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IP/07/456

Brussels, 2 April 2007

Kimberley Process: Commission welcomes boost to diamond scheme transparency

The European Commission has welcomed the recent decision of the Kimberley Process to publish for the first time figures on rough diamond production and trade data. Statistical data on diamond trade and production for 2004 and 2005 is now available at: https://mmsd1.mms.nrcan.gc.ca/kimberleystats/publicstats.asp.
2006 data will be made available later in the year.

European Commissioner for External Relations and Neighbourhood Policy, Benita Ferrero-Waldner, said “The publication of diamond trade data shows the growing strength of the Kimberley Process and its commitment to constant improvement. While there was not consensus on this degree of transparency when the scheme began, all participants now agree to the new level of openness.

She added: “This contributes directly to one of the main aims of the Commission as Chairman of the Kimberley Process this year. We are determined to continue to eliminate hiding places for conflict diamonds in the legitimate, Kimberley-certified trade.”

The Kimberley Process Certification Scheme (KPCS) was launched in 2002 by governments, civil society and the diamond industry in response to the role of diamonds in funding devastating civil wars in Africa during the 1990s. It includes all major producing, trading and cutting countries, and represents 71 countries (44 states and the European Commission representing all 27 EU Member States). The KPCS is a multilateral import and export control regime designed to prevent the trade in conflict diamonds through the use of certificates to accompany all international shipments of rough diamonds. The KPCS requires members to implement effective controls over diamond production and trade.

The European Commission has been at the forefront of the KPCS, contributing to its development into an ever more effective instrument for eradicating trade in conflict diamonds. It took the lead in establishing an effective peer review mechanism, and led the first-ever monitoring visit under the Scheme. The Commission serves as 2007 Chair.

For further information on the EC Chairmanship of the Kimberley Process, please contact:

KP Chair and Secretariat - relex-kp-secretariat@ec.europa.eu

The EC and the Kimberley Process: http://ec.europa.eu/external_relations/kimb/intro/index.htm

For further information concerning Kimberley Process statistics, please contact:

Rob Dunn, Chair, Kimberley Process Working Group on Statistics, rdunn@nrcan.gc.ca


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