Botswana wins bid to host anti-conflict diamond watchdog

Botswana has gained its bid to host the everlasting secretariat of the Kimberley Course of (KP), the grouping that certifies that diamonds are usually not used to fund insurgent teams, however its members stay divided over Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

The KP, a coalition of governments, the diamond business and civil society representatives, stated in a press release on Monday it had unanimously elected Botswana to host the secretariat, which is anticipated to grow to be operational by 2024.

The physique defines battle diamonds as gems used to fund insurgent actions in search of to undermine respectable governments.

5 KP members initially expressed curiosity to host it earlier than the listing was whittled down to 3, with Botswana, China and Austria in competition.

Botswana Diamond Hub coordinator Jacob Thamage, who handed over the rotational chairmanship of the KP to Zimbabwe over the weekend, informed Reuters earlier than final week’s plenary that Austria had pulled out of the bidding course of, leaving Botswana and China within the race.

The 85-nation physique was established in 2003 to remove commerce in battle diamonds. Though it says it has made progress in halting such commerce, the civil society organisations linked to the business have been demanding reforms.

After it invaded its neighbour in February, Russia drew sharp criticism from civil society, which is pushing to broaden the KP’s definition of battle diamonds to incorporate state actors utilizing the stones to fund acts of aggression.

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