18 december 2002|
Diamonds, Peace and Progress in the Democratic Republic of the Congo
Conference Report and Recommendations
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Attached please find a report of the key messages and recommendations from this conference organised by Partnership Africa Canada, NiZA and Fatal Transactions, held in Brussels, Belgium September 18-19, 2002. Events in the past two months have advanced our discussions in Brussels and have shown the need for additional work on the issue of Diamonds, Peace and Progress in DRC.
- On October 16, the UN Panel of Experts released its final report on the Illegal Exploitation of Natural Resources and Other Forms of Wealth in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
Several NGOs issued Press Releases calling on the United Nations Security Council to strengthen systems aimed at halting the pillage of natural resources by corrupt officials, neighbouring countries and rogue elements in the private sector. They called on the UN to endorse the Kimberley Process, but with the addition of a regular, independent monitoring mechanism to review all national diamond control systems.
- The World Diamond Council met in London at the end of October and agreed on an industry "chain of warranties" - an integral element of the Kimberley Process Certification System for Rough Diamonds.
Although NGOs had initially expressed concern about weaknesses in the WDC self-regulation system, during a meeting with diamond industry representatives in November, NGOs and the industry agreed there would be joint efforts to communicate the implications of the Kimberley Process throughout the diamond industry.
- The International Certification Scheme for Rough Diamonds was endorsed by 52 countries at a meeting of the Kimberley Process in Interlaken, Switzerland on November 5, to be implemented effective January 1, 2003.
The NGO delegation included NGO representatives from the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Sierra Leone, two of the countries most affected by conflict diamonds.
An event to mark the launching of the Kimberley Process was held in Addis Ababa - 17 Ambassadors, as well as representatives of the African Union, the Economic Commission for Africa and NGOs attended.
- In early November, a delegation of NGO representatives from the Democratic Republic of the Congo met with civil society and government representatives in Europe and North America to inform them of the devastating impact of illegal natural exploitation on the population in DRC and to advocate for support of the recommendations in the UN report.
While there has been progress toward stopping the plunder of natural resources in DRC, much remains to be done. PAC, NiZA, Fatal Transactions and our partners in the Democratic Republic of the Congo remain committed to working nationally and internationally to combat the scourge of conflict diamonds and ensure that diamonds are used for developmental purposes, rather than as a currency for conflict. We hope that you, too, will continue to work for effective change in DRC and within the diamond industry.
> conference_report20020919_en.PDF (47 Kb)
Human Security and the International Diamond Trade in Africa
Partnership Africa Canada
323 Chapel Street
Ottawa, ON K1N 7Z2
Tel: (613) 237-6768
Fax: (613) 237-6530
National Co-ordinator Fatal Transactions
Netherlands institute for Southern Africa
1001 ES Amsterdam
fax: 31 20 5206249
tel: 31 20 5206210