The Blood Diamond - Seeker's Thoughts

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The Blood Diamond

Introduction: The Kimberley Process and the Blood Diamond - India to chair Kimberley process certification scheme to prevent the flow of blood diamonds. 
India will chair the Kimberley Approach Certification Plan from 1st January 2019. It was handed Chairmanship by the European Union throughout KPCS plenary 2018, which was held in Brussels, Belgium.

India and KPCS
India is the founding member of KPCS and is actively in KP activities to ensure that almost 99% of the diamond trade in the world is conflict free.
India is committed to maintaining KP as an efficient and effective process in order to ensure the conflict diamond free status.
Further, it is at the forefront in addressing the issue of differentiation between Natural Diamonds and Lab Grown diamonds and ensures responsible business in this area.

About Kimberley Process
It is a joint initiative of government, industry and civil societies to stem the flow of conflict diamonds’, rough diamonds used by a rebel group to finance wars against legitimate governments. It is also described in the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) resolutions.
As it is mentioned above that India is one of the founding members of KPCS. At present, KPCS has 54 members representing 81 countries including EU with 28 members.
KPCS came into effect from 1 January 2003 through United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) resolution. It outlines the rules that govern trade in rough diamonds. It has evolved into an effective mechanism for stopping the trade in conflict diamonds. It sets minimum requirements that each participant must meet. In India, the scheme is administered through the Department of Commerce under the aegis of the Union Commerce and Industry Ministry.

What are conflict diamonds?
Conflict or “blood” diamonds are illegally traded to fund conflict in war-torn areas, particularly in central and western Africa, according to the world diamond council, which represents the commercial diamond trade.

The United Nations defines conflict diamonds as diamonds that originate from areas controlled by forces or factions opposed to legitimate and internationally recognized governments; and are used to fund military action in opposition to those governments, or in contravention of the decision of the Security Council.
At the height of the civil war in Sierra Leone, it is estimated that conflict diamonds represented approximately 4% of the world’s diamond production.

Who suffers?
Apart from the innocent people caught up in the conflicts that the trade fuels, thousands of men, women, and children in countries such as Sierra Leone are used as slaves to extract diamonds. They are often forced to use primitive, back-breaking methods such as digging tint mud or gravel along river banks with theory bare hands. Te collected material is then separated using hand-held sieves.

Is the “conflict trade” limited to diamonds?
No. According to global witness, rebel fighters and army units have hijacked the trade in mineral ores, used in the production of mobile phones and computers, from eastern Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), while subjecting the local population to massacres, rape, extortion, and forced labor.
The “conflict minerals” are then laundered into the global supply chain by export houses, before being transformed into refined metals by large international smelting firms. Global Witness says the operations of some of the world’s leading consumer brands are now being scrutinized for evidence of links to this rogue trade.

Committee India has chaired
India chaired the Ad hoc Committee on Review and Reform (AHCRR). The AHCRR held one joint session with chairs of other working group and 4 sessions with AHCRR committee members to discuss the issue of funding of permanent secretariat (PS), Multi-Donor Trust Fund (MDTF), peer review mechanism and consolidation to the core document.