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Timeline of The Kimberly Process

1998

June 24, 1998 - The United Nations Security Council (UNSC) adopted a resolution, which prohibited, among other measures, the direct or indirect export of unofficial Angolan diamonds (those not accompanied by a Certificate of Origin issued by the Angolan Government). The Angolans showed no co-operation & as a result sanctions came into force on 1 July, 1998.

1999

October 3, 1999 - Global Witness led a group of four European NGOs in a new initiative called 'Fatal Transactions'. The group comprised Global Witness (UK), Medico International (Germany), Netherlands Institute for Southern Africa (Netherlands) & Novib (part of OXFAM). The coalition published a press release entitled 'Campaign launched to stop billion dollar diamond trade from funding conflict in Africa'. It was accompanied by a PR campaign aimed at selected journalists & jewelry retailers that used mock diamond rings in jewelry boxes with labels attached giving negative statistics about the diamond industry's impact on the prospects of peace in Angola.

2000

May 11-12, 2000 - A forum was held in Kimberley to discuss the issues surrounding conflict diamonds. This meeting signified the start of the Kimberley Process (KP). July 5, 2000 - The UN Security Council voted to impose a world-wide ban on the purchase of rough diamonds from Sierra Leone.

July 2000 - The World Federation of Diamond Bourses and the International Diamond Manufacturers Association met in Antwerp and passed a resolution creating the World Diamond Council (WDC). The resolution called for the not-for-profit WDC to develop and implement a tracking system for the export and import of rough diamonds to prevent the exploitation of diamonds for illegal purposes.

September 4-5, 2000 - A meeting of over 50 delegates from all the main diamond producing & importing countries, except Sierra Leone, DRC & India, was hosted by Namibia's Ministry of Mines & Energy. The aim of the two days was to complete the drafting of a document outlining the working group's proposals & also to draft a statement for publication by Ministers, both for ratification at a Ministerial meeting to be held in Pretoria on 21st September.

September 7, 2000 - The inaugural meeting of the World Diamond Council is held in Tel Aviv, where it is agreed that the Council be mandated to develop further & implement a comprehensive plan to curtail the trade in conflict diamonds while minimizing impact on the legitimate diamond trade.

September 19-21, 2000 - Governments, industry and NGOs finalized a document to be put forward at a forthcoming London Conference in preparation of a UN General Assembly Resolution (UNGAR) concerning ending the trade in conflict diamonds.

October 25-26, 2000 An Intergovernmental Conference held in London (chaired by the UK Government) established a working document to be put forward for discussion at the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA).

December 1, 2000 - The United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) passed a draft resolution on conflict diamonds, which became the framework for the introduction of a global certification system and for nations to devise and implement national legislation regarding diamond trading activities.

2001

February 13-16, 2001 - The first time the term 'Kimberley Process' was officially used. A meeting of the 38 governments of countries involved in the Kimberley Process took place in Windhoek, Namibia.

February 20, 2001 - The Israeli diamond banks issued a notice to their clients warning them of the conflict diamond issue, urging them to comply with UN resolutions. They advised their clients not to deal in conflict goods.

April 25-27, 2001 - The Kimberley Process inter-governmental group met in Brussels, Belgium to further the process of the global certification system.

May 7, 2001 - UN Security Council Resolution 1343 re Liberia automatically took effect in the absence of evidence that Monrovia had stopped supporting armed groups in the region, in particular the RUF in Sierra Leone. The resolution included the banning of diamond exports from Liberia until proof was shown that a certification scheme had been introduced.

July 3-4, 2001 - The Kimberley Process participants met in Plenary Session in Moscow. The main objective of the meeting was to define minimum acceptable standards for an international system of certification of rough diamonds, consistent with the mandate set out in the United Nations General Assembly Resolution.

September 11-13, 2001 - The Kimberley Process participants met in Plenary Session in the UK.

October 30 - November 1, 2001 - The participants in the Kimberley Process met in Plenary Session in Luanda, Angola.

November 26-28, 2001 - The Kimberley Process met in Gaborone, Botswana and agreed the minimum standards for a global certification system.

2002

March 13, 2002 The WDC formally adopted the System of Warranties in Milan. Under this system, which has been endorsed by all Kimberley Process participants, all buyers and sellers of both rough and polished diamonds must make the following affirmative statement on all invoices: "The diamonds herein invoiced have been purchased from legitimate sources not involved in funding conflict and in compliance with United Nations Resolutions. The undersigned hereby guarantees that these diamonds are conflict free, based on personal knowledge and/or written guarantees provided by the supplier of these diamonds."

March 18-20, 2002 - Kimberley Process meeting took place in Canada.

July 18, 2002. The European Commission released a 1st draft of a 'Council Regulation ? Implementing the Kimberley Process Certification System for the International trade in rough diamonds'.

November 4-5, 2002 - Kimberley Process meeting took place in Interlaken, Switzerland. 37 nations signed the Kimberley Process Certification System whereby rough diamonds will be accompanied by a certificate on import and export. Rough diamonds will not be exported to countries who are not participants of the System. The System was to be implemented on January 1, 2003. Many participant countries were ill prepared to fully implement the Process, including the US and UK. A 'grace' period was issued until May 1, 2003.

2003

January 1, 2003 South Africa is appointed Chair of the Kimberley Process.

February 13, 2003 -The UK Government Diamond Office (UKGDO) was formally opened.

April 24, 2003 - US President Bush signed and made law HR 1584 the 'Clean Diamonds Trade Act' implementing regulations that make the US Kimberley Process compliant.

April 30, 2003 - The Kimberley Process convened for a plenary meeting in Johannesburg. The full implementation of the Kimberley Process was extended until 31st July 2003 for new participants. Those countries already accepted as participants were required to be fully legally compliant by May 1, 2003.

May 1, 2003 - The Kimberley Process was fully implemented in all participant countries. Only participant countries are now allowed to trade in rough diamonds with each other. New applicants for participation are given until July 31 to implement national legislation.

June 4, 2003 - The United Nations Security Council lifted the regulation regarding the export of diamonds from Sierra Leone.

October 20, 2003 - Kimberley Process Plenary meeting in Sun City, South Africa, where the main topic was establishing the criteria for monitoring the Kimberley Process.

2004

January 1, 2004 Canada appointed Chair of Kimberley Process.

July 9, 2004 The Republic of Congo (also known as Congo Brazzaville) is removed from the Kimberley Process following a review mission. "The Republic of Congo cannot account for the origin of large quantities of rough diamonds that it is officially exporting", said Tim Martin, Canadian Chairman of the Kimberley Process. "Kimberley Process Participants needed to have complete confidence that conflict diamonds are not entering the legitimate trade. The removal of the Republic of Congo from the list of participants is necessary to safeguard the credibility and integrity of the Kimberley Process Certificate System."

October 29, 2004 The participants of the Kimberley Process met in Plenary in Gatineau, Quebec. President Tim Martin announced in his closing speech and Chairman's report that the Kimberley Process which certifies that diamonds are from areas free of conflict covers 99.8% of all diamonds traded globally.

2005

January 1, 2005 Russia appointed Kimberley Process Chair.

November 17-18, 2005 Kimberley Process Plenary meeting took place in Moscow. The Plenary accepted the representation of Ivory Coast that it would no longer issue Kimberley Process certificates and thus would suspend the official export of rough diamonds form that nation.

December 15, 2005 UN Security Council imposed sanctions on the import and/or export of diamonds from Ivory Coast.

2006

January 1, 2006 Botswana assumed Chair of Kimberley Process.

March 10, 2006 - NGO Partnership Africa Canada released a report on Brazil, claiming roughly half of diamond exports are not accounted for, and therefore, Brazil should be suspended from the Kimberley Process.

March 20, 2006 - Brazil's ambassador to the United Kingdom, Jose Mauricio Bustani, stated to the Financial Times that "the Ministry of Mines and Energy of Brazil is carrying out new inspections in all the mining areas for which Kimberley Process Certificates have been granted."

April, 2006 - Following a Kimberley Process Review Mission to Brazil, certain anomalies and weaknesses within the country's procedures are noted. The Brazilian Government takes swift and affirmative action by suspending its official exports of rough diamonds and is in the process of working with the Kimberley Process to remedy the situation as soon as possible. Please note Brazil remains a member of the Kimberley Process despite the self enforced export ban.

June 19-23, 2006 Botswana hosted the Kimberley Process Intercessional. November 6-10, 2006 Kimberley Process Plenary meeting to take place in Gaborone, Botswana.

Taken from the World Diamond Council Site (diamondfacts.org). Additional information on this site was gathered from several sources, including but not limited to the Gemological Institute of America.

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