in 2023, this is a critical stage for repositioning the KP to remain relevant in the global rough diamond trade. We can assure you that the Republic of Zimbabwe as the KP chair will aim for a successful start to the review cycle. We will seek to achieve consensus in reaching all decisions as per KP rules, said Minister Chitando.
He said Zimbabwe was touched by the trust of the KP family in “accepting us as KP vice chair which resulted in the country doing a self-assessment followed by a review visit by the KP family.”
All this was in preparation for Zi9mbabwe taking over as KP chair 2023.
Minister Chitando said as chair, Zimbabwe will soldier to deliver on the KP review cycle so that members build the KP they want as the KP family.
There will be focus on identified reform areas that include definition, technical assistance, community involvement and strengthening KP governance to be spearheaded by the AD Hoc Committee on review and reform.
The country will also deliver on peer review system so that we enhance compliance, and lead in implementation of the tripartite arrangement in all participating countries so as to ensure best practices as diamonds are for the people.
Zimbabwe will also seek to strengthen best practices for the artisanal and small scale mining in diamond producing regions such as the Mano River Union among others, digitalisation of KP certificates among other initiatives.
These will be achieved through seeking consensus amongst participants and observers as well as continuous consultation with chairs of working groups and committees, said Minister Chitando.
Article Source: The Chronicle