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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 and Jewellers' Documents | Reports | Articles
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
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 and sanctions busters but by governments at the centre of its administration which refuse to get tough on blatant smuggling, human rights abuse and money laundering. (Partnership Africa Canada
While acknowledging the progress made in regulating "conflict diamond" trade thanks to the Kimberley Process, this Global Witness report points out some important loopholes in the diamond certification scheme. The lack of strong actions to strengthen the process and to respond to illicit diamond trade puts at stake the credibility of the Kimberley Process, the organization says. This report recommends greater government control and better oversight of the diamond industry.
This Partnership Africa Canada report points to the failures of the Kimberley Process Certification Scheme for rough diamonds. Countries and industries' poor implementation of Kimberley regulations and a lack of control have led to massive fraud, as well as diamonds smuggling from various embargoed countries, such as Ivory Coast. In each case, participants in the Kimberley Process have been unable or unwilling to take action to abolish diamond related criminality. Partnership Africa, a pro-Kimberley Process organization, urges governments and industries to make significant changes in the Kimberley Process to effectively monitor conflict diamonds, including national internal controls and a penalty system.
The Kimberly Process Certification Scheme (KPCS) has vastly reduced the market for conflict diamonds, cutting off a major source of funding for rebel groups and militias involved in conflict. Despite progress this Global Witness report warns that the KPCS is still not a "fully credible check on the international movement of diamonds." It calls for individual countries to exercise much greater scrutiny of their own internal control systems and highlights the need for much stronger checks on the activities of private industry.
This Global Witness report highlights flaws in the implementation of the Kimberley Process. The systems of controls put in place by governments to prevent the trade in conflict diamonds are poorly enforced and as a result, some members of the diamond industry continue to trade in conflict diamonds. Although sanctioned by the Security Council, diamonds mined in Liberia are traded in Sierra Leone and Guinea, both Kimberley Process participants. Furthermore, the diamond trade in Ivory Coast helps fund the rebel group Forces Nouvelles, which contributes to the ongoing instability in the region. Global Witness calls on the Security Council to impose sanctions on Ivorian diamonds.
This working report by Global Witness addresses the issue of the diamond conflict by providing an outline for certification of the diamond trade.
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The Diamond Industry is still trading “conflict diamonds,” funding violence and perpetuating human rights abuses, despite the implementation of the Kimberly Process (KP). This New York Times article examines the flaws of the KP system— particularly how it has failed to ban sales on diamonds from Zimbabwe, Cote D’Ivoire, and Venezuela, regions notorious for conflict diamonds. The article also points out that the NGO instrumental in establishing the KP Global Witness withdrew from the certification scheme, in protest of these failures. (New York Times)
Global Witness, an NGO instrumental in establishing the Kimberley Process nine years ago, has withdrawn from the certification scheme. Created to set requirements for controlling the rough diamonds trade through national legislation, KP recently lifted a ban on sales from Zibabwe’s notorious Marange diamond fields. Global Witness argues that KP has become irrelevant, failing to address “the clear links between diamonds, violence and tyranny.” The scheme failed to deal with trade in conflict diamonds from Ivory Coast, was unwilling to take action in the face of Venezuela’s blatant breaches of the rules, and has proved unwilling to stop diamonds from fueling violence and corruption in Zimbabwe. (Guardian)
In 2008 Zimbabwean government security forces seized the Marange diamond fields, killing at least 200 miners. Even though the government has failed to fulfill its commitments to reform the diamond trade (outlined in the 2009 Joint Work Plan), the Kimberley Process industry oversight mechanism is now giving Zimbabwe the green light to export diamonds from the Marange region. Security forces continue to commit human rights abuses against miners. The military remains deeply involved in diamond mining, smuggling is widespread, and no progress has been made in enabling small scale miners to work legally. (Global Witness)
Despite the Kimberley process (KP), the diamond industry is still trading illegal minerals, funding violence and human rights abuses. According to Martin Rapaport, founder of Rapaport Diamond Report and member of the KP plenary, member States are mostly driven by their own interests and turn a blind eye to the respect of human rights. He calls on the diamond industry to take its responsibilities and put an end to human rights violations linked with the diamond trade. Although this is a step in the right direction, we cannot expect the industry to police itself. (Diamond.net)
The Kimberley Process Certification Scheme (KPCS) was designed to certify the origin of rough diamonds. KPCS was introduced by UN General Assembly Resolution 55/56 in 2003 to prevent diamond sales from financing rebellious movements and preventing "blood diamonds" from entering the mainstream market. It was set up to assure consumers that by purchasing diamonds they were not financing war and human rights abuses. However, activist organizations are deeply concerned that the scheme is not meeting its most basic commitments. The process is unable to hold violating countries to account, it does not prevent diamonds from fuelling violence and human rights violations or provide a guarantee that consumers are purchasing “clean" diamonds. Civil society organisations say they will not participate in a scheme that presents itself as upholding human rights principles it clearly does not. (KP Civil Society Coalition)
Documents from the Kimberly Process reveal that the international diamond watchdog has urged Zimbabwe to combat smuggling of Marange diamonds to Mozambique. The Kimberly Process has also asked Zimbabwe to allow civil rights organizations full access to Marange. The Zimbabwe government has yet to comment on these developments and speculation continues that the diamond smuggling is funding President Mugabe's allies and his Zimbabwe African National Union - Patriotic Front party. (Bloomberg)
There is an export ban on the controversial Marange mine in Zimbabwe, imposed in November 2009, yet since then the Kimberly Process has permitted Zimbabwe to hold two auctions selling diamonds from that source. This threatens the credibility of the Kimberly Process as Zimbabwe has not been able to guarantee that widespread human rights violations in that mine have stopped. This case may indicate that the Kimberly Process's narrow definition of conflict diamonds is inadequate. (International Crisis Group)
No one can be certain they are buying a conflict-free diamond. Although the global certification scheme in 2003 reduced the number of conflict diamonds from 15% of global volume to 1%, there are still holes in the system in Zimbabwe and Ivory Coast. Venezuela is not even part of the scheme. But is it realistic to expect the Kimberly Process to be able to trace every single diamond? Moreover, even if a diamond is conflict free, it does not mean it is free of associations with human rights violations. Campaigners are calling for urgent reform of the Kimberly Process. (Reuters)
The meeting of the Kimberley Process Certification Scheme (KPCS) in Israel, June 21-24, revealed serious deficiencies in the pact that is designed to block "blood diamonds" from legitimate international trade. In particular, observers have criticized the KPCS decision making procedures, which require unanimity for any decisions to be made. Zimbabwe, widely alleged to commit serious human rights violations in its diamond fields, used this stipulation to block action against it the KPCS meeting. Some observers have called for majority rule, but civil society actors who worry that such a reform would leave them "without a voice" have made alternative proposals. In the meantime, Zimbabwe's actions continue to impede international efforts to separate diamonds from conflict. (IRIN)
Diamond industry officials contend that the Kimberly Process (KP) "is a robust system that works most of the time." On the other hand, human rights organizations present evidence that the KP has failed to meet its goal of regulating the diamond trade to prevent these minerals from fuelling conflict. Zimbabwe, a member of the KP, is said to commit serious human rights abuses, such as using its military to force women and children to work in diamond mines and allowing soldiers to rape civilians and plunder resources with impunity. Part of the problem is that Zimbabwe is a member of the KP, which cannot be modified without the consent of all its members. Perhaps even more crucial is the lack of pressure from diamond-importing countries on human rights abusers. (BBC)
Human rights groups continue to report abuses and killings in Zimbabwe's diamond fields, and the officials from the Kimberley Process Certification Scheme (KPCS) are monitoring the situation for further violations of minimum standards. Evidence indicates that the government has threatened and persecuted officials who have alerted the KPCS of human rights abuses. Documents also show that Zimbabwe continues to sell diamonds to numerous corporations without properly obtaining the requisite licenses. A KPCS meeting later this month will address Zimbabwe's activities and determine if the country should be permitted to sell its diamonds through established international channels. (Times Live)
Despite efforts to control illegal mining with certification mechanisms like the Kimberly Process, rare minerals continue to fuel conflict across the globe. The Kimberly Process contains loopholes that allow states like Zimbabwe to exploit their diamond resources, perpetuating repression and civil strife. The author also encourages consumers to insist on proof that the diamonds they purchase in jewelry stores were mined in a conflict-free environment. (World Press)
Several human rights organizations allege that human rights violations and smuggling have taken place in the Marange diamond fields in eastern Zimbabwe. Despite this the Kimberley Process Certification Scheme is close to allowing the legal sale of stones from the field. (Sunday Independent)
For many years, the Kimberley Process (KP) has covered 99 percent of the global trade in rough diamonds, but this is no longer the case, says the spokesman for the KP International Civil Society Coalition. Although the KP has made progress in cleaning up the trade in rough diamonds since its creation 10 years ago, today between 4% and 5% of the global diamond trade is either circumventing or defrauding KP channels. The KP possesses the tools necessary to address these challenges, but often lacks the political will and capacity to use them. The recent KP plenary meeting provided an occasion to assess the ways in which the process should be reformed. (The Liberian Observer)
This report shows that Zimbabwe's economy remains dependent on the state-controlled diamond industry. According to the authors, the Kimberly process (KP) is ineffective, and Zimbabwe continues to export blood diamonds for profit. The Kimberly process has a very narrow focus on the prevention of diamond smuggling and cannot deal with human right abuses committed during diamond production. This report recommends that sharing information about arrests, seizures and convictions in KP-related criminal cases would improve the struggle against blood diamond production. (Partnership Africa Canada)
The Kimberly process fails to accomplish its goal to halt and prevent the trafficking of conflict diamonds because participating countries fail to punish violations of the process or to enforce controls. To make the Kimberly process effective, countries must develop a mechanism that can temporary suspend a non-complying country from the process. Participants should also publish the efforts they take to curb the smuggling of conflict diamonds. (Partnership Africa Canada)
The trade in illicit rough diamonds increases, in spite of the Kimberly Process Certification Scheme that seeks to eliminate illegal diamond trafficking. In Venezuela, 100 percent of the diamonds produced vanish every year and Ivory Coast remains the major source of conflict diamonds. Although some countries have curbed the trade in blood diamonds, large foreign mining companies and corrupt governmental officials still exploit and underpay local diamond miners. (Partnership Africa Canada)
This Bonn International Center for Conversion report argues that the 2005 Security Council diamond embargo is unable to diminish the illegal diamond trade in Cote d'Ivoire or stop fueling the violent conflict between Ivorian rebels and the army. Belgium, Dubai and Israel still purchase conflict diamonds from Cote d'Ivoire since the monitoring system remains weak and because UN forces are unable to protect the country's diamond mining zones.
The UN panel of experts on Liberia stated in its June report to the Security Council that Liberia does not comply with the Kimberley Process Certification Scheme, which seeks to defer the trafficking of "blood diamonds". Although the Liberian government installed a system of internal controls, officials lack the training and equipment to monitor the diamond trade effectively. As a result, dealers can still trade "blood diamonds" to and from Liberia. (The News)
The European Union joined African countries in establishing the Kimberly Process (KP) in 2002 to deal with diamonds that fuel conflict in Africa. Two years later, DR Congo, a KP member, smuggled diamonds to the EU and Middle East, which resulted in its expulsion from the KP. The DR Congo has made improvements controlling its illegal trade of rough diamonds and re-joined the KP, soon it will resume exporting diamonds. However, the Kimberly Process still have concerns about Congo's porous border and "blood diamonds." (Voice of America)
In light of the recent discoveries of loopholes in the Kimberley certification scheme in Ivory Coast, as well as some South American countries, the participants to the Kimberley Process have called for stronger internal controls on "conflict diamonds." The UN General Assembly welcomed this call in a Botswana-sponsored resolution and supported the Kimberley Process while recognizing that "trade in conflict diamonds continues to be a matter of serious international concern." (UN News)
Pressured by the uncovering of "conflict diamond" smuggling in Ghana, the Kimberley Process' annual meeting threatened to suspend Ghana from the certification scheme if it fails to put an end to black market diamonds trafficking. While observers welcome the call of the Kimberley Process participants, they regret the lack of immediate actions. (Reuters)
In response to the recent fraud scandals surrounding the certification of diamonds from conflict regions, De Beers, a major diamonds industrial group, has joined the mounting criticisms of the Kimberley Process. De Beers, also fearing the fallout from the Hollywood movie "The Blood Diamonds," stresses the need to enforce diamond trade controls and to address the deficiencies of the Kimberley Process. With its statement, De Beers backs NGOs' call on governments and industries to effectively enforce Kimberley regulations. (Reuters)
This Partnership Africa Canada (PAC) report reveals that as much as 20 percent of Guyana's diamonds - worth an estimated US$43 million annually - are smuggled illegally to Brazil and Venezuela, both Kimberley Process participants. According to PAC, this illicit diamond smuggling system undermines the Kimberley Process and leaves the diamond industry "wide open to laundered conflict diamonds from other countries, such as Cí´te d'Ivoire and the Democratic Republic of the Congo." PAC calls for the expulsion of Brazil and Venezuela from the world diamond trade body if they cannot immediately bring their diamond industries into proper compliance with the Kimberley Process.
This Washington Post editorial argues that although the Kimberley Process "got off to a good start," Russia's 2005 chairmanship may jeopardize the "fragile" certification system. Governments and the diamond industry lack transparency and accountability, preventing the Kimberley Process from effectively combating the trade in conflict diamonds. Russia has declined to publish diamond trade statistics and countries such as the US, Japan, China, Thailand, and Namibia have refused to set dates for reviewers to visit.
This report by Amnesty International and Global Witness summarizes the results of an ongoing survey evaluating diamond jewelry retailers' compliance with the Kimberley Process. The report concludes that the diamond industry shows a "continued lack of systematic monitoring" to prevent trade in conflict diamonds and that "voluntary self-regulation" does not work.
A Kimberley Process delegation visited South Africa after an invitation by the government to monitor compliance in the diamond industry. Of the process, a De Beers spokesman said the world's largest diamond producer is "100% supportive in word and deed." (Sunday Times)
The Kimberly Process expelled the Republic of Congo from the legitimate international diamond trade network because of its continued sale of black market, "blood" diamonds. The UN-backed Commission accused the country of illegally smuggling diamonds from neighboring countries, thereby fueling conflicts in the region. (Associated Press)
Some governments in the Kimberley Process diamond certification scheme are reluctant to enact self-monitoring measures, arguing that such measures fall outside the scope of the initiative. Said one NGO representative, "it is ironic that there should be any objections, especially since it's a voluntary system." (UN Integrated Regional Information Network)
This statement provides a list of the countries that meet the minimum requirements of the Kimberley Process diamond certification scheme. (Rapaport News)
The UN passed a resolution supporting the ongoing Kimberley Process to curb trade in conflict diamonds. Approximately 3,700,000 people have died during the past decade in wars waged mainly for control of diamond areas. (Environmental News Service)
Global Witness wants to temporarily suspend the Central African Republic from the Kimberley Process. Since rebels have seized power, the country is in violation of Kimberley regulations and should be banned from trading in diamonds, says a campaigner.
David Crane, the chief prosecutor of the UN special court for Sierra Leone, claims that al-Qaeda uses "blood diamonds" to fund its international operations. The Kimberly process could limit al-Qaeda's exploitation of the diamonds, but Crane is skeptical of the diamond industry's commitment to create an independent certification system. (Ottawa Citizen)
The Kimberley Process' punitive measures, such as confiscating diamonds without proper certification, will come into effect starting February. Experts remain skeptical about the impact of the process. (Business Day)
European diamond traders, including Belgian and British companies, continue to engage in trading conflict diamonds. Global Witness calls for extending the Kimberly regulations to the European Commission (EC).(IRINnews)
The Kimberly process depends on the cooperation of private dealers, the very people who have been fueling "blood diamond" conflicts for years. This article reveals some inconsistent aspects of the Kimberly process and its weak moral stance. (Harvard Crimson)
Propelled by significant common interests and consensus among forty-five governments, the Kimberly process succeeded in its first phase. After the UN General Assembly adopts the certification process, the main challenges will be adherence, compliance and monitoring. (Business Day)
European retailers and bodies like the Antwerp High Diamond Council (HRD) are unaware of the new Kimberley scheme. The World Diamond Council and NGOs will make efforts to educate sellers and buyers of diamonds. (Business Day)
While NGOs generally welcome the Kimberly Process, a certification model that will help stop the sale of diamonds used to fund rebel wars, they express concern over loopholes and the lack of independent monitoring. (Reuters)
Representatives of 45 countries, which include the United States, are to give formal approval to the Kimberley Process, a system to prevent 'blood' diamond trade. The new rules have failed to provide a detailed and credible self-regulation system, say the advocacy groups that first inspired the debate. (New York Times)
The Kimberly Process is necessary, but not sufficient, to end the traffic of "dirty diamonds," says the US Campaign to Eliminate Conflict Diamonds. To ensure that diamonds are clean, the Process would need an independent monitoring system. (Amnesty International)
Diamonds and Human Security Project argues that the Kimberly Process' provisions require much stronger multilateral measures. Otherwise, it will create a false sense of security, allowing the conflict diamond trade to continue.
Canada supports the Kimberley Process certification scheme that is designed to curb the global illicit trade in conflict diamonds and cut off sources of rebel funding in affected African countries. (Canadian Corporate Newswire)
Can chemistry and physics help to identify conflict diamonds? This article explores ways science could complement the Kimberley Process. (Science News)
The European Commission made public a proposal banning imports of rough diamonds without a certificate proving they are not "conflict diamonds." The NGO Global Witness says that "the Commission's proposals are stricter than the Kimberley Process." (Independent)
Diamond industry representatives, human rights groups and government officials agree that all diamonds must come with certificates of origin. The negotiations known as the Kimberley Process began in May 2000 and are aimed at preventing the diamond trade from funding African civil wars. (Associated Press)
NGOs present a mixed review of the final Kimberley Process agreement. NGOs continue to advocate a regular, external, independent monitoring mechanism; governments who negotiated the agreement were only willing to allow for monitoring missions when there are "credible indications of significant non-compliance." (Partnership Africa Canada)
A group of eight NGOs remind us that as people give diamonds to their loved ones on Valentine's day, they still have no way of knowing where these diamonds come from, or whether they have contributed to gross human rights abuses. The "Report Card," on the Kimberly Process highlights the shortcomings in the proposed certification system, described as a "watchdog with no teeth." (Netherlands Institute for Southern Africa)
This briefing document by Global Witness points out shortcomings in the Kimberly Process proposals for international diamond certification, with specific reference to Angola. The proposals lack measures for verification and monitoring, which are crucial to reducing illegal trade in conflict diamonds.
The Bush administration's has objected to proposed international diamond certification accords on the grounds of free trade, thus threatening to undermine the entire Kimberly process. It has also pushed for the weakening of a bill in Congress that would help to restrict the flow of dirty diamonds into the US. (New York Times)
Government representatives and diamond producers will meet in Gabarone later this month to finalize plans to end international trade in conflict diamonds. However, countries such as Namibia, Botswana, and South Africa warn that any agreement must include measures to protect legitimate producers. (Agence France Presse)
The world's major diamond producing and trading companies have come close to establishing an international protocol for the certification of rough diamonds. The agreement looks like it will proceed to fruition, despite various member states' concerns over state sovereignty, and US reservations over whether the new regulations will comply with WTO rules. (IRIN)
Delegates from diamond importing countries agreed to adopt "minimum acceptable standards" for a certification system to stem the trade of conflict diamonds. (Rapaport News)