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Martin Rapaport suggests new certification scheme to track compliance with ethical values in diamond supply chain

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20 October 2011

The Kimberley Process, the Industry, and the NGOs

Author: Rob Bates, JCK Magazine

In conflict diamond circles, Partnership Africa Canada has always been the respected “good cop” to Global Witness’ “bad.”...But the incident shows that as the Zimbabwe situation has dragged on, the tensions between NGOs and the rest of the Kimberley Process have reached an all-time high. There is now a growing feeling in some circles that the diamond trade has been pushed around by the NGOs too long, and it needs to strike back. I've even heard people say: “The industry doesn’t have to care about these issues anymore, because consumers in India and China don’t.” To me, that is shortsighted. We don’t know what the future holds for consumers in Asia. And to the outside world, particularly the media, the NGOs have far more credibility than the industry. We disregard them at our peril...the NGOs have said they are ”developing [a new] approach” about how they do things. So I would like to give my ideas about how the groups could increase their “respect and support."

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17 October 2011

Laser test can spot 'blood diamonds'

Author: UPI

A new technique using lasers could be employed to identify so-called conflict gemstones, identifying their country of origin, U.S. researchers say...The process could eventually allow companies buying gems to make sure their purchases aren't helping finance bloodshed or civil war in the countries where the gems originate, scientists said. "With enough data, we could identify which country, which mining region, even the individual mine a mineral comes from," Catherine McManus, director of research at Materialytics Inc., which developed the technique, said.

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13 October 2011

Diamonds - Kimberley Process: Flaws in the process

Author: Charlotte Mathews, FM [South Africa]

Civil society organisations are angry at the failure of the Kimberley Process to address human rights violations around diamond mining in Marange in Zimbabwe, as well as other issues...World Diamond Council president Eli Izhakoff says the support of governments, industry and civil society in the Kimberley Process is essential, but the integrity of the process depends more on finding effective solutions to the issues at hand....Martin Rapaport, who heads the Rapaport Group...has proposed a new certification scheme that will track diamonds from source to end product and provide different grades of compliance with ethical values...Alan Martin says Rapaport’s ethical certification scheme would be a welcome way to increase the ethical reputation of diamonds but he is concerned it would cover only a small part of the market. [also refers to Petra Diamonds, De Beers, Alrosa, Rio Tinto and BHP Billiton, Gem Diamonds, Trans Hex]

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10 October 2011

After Kimberley… Now What?

Author: Martin Rapaport

By now it should be clear that a Kimberley Process (KP) certificate does not ensure a diamond is free of human rights violations or other serious ethical problems. In fact, a KP certificate does not even ensure that a diamond is legal for trade in the United States or European Union...Who is responsible for ensuring that the diamond industry is not promoting human rights violations through the purchase of diamonds? You are. Every single rough dealer, cutter, polished dealer, jewelry manufacturer, wholesaler, retailer and consumer is individually and personally responsible for what they buy. The fundamental solution to the ethical and legal problem of buying diamonds that are involved in or fund human rights violations is the establishment and support of Ethical Certification Systems. [De Beers, BHP Billiton, Nike]

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