6 november 2002
NGOs cautiously welcome the launch of Kimberley Process
Interlaken, Switzerland

Non-Government Organisations representing a broad coalition welcomed the decision to launch the Kimberley Process Certification Scheme (KPCS) from January 1, 2003. But concerns remain.

The meeting in Interlaken was important given that the issue of conflict
diamonds has been in the public eye for over four years. NGOs welcomed industry commitment to working with governments and civil society on the private sectors’ role and responsibility in tracking rough diamonds.

NGOs welcomed the commitment of most major diamond producing and trading countries to implement the Kimberley Process with effect from January 1, 2003.

NGOs are disappointed that some countries are not in a position to implement the scheme at this time. In due course, however, the countries which have not implemented the scheme will be excluded from the international diamond trade.

NGOs are deeply concerned that there is still no system for regular, independent monitoring of all national diamond control systems. Without this, the overall process remains open to abuse.

Lack of commitment to the Kimberley Process will be a betrayal of the trust placed in the process, not only by NGOs, but also by the civilians of Angola, Sierra Leone, Liberia, and the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Fatal Transactions is an international consumer campaign consisting of Novib-Oxfam Netherlands, Medico International Germany, Intermón-Oxfam Spain, NiZA 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.

For more information contact Ms Judith Sargentini, International Campaign Co-ordinator at mobile phone 31.6.19626029 or Ms Kirsten Hund at NiZA, 31 20 5206210, ft@niza.nl.