Authors: Ingrid J. Tamm
Carr Center for Human Rights, John F. Kennedy School of Government
All actors involved in recent efforts to stem the trade in conflict diamonds -- the United Nations, national governments, the diamond industry, and civil society organizations -- are working toward the goal of loosening the ties between diamonds and war, if with differing motivations and senses of urgency. This report assesses progress to date, and shows that there is agreement in principle that an international certification system for diamonds would be an improvement over current ad hoc efforts, which do provide helpful precedents for the future, but cannot substitute for an international system of controls. This report is organized into two parts: 1) an overview of the diamonds and war connection, and 2) an analysis of the global certification negotiations known as the Kimberley Process. A concluding section summarizes an overriding concern -- that the goal of efforts to stop diamonds from funding wars should not lose sight of work that is necessary on other levels to end these wars, most importantly that of strengthening global support for Africa. Only by increasing such global support will the diamonds and war link finally dissolve.
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