Zimbabwe Blows Off WGM Brussels Meeting

The Working Group on Monitoring (WGM) of the Kimberley Process (KP) is scheduled to meet in Brussels Tuesday in an attempt to broker a resolution on Zimbabwe’s exports of diamonds mined at Marange. One KP member country that declined the invitation is no other than Zimbabwe.\r\n

Zimbabwe’s Minister of Mines and Mining Development Obert Mpofu wrote in a letter addressed to the KP Chair that he and his team “are not available to attend the meetings of the WGM for the reasons aforementioned.” 

Mpofu reminds Hirsch that he requested three days to conclude consultations and “At the expiration of the three days, you did not revert to Zimbabwe.”

The KP Plenary nearly reached an agreement after direct consultations between the U.S. and Zimbabwe. The Agreement was widely accepted but by KP members but was blocked by Canada and Australia. The meetings ended with a decision to continue negotiations until a unanimous agreement is reached.

Mpofu accused Hirsch of breaching his “undertaking” as KP Chair, “and we feel that you have not dealt with us honourably and with integrity,” he wrote.

“You have, instead, yielded to political schemes disingenuously devised by NGOs and the Participants opposed to our export of diamonds. The ban is, therefore, invalid for the aforementioned reasons,” Mpofu concludes.

The WGM meeting will be attended by the U.S., Canada, South Africa, Israel, the EU, the World Diamond Council and two NGOs: Global Witness and PAC.