|CONFLICT DIAMONDS and the KIMBERLEY PROCESS
The term Conflict Diamonds refers to diamonds that have been traded in the country of origin and their revenues have funded violent conflict and human rights abuses.
In May 2000, Southern African diamond producing states met in Kimberley, South Africa, to come up with a way to stop the trade in conflict diamonds and to ensure consumers that the diamonds that they purchase have not contributed to violent conflict and human rights abuses in their countries of origin.
In December 2000, the United Nations General Assembly adopted a resolution supporting the creation of an international certification scheme for rough diamonds. In November 2002, after nearly two years of negotiation, the efforts of governments, the international diamond industry and NGOs culminated in the creation of the Kimberley Process Certification Scheme (KPCS). The KPCS outlines the provisions by which the trade in rough diamonds is to be regulated by countries, regional economic integration organisations and rough diamond-trading entities.
The KPCS imposes stringent requirements on all Participants to guard against conflict diamonds entering the legitimate trade. Participants are required to implement internal controls, as outlined in the KPCS document, and all shipments of rough diamonds must be accompanied by a Kimberley Process certificate. The requirements for participation are outlined in Sections II, V (a) and VI (8,9) of the KPCS. Participants can only trade with other Participants who have met the minimum requirements of the certification scheme.
While each Participant is required to implement the Kimberley Process in their respective territories, sharing information and insight is an integral part of making the certification scheme work. Annual Plenary meetings are held to give Participants the opportunity to converse with one another and with industry and civil society members to improve the effectiveness of the regulatory regime.
Participants, industry and civil society representatives work together in Working Groups - Monitoring, Statistics, Diamond Experts - and Committees - Participation Committee and Selection Committee - to ensure that the integrity of the certification scheme is upheld and that the Kimberley Process moves closer to stopping the trade in conflict diamonds.
Today the Kimberley Process Certification Scheme has evolved into an effective mechanism for stopping the trade in conflict diamonds. The tireless efforts of governments, industry leaders and civil society representatives have helped ensure that the horrors caused by conflict diamonds may one day come to an end. But there remains much to be done. All involved with the Kimberley Process continue to monitor and assess the effectiveness of the certification scheme and strive towards a world free of conflict diamonds.
The Kimberley Process is a joint government, international diamond industry and civil society initiative to stem the flow of conflict diamonds - rough diamonds that are used by rebel movements to finance wars against legitimate governments. The trade in these illicit stones has contributed to devastating conflicts in countries such as Angola, Cote d'Ivoire, the Democratic Republic of Congo and Sierra Leone. The Kimberley Process Certification Scheme is an innovative, voluntary system that imposes extensive requirements on Participants to certify that shipments of rough diamonds are free from conflict diamonds. The Kimberley Process is composed of 45 Participants, including the European Community. Kimberley Process Participants account for approximately 99.8% of the global production of rough diamonds.
SEE ALSO http://www.kimberleyprocess.com