France on Wednesday proposed forming a permanent United Nations panel to oversee the imposition of bans on the illicit trafficking of diamonds and other raw materials used to fund wars, The Financial Times reports.
The proposal aims to create a permanent group of independent experts to work out more systematic ways to ban illicit trade in natural resources. The group would be chosen by U.N. Secretary General Kofi Annan and operate under the control of the Security Council. U.K. officials say the French proposal would complement a certification system, which would have to be established first. The diamond issue will be discussed further in 10 days when the G8 heads of government meet for their summit in Okinawa.
- by Julia M. Duncan