Africa has a history of political turmoil, which often led to frequent Coups staged by the military. These armed forces used proceeds from sales of illegitimate diamonds to fund their operations. In Angola, UNITA used the illegitimate trade of diamonds to fund itself. This resulted in sanctions being placed upon Angola by the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) in July 1998. The world became aware that “conflict diamonds” were being used fund and sustain armed rebel forces in various African countries.
Establishment of the KPCS
A meeting of Southern African diamond-producing states was held in Kimberley in May 2000 to discuss issues presented by conflict diamonds. This meeting signified the beginning of what would later become known as the Kimberley Process.
Also in the year 2000, The World Federation of Diamond Bourses and the International Diamond Manufacturers Association met in Antwerp and passed a resolution creating the World Diamond Council (WDC). The WDC was mandated to develop and implement a tracking system for the export and import of rough diamonds. This system was to be used to prevent conflict diamonds from entering the mainstream diamond trade.
In December 2000, to support the WDC, the United Nations General Assembly adopted a resolution calling for the creation of an international certification scheme for rough diamonds. That proposed scheme became the framework for the Kimberly Process Certificate Scheme.
A Kimberley Process meeting took place in Interlaken, Switzerland in November 2002. At this meeting 37 nations signed the Kimberley Process Certification System. They all agreed that a certificate would accompany rough diamonds on import and export. Rough diamonds will not be exported to countries that are not participants of the System. The System was officially implemented in 2003. That same year, South Africa was appointed as the first Chair of the Kimberley...