March 19, 2002
UN Urges Completion of Kimberley Process; WDC Endorses System of Warranties
The United Nations adopted a resolution concerning conflict diamonds which urges the finalization and implementation of the Kimberley Process on March 13. The Kimberley Process is an international certification plan to bar conflict diamonds from entering legitimate trading channels.
Members of the Kimberley Process are meeting this week in Ottawa, Canada, to resolve outstanding issues so full implementation can occur by the end of 2002 ( "Conflict Diamond Update"). The UN also endorsed this effort to work out unresolved parts of the process.
The UN resolution stated the Kimberley Process would help ensure implementation of relevant Security Council resolutions containing sanctions on the trade in conflict diamonds.
Meeting March 13 in Milan, the World Diamond Council unanimously voted for the implementation of its system of warranties endorsing each transaction of rough diamonds in the trading centers of the world. The industry system is designed to complement and suport the Kimberley Process's international certification program.
The system of warranties will track diamonds after they are vetted conflict-free during import into diamond trading and cutting countries. All diamond traders, down to the retail level, will be required to maintain records and submit them to private business auditors and possibly Kimberley Process auditors.
by Peggy Jo Donahue