Global Witness "Diamond Industry More Rhetoric than Action"June 07, 06
The diamond industry is failing to deliver on its promises to keep conflict diamonds out of the legitimate trade and appears more worried about heading off bad publicity from the upcoming Leonardo DiCaprio film, The Blood Diamond, than meeting its pledges to the international community, says the campaigning group Global Witness.
“The diamond industry is paying little more than lip-service to the system of self-regulation, launched three years ago, which is intended to help stop diamonds from funding civil wars,” said Corinna Gilfillan of Global Witness, which has been campaigning since 1998 against the trade in diamonds from conflict zones. Profits from this trade have been used by warlords and rebel groups in
According to Global Witness, despite launching the Kimberley Process in January 2003, elements of the diamond industry continue to trade in conflict and illicit diamonds, while the rest of the industry turns a blind eye. The NGO claims that the World Diamond Council and other diamond trade bodies have not systematically monitored how the self-regulation works in practice.
“The industry claims the problem of conflict diamonds has been solved but they’ve only just launched a full educational program, said Gilfillan. "The Blood Diamond is due to be launched around the end of this year, and it’s very hard to avoid the conclusion that the industry is moving now to try and head off bad publicity before the film is launched.”
Global Witness is calling on the diamond industry to move beyond rhetoric and ensure that the self-regulation is backed up with substantive policies and independent auditing measures. The World Diamond Council and other trade bodies should develop and promote a common standard for independent, third-party verification of the self-regulation, says the organization in a release. Governments should also increase oversight of the diamond industry’s compliance with the Kimberley Process. These recommendations should be acted upon as part of the Kimberley Process’ 3 year review to be carried out in 2006.