His and her wedding rings – At year of 2000, a meeting was held at Kimberley, South Africa, a meeting between world’s producers, processor and importer of diamond. The result of the meeting was an organization referred as Kimberley Process Certification Scheme or KPCS. The main goal of the organization is basically to ensure that every diamond mined, processed and sold throughout the globe are not originated or sold by rebel groups or from conflict area. Simply speaking to ensure that, in case of a married couple her and his wedding rings diamond they bought are not from conflict area such as Sierra Leone or other conflicted region around the world.
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Question may arise on why one should care on this issue, why an organization must be established to combat trades of what now known as “Blood diamond” or “Conflict diamond” This is the subject of the article and introducing the readers on the Kimberley certification process.
The Blood diamond
In 1998, a report written by Global Witness revealed relationship between diamonds and ongoing conflict in Africa. United Nation had also identified illicit diamond trade as a source of war funding in Angolan civil war. Thus passing the resolution 1173 and resolution 1295 which mainly target the illegal diamond. The UN however have no forces in atually preventing the civil war participants from circumventing the sanctions through third party Thus demanding stricter action.
An armed guard overseeing the large open pit diamond mine in Angola
At year 2000 an investigation led by Robert Fowler revealed how the conflict diamond sellers able to evade UN resolution sanction. Fowler also directly mentioned names, organizations and companies involved in illicit diamond trading. As a result in May 2000. A large meeting was held in Kimberley consisting of diamond producing states. This followed by ministerial level meeting held at Pretoria at September of the same year where KPCS was originated. United Nation later adopted new resolution 55/56 which support formation of the International diamond trading certification scheme. That was followed later by approval of UN security council with resolution 1459.
African countries where conflict diamond originates
How KPCS work and implemented
Following approval of the UN and Security council the KPCS was established in 2003. It was made open to all countries to participate. For a nation to apply as membership however it must ensure that :
- No diamond originating from the country are used to finance rebel activities on UN recognized government.
- No diamond imported from or exported to the non-member state of the scheme.
- Every diamond exported from member state must be accompanied by Kimberley Certificate
Pipeline of Kimberley Certification Process
Further implementation of the KPCS process involves strict records and logs of every and all diamond and use of hardened container for diamond shipping across international border. KPCS also conducted peer review where their representative will visit member states to obtain data on the diamond industry of the state. Annual public reports of the peer review activity are available publicly for download at KPCS website.
Despite the extensive framework of KPCS. Some organizations and individuals are questioning the method. The key member of KPCS the Global Witness stated that KPCS was ultimately failed to actually prevent conflict diamond from entering global market. Thus they decided to abandon the whole scheme in 2011.
Other parties also questioned the “enforcability” of the scheme citing case of Zimbabwe which able to sell its conflict diamond without suffering any penalty for the case. That case was leading to the walk out of the Global Witness in 2011.