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DRC: Security Council hails conflict diamond certification scheme

NAIROBI, 29 January 2003 (IRIN) - Concerned by the link between the illicit trade in rough diamonds and the fuelling of armed conflicts around the world, the United Nations Security Council on Tuesday gave its backing to a global certification scheme for the precious stones, UN News reported.

In a unanimous resolution, the Council said it supported the ongoing process to refine and implement the regime, and called the plan "a valuable contribution against trafficking in conflict diamonds". The 15-nation body said it looked forward to the scheme's implementation and strongly encouraged the participants to further resolve outstanding issues.

The plan, known as the Kimberley Process Certification Scheme, is a negotiating procedure to establish minimum acceptable international standards for national certification schemes covering the import and export of rough diamonds.

The government of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) officially launched its national diamond certification programme on 7 January 2003, as part of its participation in the Kimberley Process, which took effect on 1 January 2003. The DRC was among 52 countries that agreed on 4 November 2002 in Interlaken, Switzerland, to adopt the international certification scheme designed to stop the flow of "blood diamonds" into world markets.

The implementation of the Kimberley Process will mean that all rough diamonds passing through or into a participating country must be transported in a sealed container and labelled with a certificate of origin.

Illicitly mined diamonds from conflict zones have been used to finance recent wars in Angola, the DRC, Liberia, and Sierra Leone.

Themes: (IRIN) Conflict


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