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In May 2000, responding to a growing grassroots movement on "blood diamonds," governments and the diamond industry came together in the South African town of Kimberley to combat the trade in diamonds from conflict zones. The result of these negotiations was the Kimberley Process Certification Scheme, setting up an internationally recognized certification system for rough diamonds and establishing national import/export standards. In November 2002, 52 governments ratified and adopted the Kimberley Process Certification Scheme, which was fully implemented in August 2003.
The Kimberley Process was seriously flawed from the beginning. The Kimberley system of "voluntary self-regulation" on the part of the diamond industry has meant a significant lack of transparency and independent monitoring efforts. The World Diamond Council, initially established to represent the diamond industry at the Kimberley Process, has failed to coordinate effective industry monitoring. Governments, too, have been uninterested in monitoring and regulating the diamond trade. Some say the Kimberley Process amounted to little more than a public relations stunt for the diamond industry, and recent reports by Global Witness and other NGOs have found little evidence of genuine attempts to deliver on industry commitments.
Kimberley Process and Jewellers' Documents
The World Diamond Council (WDC) publishes this guide that outlines the steps that firms in the diamond industry must take to effectively implement the new system designed to eliminate the flow of conflict diamonds.
The director of corporate and public affairs of De Beers gave a speech in which he emphasized combating the trade in conflict diamonds. O'Ferrall also praised the self-regulatory measures established by the Kimberley Process, which many critics have declared inadequate. (Rappaport News)
The final document produced by the Kimberley Process negotiations identifying the core components of an international certification scheme for rough diamonds.
A World Diamond Council press release praises what it calls the "united front" between nations and the diamond industry. A law firm commissioned by the WDC is currently drafting model conflict diamond legislation for individual states.
Gemological Institute of America President William E. Boyajian testified to a US trade subcommittee that "we do not believe that scientific and practical means exist today for determining the country of origin of rough and polished diamonds". GPF thinks that he should read the report by Global Witness.
World Diamond Council Calls for International Government Action on Conflict Diamonds (September 8, 2000)
Press release from the World Diamond Council outlining steps for rough trade diamonds and calling for government cooperation to restrict trade in conflict situations.
The Kimberley Process Certification Scheme (KPCS), which regulates the world trade in rough diamonds, is the only thing standing between the industry and a return to blood diamonds. And it is failing, according to the 2009 edition of Partnership Africa Canada's Diamonds and Human Security Annual Review. The failure of the KP, the report says, is not caused by warlords