So how can this be rectified? Are the people and government taking steps to stop the flow of Blood diamonds?
Well,the first step that has been done worldwide to curb the flow of blood diamonds is an international govermental certification scheme which is known as " The Kimberley Process".The goal is achieved through their certification scheme which is known as Kimberley Process Certification Scheme(KPCS)
SO WHAT EXACTLY IS THE KIMBERLEY PROCESS?
The Kimberley Process is an international governmental certification scheme that was set up to prevent the trade in conflict diamonds.This procedure requires each nation to certify that all rough diamond exports are produced through legitimate mining and sales activity.All rough diamonds exported from these nations should be accompanied by certificates that classifies them as legal. These certificates state that the diamonds were produced,sold and exported through legitimate channels.The certification process accounts for all rough diamonds, through every step of their movement, from mine to retail sale.
AND HOW DID THIS PROCESS COME INTO EXISTENCE?
What happened was that in the year 1998,Global Witness,an international Non-Govermental Organisation(NGO) began a campaign to expose the role of diamonds in funding conflict, as part of their worldwide broader research into the link that exists between natural resources and conflict.Growing pressure from Global witness as well as other NGOs demanded governments to take some preventive measures to stop the flow of Blood diamonds.
Soon enough in May 2000,all major diamond trading and production countries,representatives of the diamond industry,and NGOs met in Kimberley,South Africa to create an action plan to tackle the issue of the flow of blood diamonds.The meeting was hosted by the South African government and it laid the foundation of an important and often litigious three-year negotiating process whose aim was to establish an international diamond certification scheme.
Soon enough in November 2002 it was endorsed by the participating governments,the diamond industry and NGOs and was finally launched in January 2003.
It was also endorsed by the United Nations General Assembly(UNGA) and the United Nations Security Council(UNSC)
WHAT MAKES THIS WORK?
The process is simple! Nations who agree to participate in the Kimberley Process are not allowed to trade with countries who are not part of the Kimberley Process.
And the good news is that The Kimberley Process have significantly reduced the number of conflict diamonds.
Infact more than 99% of diamonds now are conflict free!
For diamonds from a country to be legally exported,it must pass some certain requirements.The requirements of the KPCS as decided upon through the Kimberley Processs are as follows
Each shipment of rough diamonds crossing an international border should be:
-Transported in a tamper-resistant container.
-Accompanied by a government-validated Kimberley Process Certificate .
-Each certificate must be resistant to forgery, uniquely numbered and describe the shipment's contents.
-The shipment can only be exported to another KPCS participant country.
-It is illegal for uncertified shipments of rough diamonds to either be imported or exported by a KPCS participant country.
-Failure to comply with these procedures can lead to confiscation or rejection of parcels and/or criminal sanctions.
-If any concerns arise regarding a country's adherence to the KPCS, they must be investigated and dealt with at an intergovernmental level.
The KPCS follows a self-enforced functioning.The supervision of the certification process is done by the Chair which is elected on an annual basis at a plenary meeting.There is also a working Group which has the task of monitoring each participant to ensure that it implements the scheme correctly.The Working Group reports to the Chair.There are also Other working groups that include Working Group of Diamond Experts which reports on difficulties in implementation of the scheme and also proposes solutions,and the Statistics Working Group, which reports data on Diamond trading.
The World Diamond Council has created a system of warranties for the diamonds endorsed by the KPCS.
The following Affirmative statement should be included in the invoices,
“The diamonds herein invoiced have been purchased from legitimate sources not involved in funding conflict and in compliance with United Nations resolutions. The seller hereby guarantees that these diamonds are conflict free, based on personal knowledge and/or written guarantees provided by the supplier of these diamonds.”
The following principle of self regulation have been adopted by the diamond industry organisation:
-to trade only with companies that include warranty declarations on their invoices;
-to not buy diamonds from suspect sources or unknown suppliers, or which originate in countries that have not implemented the Kimberley Process Certification Scheme;
-to not buy diamonds from any sources that, after a legally binding due process system, have been found to have violated government regulations restricting the trade in conflict diamonds;
-to not buy diamonds in or from any region that is subject to an advisory by a governmental authority indicating that conflict diamonds are emanating from or available for sale in such region, unless diamonds have been exported from such region in compliance with the Kimberley Process Certification Scheme;
-to not knowingly buy or sell or assist others to buy or sell conflict diamonds;
-to ensure that all company employees that buy or sell diamonds within the diamond trade are well informed regarding trade resolutions and government regulations restricting the trade in conflict diamonds.
Participants of the Kimberley process
Well,thanks to the Kimberley Process,there has been a tremendous decrease in the percentage of Blood Diamonds in the international diamond market.Below are some some statistics on the KPCS.
Till September 2007,there were 48 participants in KPCS representing 74 countries.However the European Community is counted as a single participant.The participants include all major rough diamond producing, exporting and importing countries.The new entrants are Turkey and Liberia, in addition to Congo which has been re-admitted in 2007.Burkina Faso,Cameroon,Egypt,Chinese Taipei(Taiwan),Mali,Mexico and Tunisia has affirmed their intention to join the Kimberley Process.Apart from these Bahrain,Cape Verde,Gabon,Swaziland and Zambia have expressed their interest in future participation.
According to the Working Group on Statistics (WGS) of KPCS,in 2006,the KPCS monitored $35.7 billion in rough diamond exports representing more than 480 million carats.The total number of Certificates issued by KPCS members was 55,000.
Country wise Participation map of Kimberley Process