The Kimberley Process
What are conflict diamonds?
Conflict diamonds are diamonds illegally traded to fund conflict in war-torn areas, particularly in central and western Africa. The United Nations defines conflict diamonds as “…diamonds that originate from areas controlled by forces or factions opposed to legitimate and internationally recognized governments, and are used to fund military action in opposition to those governments, or in contravention of the decisions of the Security Council.” These diamonds are often referred to as “blood diamonds.”
Our stance on conflict diamonds:
We too share the public’s concern regarding conflict diamonds. Here at Images we only purchase our diamonds through respected, legitimate channels that provide a guarantee that their diamonds are from sources free of conflict. Images will continue to support and promote the Kimberley Process that works to uphold legitimacy in the diamond trade and stop the trade of conflict diamonds.
What is the Kimberley Process?
In July 2000, the global diamond industry made clear to the international community its zero tolerance policy towards conflict diamonds. Dedicated to eradicating the trade in conflict diamonds, it worked closely with the United Nations, governments and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) such as Global Witness and Partnership Africa Canada to create the Kimberley Process Certification System. This system was formally adopted in 2003 and guards against conflict diamonds entering the legitimate diamond supply chain. The diamond industry also adopted a voluntary System of Warranties to assure consumers that their diamonds are from sources free of conflict.
Today seventy one governments have enshrined into their national law the Kimberley Process Certification System, and now more than 99% of the world’s diamonds are from conflict free sources. However, even one conflict diamond is one too many. The diamond industry continues to work with governments, NGOs and the UN to strengthen the Kimberley Process and the System of Warranties.
While diamonds have been used to fund conflict, the problem is not the diamonds themselves but the rebels who exploit diamonds (along with other natural resources) to achieve their illicit goals. The vast majority of diamonds come from countries at peace. These countries have been able to invest the revenue from diamonds into the development of infrastructure, schools and hospitals for the good of the communities in which diamonds are found. These countries include Australia, Botswana, Canada, Namibia, Russia, South Africa and Tanzania.
Most people are unaware of the role diamonds play in bringing real benefits to people in these countries where diamonds are sourced. Nowhere is this more evident than in Africa, where countless infrastructure, school, and healthcare programs have been developed. It is also in Africa that this same resource has been used to fund conflict and evil. Websites such as Diamondfacts.org are dedicated to presenting the facts about conflict diamonds, along with how diamonds are driving economic growth and prosperity in countries around the world. As a consumer, you should feel good about your diamond purchase. Our basic diamond policy is as follows:
- We only use suppliers who provide a guarantee that their diamonds are from sources free of conflict
- We have a firm and open conflict diamond policy
- We are able to answer any question about the topic
If you would like to learn more about what the diamond industry is doing to help support Africa and her citizens, you can read about it here at DiamondFacts.Org