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UN welcomes diamond certification plan

A UN General Assembly resolution on Tuesday welcomed a decision to implement a global certification scheme for rough diamonds, supporting international efforts to break the link between the illegal trade in diamonds and armed conflict.

The plan, known as the Kimberley Process Certification Scheme, establishes minimum acceptable international standards for national certification covering the import and export of rough diamonds, the UN news service reported.

The Kimberley process, spearheaded by South Africa, was launched by southern African diamond-producing countries in 2000 to stem the flow of rough diamonds used by rebel forces to finance armed conflict, and to protect the legitimate diamond industry upon which many countries depend.

The scheme includes the participation of countries that produce and trade in the gems, the European Community, industry representatives and civil society. It went into effect on 1 January 2003.

The General Assembly resolution welcomed the willingness of South Africa to chair the process during its first year of implementation, and encouraged UN member states to join the scheme, stressing that the widest possible participation was essential for its success.

This article was produced by IRIN News while it was part of the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs. Please send queries on copyright or liability to the UN. For more information: https://shop.un.org/rights-permissions

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