1 november 2002
Diamond dealers frustrate scheme to stop blood diamonds
Kimberley meeting in Switzerland on 4 and 5 November 2002.

Diamond dealers threaten to obstruct the effective carry out of a certification scheme for diamonds. They disagree among themselves on the need for a self-regulation with an audible chain of warranties. Thus keeping their business involved in bloody wars and violation of Human Rights. Industry should act now, or the Kimberley Process to end the trade in blood diamonds can't be implemented as scheduled on January 1, 2003.

Ministers from diamond mining and trading countries will sign on to the Kimberley scheme to end the trade in blood diamond on 4 and 5 November 2002, Interlaken, Switzerland. The Council of Ministers of the European Union will pass the European legislation at the end of November. All are making a huge effort to end the trade in blood diamonds that played a major role in the continuation of the conflicts in Angola, Sierra Leone and the Congo; wars that caused millions of deaths. Only the diamond dealers obstruct the process.

For two years now, the World Diamond Council and its Antwerp based member the Diamond High Council ('De Hoge Raad voor de Diamant') told the world how committed they are to end trade of blood diamonds, that fuel armed conflicts in Africa. Diamond dealers that transfer huge sums of money on a handshake and some trustworthy eyes, proof not to be so reliable when it comes to their promises to governments and NGOs. They fail to come up with the long promised industry self-regulation. There is no other meeting before the launch of the certification scheme, therefor the diamond industry should present a solid plan now.
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'Diamond dealers stalled the process with their loose promises hoping this bad publicity would pass by. In Switzerland the industry gets its last chance to proof that they can take responsibility for their own acts. Nice words won't get the job done. They need to come forward with a credible system of self-regulation', says Judith Sargentini, international campaign co-ordinator of Fatal Transactions.

Note for editors, not for publication:

Fatal Transactions will be present at the Kimberley negotiations in Interlaken Switzerland on 4 and 5 November 2002. You can contact Ms Judith Sargentini, International Campaign Co-ordinator at mobile phone 31.6.19626029 or Miss Kirsten Hund at the Netherlands Institute for Southern Africa, 31 20 5206210, FT@niza.nl.

The Kimberley Process meeting takes at 4 - 5 November place a the Victoria Jungfrau Hotel, Interlaken Switzerland

Fatal Transactions is an international consumer campaign consisting of Novib-Oxfam Netherlands , Medico International Germany, Intermón-Oxfam Spain, Netherlands Institute for Southern Africa and IBIS, Denmark calling on the public and other interested organisations to ask governments and companies involved in extractive industries to implement effective controls to ensure that the trade in natural resources does not finance or otherwise support conflict and economic injustice in Africa.