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KPCS CHAIR TO DELIVER OPENING SPEECH AT ZIMBABWE DIAMOND CONFERENCE
27 September 2012

The 2012 Chair of the Kimberley Process Certification Scheme (KPCS), U.S. Ambassador Gillian Milovanovic, will address the opening session of the upcoming Zimbabwe Diamond Conference to be held in Victoria Falls. The inaugural international conference, scheduled for November 12-13, aims to enable in-depth discussion of specific African diamond-industry concerns.

"I look forward to an opportunity to present to the conference the vision which this Chairmanship has sought to pursue and to preview for participants the proposals which can be expected to be the focus of the KP Plenary's work 27-30 November in Washington DC," Ambassador Milovanovic writes in a letter to Zimbabwe Mines Minister Obert Mpofu.

While accepting the minister's invitation to participate in the conference, the ambassador expresses her continued interest in "pursuing an open dialogue with the goal of dispelling any misconceptions that may exist, of clearing a path for productive, pragmatically focused discussion within the Kimberley Process, and of contributing to the crafting of proposals likely to achieve KP consensus."

Emphasizing her commitment to the "evolution and modernization" of the KPCS and the hope for future collective collaboration, Ambassador Milovanovic also cites in the letter next month's Committee on KPCS Review (CKR) meeting in Johannesburg, where KP representatives, including from Zimbabwe, are to supposedly discuss opportunities to refine reform proposals.

"It is my hope and indeed my anticipation that, following on a collaborative CKR meeting and its concrete outcomes, the Zimbabwe Diamond Conference will provide an opportunity to further consolidate and refine an agreed way forward for the KP this year, for the 2013 South African Chairmanship, and beyond," the ambassador writes.

To date, several African mines ministers have confirmed their presence at the conference, including: Democratic Republic of Congo Minister of Mining Martin Kabwelulu Labilo; South Africa Minister of Mineral Resources Susan Shabangu; and Namibia Minister of Mines and Energy Isak Katali.

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