To What Extent Can NGOs Still Play a Role in the Kimberley Process?

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To What Extent Can NGOs Still Play a Role in the Kimberley Process?

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Title: To What Extent Can NGOs Still Play a Role in the Kimberley Process?
Author: Dussenne, Aurelie
Citation: Dussenne, Aurelie. 2017. To What Extent Can NGOs Still Play a Role in the Kimberley Process?. Master's thesis, Harvard Extension School.
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Abstract: The Kimberley Process is a multi-stakeholder initiative created in 2003 to address the issue of conflict diamonds, also called blood diamonds. This study examines the extent to which NGOs can still play a role in the Kimberley Process. In the early 2000s, NGOs played a significant part in raising awareness about conflict diamonds; they pushed governments and the diamond industry to take action. Fifteen years later, the situation is very different. Several NGOs have decided to leave the initiative, and the Civil Society Coalition decided to boycott the Kimberley Process in 2011 and 2016. This graduate thesis looks at the internal and external factors to understand the reasons why the situation has deteriorated over the past few years and the extent to which it constrains the ability of the Civil Society Coalition to act as expert, legitimizer and watchdog. This analysis is based on the examination of the official documents of the Kimberley Process, interviews with NGOs, and reports of Global Witness, Partnership Africa Canada and Human Rights Watch. It finds that the departure of Global Witness and other experienced international NGOs has undermined the expertise of the Civil Society Coalition. Most current members of the Civil Society Coalition face a lack of financial resources and do not have a strong background in conflict diamonds, which prevents them from collecting reliable and detailed information. This, in turn, contributes to discrediting the Civil Society Coalition in terms of how they are perceived by the other parties involved in the Kimberley Process and prevents them from being an active watchdog in the industry. If the Civil Society Coalition wants to play a role in the Kimberley Process, it will need to change the mix of NGOs included in the certification scheme and collaborate with experienced NGOs that can enhance its expertise.
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