Report of the Kimberley Process to the United Nations General Assembly as per Resolution 55/56 of 1 December 2000
Operative paragraph 6 of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) Resolution 55/56, adopted on 1 December 2000 requests the countries participating in the Kimberley Process to present to the UNGA, no later than its 56th Session, a report on progress made with regard to developing detailed proposals for a simple and workable international certification scheme for rough diamonds. Resolution 55/56 also records the decision by the General Assembly to include in the provisional agenda of its 56th session the item entitled “The role of diamonds in fuelling conflict”.
Objectives of the Kimberley Process
The Kimberley Process was established through initiatives by Southern African diamond producing countries in order to:
(a) Stem the flow of rough diamonds used by rebels to finance armed conflict aimed at overthrowing legitimate governments, thereby making a substantial contribution to international peace and security;
(b) Protect the legitimate diamond industry, upon which many countries are dependent for their economic and social development;
(c) Achieve the above through the creation and implementation of an international certification scheme for rough diamonds, based primarily on national certification schemes and on internationally agreed minimum standards.
Participation in the Kimberley Process
Participation included States and the European Community involved in the production, exporting and importing of rough diamonds, the number of which grew considerably following the adoption of UNGA Resolution 55/56. Furthermore, all member states of the United Nations were notified of meetings to be held and invited to indicate their interest in attending.
Representatives from the diamond industry, notably the World Diamond Council, and civil society are also active participants in the Kimberley Process.
Representatives from United Nations Sanctions Committees for Angola, Sierra Leone and Liberia, the Monitoring Mechanism on the situation in Angola as well as the Expert Panel on the Illegal Exploitation of Natural Resources and other forms of Wealth in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, also attended the meetings.
The Kimberley Process, chaired by South Africa, held the following meetings since the adoption of Resolution 55/56, with the view to developing detailed proposals for an international certifications scheme for rough diamonds:
Windhoek, Namibia, 13 to 16 February 2001;
Brussels, Belgium, 25 to 27 April 2001;
Moscow, Russian Federation, 3 to 4 July 2001;
Twickenham, United Kingdom, 11 to 13 September 2001;
Luanda, Angola, 30 October to 1 November 2001;
Gaborone, Botswana, 26 to 29 November 2001.
These meetings summarised their proceedings in communiqués attached to this report as Annexes 1 to 6.
At the above-mentioned meetings, detailed proposals for an international certification scheme for rough diamonds were developed, as set out in the Kimberley Process Working Document 9/2001 entitled “Essential Elements of an International Scheme of Certification for Rough Diamonds with a view, to breaking the link between armed conflict and the trade in rough diamonds”. The document is attached as Annex 7. At the meeting in Gaborone, Ministers and the representatives of the world`s leading rough diamond producing, exporting, and importing states, the European Community, the Southern Africa Development Community, and other states concerned by the devastating effects of trade in conflict diamonds declared that:
1. The detailed proposals for an international certification scheme for rough diamonds developed by the participants in the Kimberley Process and presented in the form of Kimberley Process Working Document 9/2001 “Essential Elements of an International Scheme of Certification for Rough Diamonds, with a view to breaking the link between armed conflict and the trade in rough diamonds”, dated 28 November 2001, provide a good basis for the envisaged certification scheme;
2. The certification scheme should be established through an international understanding as soon as possible, recognising the urgency of the situation from a humanitarian and security standpoint. Those in a position to issue the Kimberley Process Certificate should do so immediately. All others are encouraged to do so by 1 June 2002. It is the intention of participants to start the full implementation simultaneously by the end of 2002.
3. The mandate for the Kimberley Process should be extended until the beginning of the simultaneous implementation, in order to undertake the finalisation of the international understanding;
4. The widest possible participation in the certification scheme is essential and should be encouraged and facilitated.
The Ministers also recognised the need to ensure that the measures taken to implement the international certification scheme for rough diamonds must be consistent with international law governing international trade.
The Ministers recommended that the United Nations take action to support the implementation of the international certification scheme for rough diamonds as an instrument that would help to promote legitimate trade and ensure the effective implementation of the relevant Resolutions of the United Nations Security Council containing sanctions on the trade in conflict diamonds, that are contributing to the promotion of international peace and security, and the relevant United Nations General Assembly resolutions as referred to in the scheme.