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UN assembly adopts resolution backing ongoing efforts to eliminate 'blood diamonds' trade

A model holds the 'Letseng Legacy' diamond at the World Diamond Center in Antwerp, Belgium, in this Nov. 14, 2007, file photo.   -  
Copyright © africanews
Virginia Mayo/AP2007


The UN general assembly adopted Wednesday (Apr. 03) a resolution on the role of diamonds in fuelling conflict and expressing concern regarding the unprecedented challenges faced by the Kimberley Process.

The representative of Russia, which produces nearly a third of the world's diamonds, deplored the challenges.

“Unfortunately, driven by the notion of their own exceptionalism, representatives of Western countries decided to sabotage a whole host of international cooperation on the global diamond sector to serve their own geopolitical interests. This is the third year in a row that the Kimberley Process has found itself under unprecedented pressure from a narrow group of countries unable to turn the process into yet another instrument to exert pressure on sovereign states.”

The Kimberley Process is a commitment to remove conflict diamonds from the global supply chain.

193 member nations adopted a resolution by consensus recognizing that the Kimberley Process, which certifies rough diamond exports, “contributes to the prevention of conflicts fueled by diamonds” and helps the Security Council implement sanctions on the trade in conflict diamonds.

82 governments have enshrined the Kimberley Process Certification Scheme into law. Today, 99,8 percent of the world’s diamonds come from conflict-free sources.

Before it came into existence, conflict diamonds accounted for as much as 15% of the global diamond market.

Zimbabwe and Tanzania were among 5 nations who tabled the draft adopted on Wednesday.

“The reason why we support this draft resolution is the fact that it aims to address the insecurity fueled by conflict diamonds. We are convinced that the relevant resolution is a necessary measure on the promoting states sovereignty, poverty eradication, conflict prevention and elimination of conflict demand from legitimate trade, which are the primary objective of the Kimberley Process,” Hussein Athuman Kattanga, the permanent representative of the Republic of Tanzania said.

For the first time ever, participants at the Kimberley Process plenary failed to produce a consensus communique, last November.

The key reason was a Ukrainian request, supported by the United States, Britain and others, to examine whether Russia’s diamond production is funding its war against Kyiv and the implications for the Kimberley Process which Russia and several others strongly opposed.

The Kimberley Process went into effect in 2003 in the aftermath of bloody civil wars in Angola, Sierra Leone and Liberia where diamonds were used by armed groups to fund the conflicts.

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