What Are Conflict Diamonds?
Blood Diamonds (Conflict Diamonds or War Diamonds) are illicitly mined particularly in war-torn territories to finance military insurgencies, rebel movements, a foreign army's efforts in war, etc. often in an endeavor to overthrow the legitimate government in power. These diamonds are associated with rebellious motives or to serve the interests of demagogues. Conflict Diamonds go on to support a blatant abuse of basic human rights and contravene the existing constitution.
The history of blood diamonds dates back to the 1990s when rebellious congregations in countries like Angola, Ivory Coast, Liberia and the Democratic Republic of Congo mined and sold these stones to fund their efforts. It is estimated that these groups amassed exorbitant sums of money through their sale, which in turn unfurled violence and disrupted the lives of civilians in the name of liberation.
Global Witness, an international NGO, was lauded for the part they played in identifying the link between burgeoning conflicts in Africa and the diamonds. It released a report in the year 1998, titled 'A Rough Trade', which lucidly articulated this connection. The United Nations' initial initiative to stem the flow of Blood Diamonds was passed in the same year and further elaborated on how these diamonds were mined as the primary catalyst to fund wars. Diamond sale and purchase from Liberia was embargoed subsequently.
Despite these efforts, the sale of Conflict Diamonds elevated by 3%. Illegal mining perpetuated in numerous countries and the United Nations, as a retaliatory measure, appointed the Canadian Ambassador Robert Fowler to discern and curb their proliferation.
The Kimberley Process
As a natural repercussion of the Fowler Report, the 'United Nations Security Council Resolution 1295' was incorporated. Subsequently, the diamond manufacturing companies of Southern Africa convened in Kimberley to mitigate illegal activities from the market and assure the buyers that their diamonds were not conflicted.
The convention met on July 19, 2000 and decided to adopt an international certification technique for the import and export of diamonds, coupled with canons in all countries to ensure that they accept only officially sealed packages of diamonds. The Kimberley Process Certificate has been deemed mandatory for diamond trading since the beginning of the 21st century.
The Kimberley Process houses around 54 participants representing 81 countries till date. These countries account for about 99.8% of the total diamonds produced in the world, thus making the probability for exploitation more and more unlikely. Effectively, the flow of Blood Diamonds has been curtailed to less than 1%.
The underlying tenets of this scheme comprise of extensive requirements imposed on its participating countries. First and foremost, the process demands a certificate of ethical provenance which dissolves any conflicts on the origin of diamond. The process demands all the diamonds be shipped in a container impervious to tampering accompanied by a government validated Kimberley Process Certificate.
Export is highly confined to those countries who are members of the Kimberley Process Certification Scheme. Countries must also be transparent in their operations and willingly exchange statistical data.
To ensure uncompromised integrity in all our procedures, every last diamond in Opulenzo’s catalogues is sourced from only a select few brokers with extremely steadfast ethical standards. To attest to this, each rough diamond purchased by us is accompanied by an official Kimberley Process Certificate substantiating the purity of its origins.