Kimberley Process Certification Scheme celebrates 5th year

 New Zealand is a signatory to the Kimberley Process Certification Scheme that monitors the flow of rough diamonds. The scheme was introduced as a response to civil conflict in Africa highlighted in the movie Blood Diamonds. The issue was initially highlighted by the NGO Global Witness in 1998.

At the sixth annual meeting of the World Diamond Council (WDC) in Antwerp last week, WDC chairman Eli Izhakoff said that although the trade in conflict diamonds has ceased almost entirely, the industry cannot afford to reduce its ongoing effort.

"The truth of the matter is that the Kimberley Process Certification Scheme has been so successful in monitoring the flow of rough diamonds into the pipeline that we concern ourselves today with essentially a limited number of instances of uncertified goods coming into the market, even though the diamonds in question rarely are sourced from an area experiencing any form of civil conflict," he stated. "Our reason for behaving in this manner is clear. The system will work effectively only if all diamonds are traced, and not only those which are deemed to originate from a conflict zone."

The meeting in Belgium was hosted by the Antwerp World Diamond Centre (AWDC), and was attended by more than 100 delegates including representatives from NGOs and government. The 2009 Annual Meeting of the World Diamond Council will possibly take place in St Petersburg, Russia.