and Proposals and Recommendations for the Kimberley Process for a
Fully Integrated Certification System (FICS)
April 25, 2001
It is recommended that this review is read in conjunction with the report by the Belgian Government and the HRD (1) and the recent Progress Report on Diamond Policy and Development Program report prepared by the USAID-OTI (2).
This briefing document concentrates on certification as a system. The Kimberley Group has reported that it is not possible to end the trade in conflict diamonds with certificates alone. The Report of the Working Group on Diamonds to the Pretoria Ministerial Conference on 21st September 2000, noted a vital part of the certification system would involve 'a national system of transparency, disclosure and oversight of all diamond operations sufficient to root out all buyers who smuggle or undervalue stones or otherwise commit fraud on fees, licenses and export taxes.' It is in light of this statement that this review has been carried out. Research to date has highlighted the need for a Fully Integrated Certification System (F.I.C.S.) from the point of extraction to the point of import.
The establishment of the certification system for Sierra Leone diamond exports following UNSC resolution 1306 has had several immediate results for the Government of Sierra Leone and the diamond industry in Sierra Leone. â€˜Under the system only diamonds that are legally mined are allowed to be exported. Legally mined means that they come only from areas under GOSL control, and are the product of a chain of legally authorised transactions, from use of land, permission to mine, purchase by authorised dealers and agents, and export by licensed exporters.' (2) Most notably the revenue that is accrued to the GOSL has increased dramatically on the previous year. However this was not the principle reason for the implementation of UNSC 1306. The urgent need to cut off RUF revenue from their sales of diamonds, and also to protect the legitimate diamond industry of Sierra Leone are complicated and difficult tasks which require a systematic and coordinated approach from many governments, national and international agencies, companies and civil society organisations. Significant steps have been taken towards this goal. Sierra Leone and Angola are taking a lead in the development of an international certification system and being realistic one must expect there to be problems in the development of such a system. Global Witness carried out the research not to find faults but to constructively seek ways to strengthen controls against conflict diamonds.
It is important to remember that the effects of the civil war in Sierra Leone have been far reaching, and have severely affected capacity across many sectors. Despite this there is a clear will to address the issue of conflict and smuggled diamonds and it is positive to note the Presidential decision to create an inclusive GOSL cabinet task for