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Friday, January 31, 2003

According to a Global Witness press release the UN Security Council is set to pass a Security Council Resolution under Chapter VI of the UN Charter, endorsing the Kimberley Process, the international diamond certification scheme to stop the trade in conflict diamonds.

The Resolution expresses concern about the role diamonds play in fuelling conflicts, encourages the widest participation of Member States in the scheme, and urges participants in the Kimberley Process to resolve outstanding issues.

“The draft resolution sends a strong message to the international community about the importance of the Kimberley Process in eliminating conflict diamonds” said Corinna Gilfillan, Campaigner with Global Witness. “Governments must act now to effectively implement the Kimberley Process and to address the agreement’s weaknesses so that diamonds no longer fund conflict + terrorism.”

The Kimberley Process was officially launched on 1st January 2003: currently 64 governments are participating in the scheme, including China, France, Russia, the United Kingdom + the United States. Under this agreement, the majority of the diamond producing and trading countries are establishing national diamond control systems to stop conflict diamonds from entering the legitimate diamond trade. Currently, the Kimberley Process is in a transitional stage of implementation and will come into full force on 1st February 2003. Once this happens, participants will not be allowed to trade in diamonds with non-participants.

Corinna also said that “In order for this agreement to be successful, governments must also address a serious outstanding issue: the need for a regular, independent monitoring mechanism to ensure that the scheme works and is not open to abuse.”