– says review of certification system shortly
Following the publication of an article by Time World claiming that the so-called conflict or ‘blood diamonds’ are smuggled to Guyana from neighbouring Venezuela and becoming legal, the government yesterday said that it will be ordering a review of its certification process.
The Ministry of Natural Resources and the Environment also insisted that to date there has been no evidence provided which categorically demonstrates illicit movement.
Below is the full text of the Ministry’s statement:
The Ministry of Natural Resources and the Environment (MNR&E) and its regulatory agency, the Guyana Geology and Mines Commission (GGMC) have duly noted the article published on your website on 20th instant and accordingly proffer this response.
Guyana became a part of the Kimberley Process Certification Scheme (KPCS) in 2003 and joined many other countries in this voluntary international initiative.
Constant vigilance and compliance are the main areas which undergird a system of traceability and transparency in the movement of rough diamonds from source to destination.
Guyana strengthened its already extant export of precious stones’ procedures, and thus enhanced its compliance with the requirements of the KPCS. These regulations and procedures were further endorsed as KPCS-compliant in a peer review conducted six years ago. Guyana has remained faithful to the established process and internal procedures employed.
In addition, circa 2010, Guyana’s KPCS system was recommended by the Diamond Development Initiative (DDI) to other KPCS member countries as one of the best and most useful for consideration and emulation. Representatives from Guyana met with representatives of several countries to share experiences and offer insight.
Guyana’s KPCS system is subjected to constant review in – house by GGMC, and as recently as May, GGMC met with exporters to discuss concerns and make adjustments where any may be possible or prudent.
It is recognized that there will be concerns raised from time to time with respect to possible cross – border movement of minerals (which may include rough diamonds), in particular among Guyana, Brazil and Venezuela. It is also, however, important to bear in mind that smuggling must first be established and not be speculated on. GGMC jurisdictionally deals with the movement of minerals from operation (source) to point of export, and collaboratively with GRA /CTA, certifying rough diamonds for export without which certification such diamonds would not be accepted at the proposed destination. To date there has been no evidence provided which categorically demonstrates illicit movement. Pursuant to standard procedures, rough diamonds which do not accord with Guyana’s well – documented and researched mineralogy and characteristics and for which documentation is unsatisfactory, are not sanctioned and certified for export. This approach is consistent and exporters who have not been compliant have received appropriate sanctions, and some have since ceased to conduct business, with KPCS being informed through reporting requirements.
In due course and not distant future, Guyana will be requesting its second peer review and will expect to be accommodated as the KPCS schedule allows.
Guyana has never shirked its responsibility with respect to the KPCS and will continue to honour its obligations.
Your accommodation of this response with equal prominence is looked forward to.
Ministry of Natural Resources and the Environment
& Guyana Geology and Mines Commission
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