Global Policy Forum

UN Diamond Investigation Panel Announced

Rapaport TradeWire
August 18, 2000

Secretary-General Annan appointed a former energy minister from the Ivory Coast to head a five-member panel that will investigate diamonds and other natural resources that are illegally exploited to fuel a many-sided conflict in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). Safiatou Ba-N'Daw, who was also once a senior official of the World Bank, will head the Nairobi based panel. The other experts on the panel are Francois Ekoko of Cameroon; Moustapha Tall of Senegal; Henri Maire of Switzerland and Mel Holt of the United States. The panel will submit a preliminary report after three months and a final report, with recommendations, after six months.

**Interestingly, in this same report, two notes on DeBeers. Firstly on its profits, and secondly on its "discussions" with the UN on regulating conflict diamonds. Draw your own conclusions:

De Beers profits for the first half of 2000 soared 226% to $877 million verses $269 million for the same period last year. Profits from the diamond account were $742 million up 135% from $316 million for first half 1999.
The company reported a very strong operating cash flow of $2.045 billion as diamond inventory decreased by $1.277 billion (32%) to $2.712 billion. De Beers announced a dividend increase to $0.401 per share.


De Beers continues to be fully involved in the discussions with the United Nations, the United Kingdom and United States governments and other interested parties regarding diamonds from conflict areas in Africa. Considerable progress has been made on this difficult issue, and the World Federation of Diamond Bourses and the International Diamond Manufacturers Association passed resolutions at their recent Antwerp conference that will help to drive the less than 4 per cent of the world's production of diamonds that emanate from conflict areas out of the mainstream diamond industry.

More Information on Diamonds in Conflict


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