What is the Kimberley Process?

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pohnpei397 | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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The Kimberley Process is a process for certifying that diamonds that a country wants to export are not “blood diamonds” or “conflict diamonds.”  Countries that export diamonds and countries that import them can both be part of this process.  A country that is part of the process may not import diamonds from a country that is not part of the process.

Africa is a continent that has long been the site of a great deal of conflict.  There are many countries in Africa where rebel movements oppose the recognized governments.  These rebel movements often try to fund themselves by selling whatever sorts of resources are produced by the areas that they control.  One of the resources that they often try to sell is diamonds.  The diamonds that the rebel movements possess are called conflict diamonds.  When the prevalence of conflict diamonds became known, countries, as well as other stakeholders like the diamond industry, started to try to make sure that conflict diamonds could not be sold in world markets.  The Kimberley Process is the process that has been set up to try to achieve this goal.

The most important aspect of the process is that any shipment of diamonds across international borders must be certified by the government of the country of origin.  The government must certify that the diamonds are not conflict diamonds.  The certificates must be resistant to forgery and the containers the diamonds are shipped in must be tamper-resistant.  Importing countries can only buy diamonds that meet these requirements.

The Kimberley Process, then, is a process that is meant to certify that diamonds that are in international trade are not conflict diamonds.

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