Educating GenNext About Kimberley Process Will Create More Demand for Diamonds

Educating GenNext About Kimberley Process Will Create More Demand for Diamonds

One of the main reasons for the waning demand for diamonds is the lack of interest among the younger generations. This is mainly because there is increasing social consciousness among today's youth, and the negativity that has been associated with the diamond trade for so long has put them off. Some of the issues that have tainted the reputation of diamond mining, in particular, include conditions in which mining is carried out, and the use of money from diamonds mined in war zones to finance insurgency, an invading army's war efforts, or the activities of warlords. Diamonds mined during the recent civil wars in Angola, Cote d'Ivoire, Sierra Leone, and other nations have been given the label "blood diamonds", or "conflict diamonds".

Today, with the Kimberley Process's tremendous success in preventing blood diamonds from being traded in across the globe, educating the "GenNext" about 'Kimberly Process' is likely to go a long way in letting them know that buying diamonds from legitimate sources will ensure that the money they spend will not go to fund any illegitimate activities. In fact, KP members account for approximately 99.8% of the global production of rough diamonds.

What is Kimberley Process?

The Kimberley Process (KP) is a joint governments, industry and civil society initiative to stem the flow of conflict diamonds - rough diamonds used by rebel movements to finance wars against legitimate governments.

In December 2000, the United Nations General Assembly adopted a landmark resolution supporting the creation of an international certification scheme for rough diamonds. By November 2002, negotiations between governments, the international diamond industry and civil society organisations resulted in the creation of the Kimberley Process Certification Scheme (KPCS). The KPCS document sets out the requirements for controlling rough diamond production and trade. The KPCS entered into force in 2003, when participating countries started to implement its rules.

The KP has 54 participants representing 81 countries. The World Diamond Council, representing the international diamond industry, and civil society organisations, such as Partnership-Africa Canada, also participate in the KP and have played a major role since the outset.

The Kimberley Process Certification Scheme (KPCS) imposes extensive requirements on its members to enable them to certify shipments of rough diamonds as 'conflict-free' and prevent conflict diamonds from entering the legitimate trade. Under the terms of the KPCS, participating states must meet ‘minimum requirements' and must put in place national legislation and institutions; export, import and internal controls; and also commit to transparency and the exchange of statistical data. Participants can only legally trade with other participants who have also met the minimum requirements of the scheme, and international shipments of rough diamonds must be accompanied by a KP certificate guaranteeing that they are conflict-free.

Of course there have been cases found of illicit trafficking of diamonds, and even fake KP certificates from Angola, Malaysia, Congo, etc, but the KP authorities have come down hard on such instances. The bottom-line is that blood diamonds are no longer able to penetrate the legitimate supply chain like they used to, and although the industry is quite aware of this, consumers are not nearly as aware. Educating consumers and specifically the "Next Generation" of buyers about how the diamond supply pipeline has been cleaned up will likely rekindle people's love-affair with diamonds. Let us all assume the responsibility to spread awareness - after all it is in our industry's interest to do so.