x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 21 July 2017

Blood diamond regulator urges UAE to watch its borders

US diplomat and head of UN organisation that regulates the trade in diamonds from conflict zones says the UAE has an important role to play in ensuring they are not moved around the world.

Miners dig for diamonds in Marange, Zimbabwe. The UAE is a signatory to the Kimberley Process, the United Nations organisation that regulates the trade in diamonds from conflict zones.
Miners dig for diamonds in Marange, Zimbabwe. The UAE is a signatory to the Kimberley Process, the United Nations organisation that regulates the trade in diamonds from conflict zones.

DUBAI // The UAE has an important role to play in ensuring blood diamonds are not moved around the world, the chair of the Kimberley Process (KP) has said.

The country is a signatory to the KP, the United Nations organisation that regulates the trade in diamonds from conflict zones.

In a live webchat yesterday, Gillian Milovanovic said the Emirates should play a role "in the process of products being imported to the UAE, or exiting the UAE to other destinations".

Ms Milovanovic, a US diplomat recently appointed to head the organisation, said: "Transit countries have to meet the same criteria as everyone else … to ensure the integrity of the rough-diamond supply chain."

A shipment of diamonds from the controversial Marange mines in Zimbabwe, which had been confiscated in Dubai owing to an ambiguous legal status, was released last July after an international agreement by the KP.

The issue of diamonds from Marange has been a controversial point for the KP since it ruled to lift a two-year ban on them last year.

In December, the US ruled to ban the import of the diamonds.

A question to Ms Milovanovic on whether the UAE should follow the US stance went unanswered.

mcroucher@thenational.ae