Kimberley Process

The Kimberley Process (KP) unites administrations, civil societies, and industry in reducing the flow of conflict diamonds – ‘rough diamonds used to finance wars against governments’ – around the world.

INTRODUCTION

The Kimberley Process (KP) is the international forum dedicated to eradicating conflict diamonds from the world trade, with conflict diamonds being defined by the KP’s Core Document conflict diamonds as rough diamonds used by rebel movements to finance wars against legitimate governments.
Established in 2000 and endorsed by both the UN General Assembly and the UN Security Council, the KP is a tripartite coalition involving governments, industry and civil society, where government Participants hold decision-making rights. Industry and civil society are considered Observers. The World Diamond Council (WDC) is the diamond industry’s representative in the KP.

KIMBERLEY PROCESS CERTIFICATION SCHEME

The KP’s key mechanism for eliminating the flow of conflict diamonds is the Kimberley Process Certification Scheme (KPCS). Launched at the beginning of 2003, it is a system that is enforced by KP Participant countries to ensure that rough diamonds moving though the legitimate chain of distribution do not include stones associated with conflict. It comprises a certification-of- origin mechanism, which requires Participants to certify that shipments of rough diamonds leaving their borders are “conflict-free.”
Members of the diamond industry in KP Participant countries can only trade legally with members of the industry in other Participant countries. International shipments of rough diamonds must be accompanied by a KP certificate, issued by a government-authorized KP Authority, guaranteeing that they are conflict-free. If any rough diamonds examined by customs officials throughout world are discovered not to be accompanied by proper KP documentation, they are seized by the relevant country and all KP participants are alerted.
Countries implementing the KPCS must meet “minimum requirements. These include: (1) the enacting of national legislation and/or regulations; (2) establishing the necessary authorities to impose export, import and internal controls; and (3) committing to transparency and the exchange of statistical data. Countries that will not or cannot meet these requirements are subject to KP sanctions, and the diamond trade with this country may be frozen or. If a country does not comply with a sanctions regime, it may be expelled from the KP.

HISTORY

The KP was established in May 2000, when representatives of diamond-producing states, industry and civil society met in Kimberley, South Africa, to discuss ways to end the trade in diamonds that were financing civil conflicts in Africa. The goal of the meeting was to collectively consider methods of ensuring that sales of rough diamonds could not fund violent activities by rebel movements and their allies seeking to undermine legitimate governments.
In December 2000, the United Nations General Assembly adopted a landmark resolution supporting the creation of an international certification scheme for rough diamonds, and by November 2002 successful negotiations within the KP resulted in the creation of the Kimberley Process Certification Scheme (KPCS). The KPCS came into force on January 1, 2003, when Participant countries began to implement its rules. Before being launched, each Participant country or region had been required to approve the legislation and regulations necessary for implementing the system in their territories.
Before the launch of the KPCS, the incidence of conflict diamonds in the distribution chain was estimated to be in excess of 4 percent. Within just five years of its rollout, the number of conflict diamonds in the legitimate trade has fallen to less than two-tenths of 1 percent.