16 June 2014

Liberia Makes Progress in Kimberly Process

The Liberian delegation attending the Kimberly intersession conference in Shanghai, China, has told delegates that the country has made tremendous process regarding compliance to Kimberly Process.

Deputy Minister for Planning and Human Resource Development at the Ministry of Lands, Mines and Energy, Stephen Dorbor told the gathering that Liberia is doing everything to bring transparency in the diamond sector.

He said unlike in the past, diamond miners are now licensed by the government to ensure that their activities are legal and monitored. He added that the processing of mining licenses have been reduced between 10 and15 days.

Deputy Minister Dorbor informed delegates that Liberia has established a mining cadastre to track all diamond mining licenses and that the ministry is closely working with the transparency group, LEITI to make the mining industry transparent.

He said a Kimberly Process task force which consists of the government, civil society organizations and the mining industry meets regularly to strengthen collaboration.

Deputy Minister Dorbor disclosed that measures have been taken to guide against money laundering and the illegal exportation of diamonds.

He stressed the need for artisanal miners to form corporative that will ensure that miners in their operation areas acquire legal licenses.

The Deputy Minister, who presented on behalf of the Mano River Union countries, also said communities in which the miners operate, have been asked to form part of the policing of diamonds.

"It will be a tripartite process; we have the Ministry of Lands, Mines and Energy agents, the communities and the corporative that will work together to police the mining sector; whatever they capture as corporative and communities, taxes from there will go back to develop the communities and strengthen the corporative," he stressed.

Deputy Minister Dorbor said over the years, the communities have been victimized because they do not benefit from their resources, but rather, left with environmental problems.

However, he believes that the tripartite initiative would ensure that communities justly benefit from their resources.

As a result of this, a group, under the banner "Friends of MRU, which focuses on Kimberly Process (KP) Compliance, was launched during the meeting to support the region in helping to improve compliance.

Countries that formed part of the "Friends of MRU" include Canada, Australia, Ghana and the United States of America. Over 50 countries attended the three-day Kimberly Process Intersession conference.

The Kimberly Process Certification Scheme is a regulatory mechanism that came into effect in 2003 as a follow-up to the United Nations mandated system initiated in 2000 to break the link between the trade in rough diamonds and armed conflicts

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