INTERLAKEN DECLARATION


We, the Ministers and other Heads of Delegation of Angola, Australia, Botswana, Brazil, Burkina Faso, Canada, Côte dIvoire, People`s Republic of China, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Democratic Republic of Congo, the European Community, Gabon, Ghana, Guinea, India, Israel, Japan, Republic of Korea, Lesotho, Malta, Mauritius, Mexico, Namibia, Norway, Philippines, Russian Federation, Sierra Leone, South Africa, Swaziland, Switzerland, Tanzania, Thailand, Ukraine, United Arab Emirates, United States of America and Zimbabwe, meeting in Interlaken, Switzerland, on 5 November 2002, on the occasion of the launch of the Kimberley Process Certification Scheme:

Re-iterating our deep concern about the international trade in conflict diamonds, which can be directly linked to the fuelling of armed conflicts, the activities of rebel movements aimed at undermining or overthrowing legitimate governments and the illicit traffic in, and proliferation of, armaments especially small arms and light weapons. We are further concerned about the consequent devastating impact of such conflicts on the peace, safety and security of people in affected countries and the systematic and gross human rights violations that have been perpetrated in such conflicts;

Recalling the United Nations General Assembly Resolution 55/56 (2000), which calls on the international community to give urgent and careful consideration to devising effective and pragmatic measures to address this problem, and Resolution 56/263 (2002), which welcomed the detailed proposals for an international certification scheme for rough diamonds developed in the Kimberley Process and urged its finalisation and subsequent implementation as soon as possible;

Expressing satisfaction with the proposals for an international certification scheme for rough diamonds developed by the Participants in the Kimberley Process and presented to us in the form of a Document entitled: “Kimberley Process Certification Scheme”;

Emphasising that the widest possible participation in the Certification Scheme is essential and should be encouraged and facilitated. To that end, we invite all those involved in the trade in rough diamonds to join the Process without delay and if possible before 1 January 2003;

Welcoming the voluntary system of industry self-regulation, which will provide for a system of warranties underpinned through verification by independent auditors of individual companies and supported by internal penalties set by industry. This will help facilitate the full traceability of rough diamond transactions by relevant government authorities and the effective implementation of the Kimberley Process Certification Scheme;

Noting with appreciation the important contribution made by industry and civil society to the development of the Kimberley Process Certification Scheme;

Recognising that despite the important progress made within the context of the Kimberley Process to address the problem of conflict diamonds, the effective implementation by Participants of the Certification Scheme over the medium to longer term is of utmost importance for the success of the initiative;

Thanking the Government of Switzerland for hosting this Ministerial meeting, as well as the governments of South Africa, Namibia, Belgium, the Russian Federation, the United Kingdom, Angola, Botswana and Canada for hosting meetings of the Kimberley Process, in the lead-up to this meeting;

DECLARE THAT:

1. We adopt the international certification scheme for rough diamonds developed by the Participants in the Kimberley Process and presented to us in the form of the document entitled: “Kimberley Process Certification Scheme”.

2. We remain committed to the simultaneous launch of the Certification Scheme beginning on 1 January 2003. Implementation will be based on our respective laws and internal systems of control meeting the standards established in the Document. For applicants that decide to join after this date, the Scheme takes effect for them following notification to the Chair pursuant to Section VI, paragraph 9.

3. We will ensure that the measures taken to implement the Kimberley Process Certification Scheme for rough diamonds will be consistent with international trade rules.

4. We note with appreciation the clear intention of Cyprus, the Czech Republic, Japan, Malta, Thailand and Ukraine to become participants of the Certification Scheme by the end of 2003.

5. We reaffirm our determination to monitor effectively the trade in rough diamonds in order to detect and to prevent trade in conflict diamonds. We consider the Kimberley Process Certification Scheme as an ongoing international process.

6. We thank the Government of South Africa for agreeing to Chair the Kimberley Process in the first year of its implementation.

7. We request our officials to review initial progress in implementation at the first formal meeting of the Participants of the Kimberley Process, to be held early in 2003.

INTERLAKEN, SWITZERLAND, 5 November 2002

Annex to the Interlaken Ministerial Declaration

Statement by the European Community

The Community reserves the right to return to the listing of the European Community as participant to the Kimberley Process in the first recital of the Interlaken Declaration, if this is deemed necessary after the Council of the European Union has taken a decision thereon. The reservation does not in any way affect the political commitment of the European Community to implement the Kimberley Process Certification Scheme.