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Kimberley Process

 

The Kimberley Process (KP) is an initiative aiming to ensure that trade in diamonds does not finance conflict.  The initiative was welcomed in a United Nations General Assembly resolution and a certification scheme was adopted in 2003 following negotiations between governments, the international diamond industry and civil society groups.  Participants now include 54 members (including one from the European Community) representing 80 countries (as of November 2012), the international diamond industry organisation World Diamond Council and civil society groups.

Diamonds fuelling violence are often referred to as “conflict diamonds” or “blood diamonds”.  Diamonds covered under the KP are the ones “used by rebel movements to finance wars against legitimate governments”.  The devastating effects of conflict diamonds have been documented in a number of countries including Angola, Côte d’Ivoire, Democratic Republic of the Congo and Sierra Leone.

Certification imposes several requirements on participating states to ensure that the origin of diamonds can be traced back to their source.  It includes requirements on the issuing of certificates accompanying diamonds, legislative changes necessary to ensure import and export consistent with the KP, tamper-resistant containers during shipments, and trade in diamonds limited to other parties to the KP.  Implementation is monitored through visits, annual reports and exchange of statistical data.

In addition, the KP outlines a complementary system of warranties to extend the certification provided by governments to the entire diamond supply chain.  This has been developed by the diamond industry, which produces invoices affirming the legitimate origin of diamonds.  Traders are obliged to keep records of invoices so as to ensure that conflict diamonds are not mixed with KP-certified diamonds.

Some civil society organizations have raised questions about the KP’s effectiveness in eliminating conflict diamonds.  These organizations have published reports and recommendations regarding the implementation and further development of the KP.

Discussion at the KP intersessional meeting in Kinshasa on 20-23 June 2011 centred on Zimbabwean diamonds.   KP Chairman Mathieu Yamba issued an administrative notice allowing exports from Zimbabwe's Marange mines.  Civil society representatives walked out of the meeting in protest at its failure to address human rights abuses in the Marange diamond fields.  The US, Canada, EU and Israel criticized Yamba’s decision because it did not fulfil the Kimberley Process requirement of approval by consensus. 

In December 2011, the NGO Global Witness left the Kimberley Process.

A selection of key reports on the KP initiative is accessible below.

For further reports & articles, see the Resource Centre’s general section on the Kimberley Process

Official website

Kimberley Process

 

Reports and commentaries

 

 

 

 

 

 

  • What is the Kimberley Process?
    Global Witness
    [includes sections entitled “Is the Kimberley Process working?” and “How to make the Kimberley Process more effective”]

 

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[PDF] A Guide to the Kimberley Process

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Global Witness leaves Kimberley Process, calls for diamond trade to be held accountable

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Global Witness today announced that it has left the Kimberley Process, the international certification scheme established to stop the trade in blood diamonds. The Kimberley Process’s refusal to evolve and address the clear links between diamonds,...

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Les organisations de la société civile ont aujourd’hui exprimé un vote de non confiance dans le Processus de Kimberley et ont quitté la réunion intersessionelle qui se tenait à Kinshasa. Cette action a été menée en signe de protestation contre l...

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[PDF] Civil society expresses vote of no confidence in conflict diamond scheme

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