Origin & Intent of Kimberley Certification
The beginning of the 21st century saw the world attention shifting towards the illegal diamond trade that had already taken a heavy toll on human lives. More than 6 million people were forcefully displaced, over a million were left dead, while many were amputated by the militias operating in different parts of Africa. REASON? THE GLITTERING DIAMONDS.
Years of civil war and the human cost of the diamond trade moved the international community to formally establish a process that would prevent “conflict diamonds” from entering the markets. Under the aegis of the UNITED NATIONS and as per the resolution 55/56 of the UN General Assembly, KPSC (Kimberley Process Certification Scheme) was established in 2003. Since the first meeting of the diamond producing countries with the concerned people took place in Kimberley, Northern Cape in the year 2000, the certification got its name from there.
Since the time of KPCS’ establishment, most of the militias were taking control of the diamond mines in the regions like Angola, DRC Congo, Sierra Leone, etc., it was thought that delegitimising the diamonds coming from those mines would be the solution.
THE INTENT OF KPCS
The intended purpose of KPCS was to streamline the diamond trade in such a way that conflict diamonds could not enter the market. It was hoped that this would reduce the incentive of the militias dominating the diamond mines and this reduced incentive, over a period of time, would result in them relinquishing the mines, bringing order to the situation.
After all, if one is not buying diamonds from any suspected source, this would naturally affect those benefiting from it and soon things will come back to normal.
The Kimberley System made it mandatory for both, the buyers as well as the sellers of rough and polished diamonds to mention the following statement in their invoices in order to add credibility to the certification;
“The diamonds herein invoiced have been purchased from legitimate sources not involved in funding conflict and in compliance with United Nations resolutions. The seller hereby guarantees that these diamonds are conflict free, based on personal knowledge and/or written guarantees provided by the supplier of these diamonds.”
The KPCS’ sole purpose is to stop the sale of diamonds that directly benefit or fund the militias operating in the African region.
Today, there are 81 countries that adhere to the KPCS.