Taiwan rejoins Kimberley Process meeting to fight conflict diamonds

Brussels, Nov. 18 (CNA) After a four-year-hiatus, Taiwan re-joined the international Kimberley Process (KP) annual meeting in November, which campaigns to eradicate the use of rough diamonds to finance wars against governments around the world.

Taiwan attended the KP plenary, held Nov. 12-16 in Brussels, Belgium, as an observer, with the assistance of the European Union which hosted the event.sThe KP is a binding agreement that imposes requirements on participants through the KP Certification Scheme (KPCS) which safeguards the shipment of rough diamonds and certifies them as conflict free.

In 2003, the KP started holding annual meetings and Taiwan was granted observer status in 2007.

However, Taiwan was unable to attend the annual meeting in 2011, when Congo chaired the event, and the same happened again in 2014-17 when meetings were chaired by China, Angola, the United Arab Emirates and Australia, respectively.

According to a Sydney Morning Herald (SMH) report on May 3, 2017, the Taiwanese delegation to that year's Kimberley Process meeting in Perth, Western Australia, was ejected "at the behest of the Chinese delegates who objected to their attendance."

The delegation from China wanted to know if all participants were "formally invited," the SMH said.

"Backroom negotiations between the Chinese and the Australian parties ensued, then the Taiwanese delegation was asked to leave," the SMH said.

In May, the EU told CNA that under its "one China policy" and its police objectives, it is hoped that all parties can solve the problem of Taiwan's participation at international events in a pragmatic manner.

The EU affirmed that Taiwan is a stakeholder in the eradication of conflict diamonds and was allowed to attend the KP annual meeting under the name Chinese Taipei rough diamond-trading entity.

Taiwan has implemented a related certification system for rough diamond import and exports since 2003, as part of which it submits an annual report to the Kimberley Process.

Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel