The EU starts to lead the Kimberley Process – by Valentina Ruiz Leotaud ( – January 2, 2017)

The European Union has taken over the chairmanship of the Kimberley Process for 2018, a decade after it last directed the initiative. Federica Mogherini, who is an Italian politician and the High Representative of the bloc for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, will be heading the operation.

Kimberley is a process started in 2003 following the United Nations General Assembly’s Resolution 55/56.

It is aimed at removing conflict diamonds from the global supply chain, which means that participants have to go through a certification scheme that ensures that their diamond purchases are not financing violence by rebel movements aiming at undermining legitimate governments.

In detail, the scheme puts in place internal controls over production and trade. Participating states can only legally trade with other participating states who have also met the minimum requirements of the program, and international shipments of rough diamonds must be accompanied by a certificate guaranteeing that they are conflict-free.

The system is not flawless, though. It has received criticisms, particularly following several media investigations on the different ways countries elude its rules, which led to human rights watchdog group Global Witness to leave the project in 2011.

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