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Kimberley Group Meeting Fails to Define Conflict Diamonds

Kimberley Process members ended four days of talks in Johannesburg without agreeing on an updated definition of the conflict diamonds whose sale to help finance wars or violence the group was set up to eradicate.

During the discussions it became clear “once again that there is no way that you can agree on any text for a new definition,” Welile Nhlapo, chairman of the Kimberley Process, told reporters today as the organization concluded its annual meeting in the South African city.

The joint program between governments, industries and non-profit groups has been criticized by members for failing to halt trade in the stones, sometimes called blood diamonds. They have been used in the past to finance wars by rebel movements.

“It’s not just only adding one or two phrases to the current definition, but it needs a much more involved engagement,” Nhlapo said.

South Africa, which has chaired the Kimberley Process this year, will hand over to China for 2014.

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