The worldwide diamond industry is supervised by some international processes which are now guaranteed by the United Nations. The Kimberley Process Certification Scheme – also known as KPCS – is one of them. It guarantees transparency and certification in trades.
An historical approach
The creation of the KPCS started in 2000. Well-known, Robert Fowler wrote recommendations on diamond trades for the United Nations in March of the same year. The Fowler Report indicated that some parts of the international diamond trades contributed to finance wars in Africa despite the international conviction of the UNITA in 1998, as clearly established by some other investigators and politicians in the past. The United Nations held some meetings with countries and diamond trades companies in 2000. The resolution A/RES/55/56, was proposed after a meeting in Pretoria in September of that year. It introduced the creation of an international certification process, which was then adopted by the UN Assembly in its Resolution 1459 in January 2003. Therefore, the United Nations held an international system for certifying the origin of rough diamonds : the Kimberley Process Certification Scheme. Until now, the main democratic countries on the Earth have joined this international process, that still exists today (international supports were lately renewed to the KPCS in December 2009).
The international guarantees of the KPCS
The Key Process provides transparency because the trades are limited to the member countries, and no diamond could be send or sold if its origin could not be established. A Kimberley Process Certificate must accompany every diamond. This one has to be validated by governments, and must be resistant to forgery. The trades are made with non-suspect companies that ensure warranty declarations. The number of requirements is higher when a diamond has to cross over a border between two States Countries. The security of the sales is ensured by some measures, among which a tamper-resistant container transportation. Every country which couldn’t prove the origin of some of its diamonds, could be removed from the scheme. These were the cases of the Republic of Congo and Côte d’Ivoire. Venezuela has chosen to quit the Kimberley Process. These Countries are now members of the Kimberley Process but don’t ever participate to it. A World Diamond Council is in charge to supervise the KPCS in the diamond industry, by ensuring that the countries respect their commitments.