Fact sheet on ‘Blood Diamonds’(To go with ‘Beware of Blood diamonds, India warns’)

June 17th, 2008 - 9:52 pm ICT by IANS  


New Delhi, June 17 (IANS) Fact sheet on Kimberly Process that seeks to end the global trade in blood diamonds: What: The Kimberley Process is an initiative of governments, industry and civil society to stem the flow of conflict diamonds or blood diamonds that are used by rebel movements to finance wars against legitimate governments.

Why: Trade in these illicit precious stones has fuelled decades of devastating conflicts in countries such as Angola, Cote d’Ivoire, the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Sierra Leone.

When: The genesis of the process is in a meeting in May 2000 among South African diamond producing nations in Kimberley, South Africa. The UN General Assembly then adopted a resolution in December to free the world of conflict diamonds, and following that, the process came into force in 2003.

Process: The Kimberley Process Certification Scheme imposes extensive requirements on its members to enable them to certify shipments of rough diamonds as “conflict-free”. Procuring diamonds from bona fide sources ensures this, accompanied by a certificate. The process has 48 members, representing 74 countries.

Success: Diamond experts estimate that conflict diamonds now represent only a fraction of one percent of the international trade in diamonds, compared to estimates of up to 15 percent in the 1990s. For instance, some $125 million worth of diamonds were legally exported from Sierra Leone in 2006, as against almost none at the end of the 1990s, even though mining and prospecting continued in full force.

India’s Role: The country, a founder member, is the chair for the process for 2008. Namibia will be the next chair. India is the sixth in succession to hold the chair after South Africa, Canada, Russian Federation, Botswana and European Commission. New Delhi is hosting the 5th Intersession meeting of the process Tuesday and Wednesday.

Indian diamond industry: Nine out of every 10 rough diamonds in the world are cut and polished in India, employing one million people directly. The country exported cut and polished diamonds worth $13.36 billion in 2007-08 - registering a 36.8 percent growth over the previous year.

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