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Conflict Diamonds

 

It is now accepted internationally that along with the Kimberley Process there should be a chain of warranties from mine to wholesaler to retailer that gives the consumer the assurance that the diamonds they are purchasing are “conflict free”.

It should be noted however that there are many commercial benefits associated with the diamond industry in many developing countries. This industry has provided employment, infrastructure such as roads, as well as funding for hospitals and educational facilities.

The following is an outline of: Ensuring a Conflict-Free Diamond Industry.

Mining / Export – Kimberley Process Certification (KP) Rough diamonds traded between KP countries are transported in a tamper-resistant container and accompanied by a government validated KP Certificate.

Import / Manufacturing / Retail – System of Warranties Assurance (SoW) Once imported and ready to be traded, a written statement must accompany all invoices guaranteeing that the diamonds or diamond jewellery being sold are from legitimate sources.

What are conflict diamonds? Diamonds that are illegally traded to fund conflict, such as civil war. The term originated in the 1990s when rebels in some African countries used diamonds to fund moments against legitimate governments. At the height of the problem conflict diamonds accounted for only 4% of the world diamond supply. Today they account for considerably less than 1%.

What has been done about conflict diamonds? The diamond industry, governments, the United Nations and non-governmental organisations adopted the Kimberley Process Certification System to stem the trade in conflict diamonds. The System of Warranties was put in place to assure only legitimately sourced diamonds are traded. Today over 99% of the worlds diamond supply is certified to be from sources that are free from conflict.

New Zealand & the Kimberley Process It is important to note that New Zealand is a signatory to the Kimberley Process United Nations Sanctions Regulations 2004. These regulations came into effect in New Zealand on 14 January 2005. This regulation ensures that rough diamonds may be imported into, or exported from, New Zealand, only in accordance with the Kimberley Process Certification System adopted under the Interlaken Declaration.