Conflict Diamonds and the Kimberley Process

 
Partnership Africa Canada investigates how conflict diamonds from the Central African Republic are entering international markets through Cameroon. The report details how Cameroon's failure to implement internal controls required by the Kimberley Process has led to smuggling of diamons from CAR, corruption amongst officials charged with verifying origins of diamonds, and large shipments of embargoed conflict diamonds passing through Cameroon's transit hubs undeclared.
 
This report is a contribution to a growing body of research that seeks to better understand the illicit trade of gold and diamonds emanating from the Democratic Republic of Congo, and the role industry and state actors play - primarily in neighbouring countries and the United Arab Emirates - in facilitating this illegality.
 
The third investigation by PAC into illicit activity in Zimbabwe’s diamond sector, this report focusses on ongoing trade irregularities, the lack of transparency of diamond revenues, and examines ways ZANU officials and the global diamond industry have colluded to pull off the biggest plunder of diamonds since Cecil Rhodes. It also examines the various revenue streams of Zimbabwe’s Minister of Mines and concludes he is utilizing monies and assets divorced from his ministerial salary and known business entities. The report offers policy suggestions and recommendations that would improve the management and public beneficiation of Zimbabwe’s diamond revenues.
 
In 2010, Israel (the Chair of the KPCS) prioritized strengthening KPCS efforts to combat diamond smuggling. In support of this priority, PAC worked with Israel, Canada and the United States to conduct multi-stakeholder consultations in four West African countries and to organize an Enforcement Seminar during the KPCS Intersessional in Tel Aviv (June 2010). The results of these activities can be found in this report on diamond smuggling, which was presented to the KPCS Plenary in November 2010. Efforts to combat smuggling will continue to be a priority for PAC and the KPCS in 2011.
 
Zimbabwe's contested diamond fields is about many things: smuggling and frontier hucksterism; a scramble fuelled by raw economic desperation and unfathomable greed; and heart-wrenching cases of government-sponsored repression and human rights violations. It's a story about political intrigue, ambition and a complete disregard for decency or the rule of law.  It is also a story of how the Kimberley Process - the international initiative created to ensure that the trade in diamonds does not fund violence and civil war - has lost its way.
 
This report explores the many challenges faced by the Kimberley Process, including the obstacles posed by an annually rotating chair, particularly organizational memory; alternatives to the current consensus based decision-making process; follow up to review missions; making human rights language and protection more explicit in KP minimum requirements; and challenges enforcing internal controls.
 
This report describes the role of diamonds in the Zimbabwean economy and their place in the country's increasingly repressive governance. It describes growing evidence of smuggling, the militarization of diamond resources and the killing of dozens of unarmed diamond diggers by the armed forces of Zimbabwe. The report describes the lacklustre role in all of this played by the Kimberley Process, and it asks the United Nations Security Council to step in.
 
Loupe Holes: Illicit Diamonds in the Kimberley Process, (with Global Witness) November 2008
As the Kimberley Process (KP) rough diamond certification scheme’s sixth year drew to a close at the end of 2008, the trafficking in conflict and illicit stones looked more like a dangerous rule than an exception. In a joint report issued before the November 2008 KP Plenary Meeting in New Delhi, Global Witness and Partnership Africa Canada warned that the illicit trade in rough diamonds is one of the greatest threats facing the Kimberley Process. The report called for specific action by the Kimberley Process and the 76 governments that have agreed to its minimum standards.
 
This report, co-published by PAC and Green Advocates in Monrovia, describes Liberia’s timber, rubber and diamond sectors. It lays out what must be done by the Liberian government and civil society, as well as the donor agencies, companies and NGOs that work there, to make certain that there is no return to the old pre-war ways of doing things, and to ensure that the country’s natural resources are used for the benefit of all Liberians, now and in the future.
 
This report on the diamond mining industry of Venezuela documents how and why Venezuela’s diamonds – an industry that produces from 150,000 to 200,000 carats per year, worth as much as US$20 million annually – have been driven underground. PAC further details the inability of Venezuela’s Ministry of Basic Industry and Mining (Miban) to control the diamond trade, officially ignoring the problem, while official diamond exports dwindled to nothing.
 
This report was written in advance of the November 2006 Kimberley annual meeting in Gaborone Botswana, to help convince governments and industry that change was needed. It worked. The paper, however, remains unchanged for the historical record, with the exception of Page 1, which explains briefly how almost everything demanded in Killing Kimberley? was accepted by industry and the 70-odd governments represented at the meeting.
 
In this report, Partnership Africa Canada reveals an illegal tri-border diamond smuggling system, operating completely outside the international Kimberley Process Certification Scheme (KPCS) for rough diamonds. It tells the story of Guyana’s diamonds, worth an estimated US$43 million annually.
 
Brazil is one of the oldest diamond producing countries in the world, but nobody can say where half of the diamonds it exports have been mined, and government certificates accompanying fully one quarter of Brazilian exports are fraudulent. The PAC report demonstrates that Brazil’s diamond sector is in deep crisis, a crisis that affects the credibility of the newly-minted global system to block trade in the conflict diamonds that fuelled four of Africa’s most horrific wars.
 
Five years after its creation the Kimberley Process, the international diamond certification scheme, is still having difficulty stopping conflict diamonds from entering the legitimate trade. Global Witness and Partnership Africa Canada are urging that more must be done to ensure that the process works effectively and is a credible mechanism that will prevent diamonds from ever again fuelling conflict. Diamonds continue to fuel conflict in eastern DRC and are also playing a role in the conflict in Côte d’Ivoire, two countries participating in the Kimberley Process.
 
The Failure of Good Intentions, May 2005, also available in Portguese
This report is a detective story. It is about fraud and theft and murder, and good intentions gone wrong. Brazil has a long history of diamond production, and is the largest diamond producing country in South America. Brazilian diamonds have attracted a wide variety of exploration and mining firms, as well as the usual complement of international buyers and soldiers of fortune. The massacre of 29 diamond diggers on the Roosevelt Indian Reserve in the remote Rondônia rainforest in 2004 attracted international media attention and demonstrated that conflict diamonds are by no means restricted to Africa.
 
Rich Man Poor Man reports on months of research in the diamond fields of Sierra Leone, Angola and the Congo. There, alluvial diamonds represent the primary source of income for more than one million freelance diggers and their families. On average, however, they earn only a dollar a day. Working conditions are unhealthy and dangerous; cheating, theft and smuggling are rampant.
 
The Key to Kimberley: Internal Diamond Controls-Seven Case Studies - Joint publication with Global Witness, October 2004
The report examines the implementation of new control systems in Belgium, Britain, the United States, Canada, Angola, Ghana and the Democratic Republic of the Congo. The report recognizes the strengths of the Belgian system if implemented fully but is critical of US, British and Canadian regulations because of weak or non-existent government audits of companies dealing with diamonds. The report is much more critical of controls in the Congo and Angola, however. The report recommends much tougher oversight if illicit diamonds are to be excluded from the legitimate diamond trade.
 
This Report warns that the UN Security Council should not lift its 2001 embargo on Liberian diamonds until the country has an effective diamond control mechanism in place. Diamonds have been at the centre of West Africa’s nightmare for more than a decade.
 
This report argues that ending the phenomenon of conflict diamonds now and in the future still requires considerable work. Corporate social responsibility in the diamond industry is not about making donations to charity; it is about how and whether private sector firms can help to prevent corruption, state collapse and war.
 
Thisi report exposes the continuing crises of armed violence in the West African sub-region by highlighting the role and influence of diamonds and concludes with recommendations for the UN Security Council and the Kimberley Process.
 
This report discusses the strong likelihood that conflict diamonds from the Democratic Republic of the Congo and elsewhere are being laundered through the Central African Republic. Concludes with recommendations for the government of the CAR and for the Kimberley Process.
 
This report examines the Indian diamond industry, the world's major cutting and polishing centre. While the report finds no direct evidence of conflict diamonds in India, it concludes that the Indian diamond industry - like others - must ensure that effective international mechanisms are implemented to stop the trade in conflict diamonds.
 
Provides an overview and analysis of the situation in Sierra Leone with respect to the diamond industry since the UN intervention in 2000 and examines the role of Sierra Leone's Lebanese community in the diamond industry.
 
Assesses the effectiveness of the proposed Kimberley Process certification scheme for rough diamonds to halt the trade in conflict diamonds. The paper concludes that without regular independent monitoring of all national control systems, the Kimberley Process will create a false sense of security, ultimately placing the entire diamond industry at risk.
 
This report links the wars in Angola and the Congo, along with other conflicts in Central Africa, to the massive illicit trade in conflict diamonds. Concludes with recommendations for countries in Central Africa, the United Nations, the Kimberley Process and donor agencies.
 
The report investigates the extent to which diamonds contribute to development in South Africa, Namibia and Botswana, countries which have been the most vocal champions of "prosperity diamonds" or "diamonds for development".
 
A report on the emerging diamond industry in Canada, specifically in the Northwest Territories; describes elements of the Canadian diamond experience which might be of use in other countries, and examines Canada's readiness for an international diamond certification system. The report concludes with recommendations for governments in Canada.
 
This report traces the development of Guinea's diamond industry and discusses the devastating attacks by Sierra Leonean rebels in 2000 and 2001, arguing that the objective was part of a wider scheme to destabilize the region and to further Liberian President Charles Taylor's regional economic ambitions.
 
This study of the Sierra Leone diamond trade and its international connections demonstrated the centrality of diamonds to that country's brutal conflict.