Global Witness and Partnership Africa Canada - Press Release - 30 April 2007
Liberia Diamond Ban Lifted: Vigilance Needed to Ensure Diamonds Promote Development
The United Nations Security Council voted on Friday to end the embargo on Liberian diamonds following progress made by the Liberian government in establishing a system to combat the trade in conflict diamonds.
"The Government of Liberia has made good progress in establishing a system of controls to prevent diamonds from fuelling conflict," said Global Witness. "This is a welcome step, but effective implementation and enforcement of the Kimberley Process, including accurate reporting and monitoring of trade and production statistics, will be crucial to ensuring that diamonds never again fuel wars. The government of Liberia must work to ensure that its system of controls is rigorously enforced and that it takes full control of all diamond mining areas."
The resolution encourages the Kimberley Process to report to the Security Council within 90 days on whether Liberia is in compliance with the certification scheme. Based on this report and one from the UN Panel of Experts, the Security Council has committed to review its decision to lift the diamond embargo. The Council has also called on the Liberian government to implement the recommendations of the Kimberley Process expert mission.
Partnership Africa Canada said, "The UN Security Council and the Kimberley Process must rigorously monitor Liberia's system of controls to ensure it is effectively enforced. Cooperation with other diamond producing countries of the region will be essential to the effectiveness of the Kimberley Process."
Global Witness and Partnership Africa Canada are calling for continued assistance, support and vigilance from the Kimberley Process, the Security Council and the international community to help the Liberian government achieve these important conflict prevention goals and to make diamonds a positive force for development.
Conflict diamonds have fuelled devastating conflicts in Liberia and other African countries that have resulted in the death and displacement of millions of people.
For further information, please contact:
Annie Dunnebacke in London:
Tel: +44 207 561 6397,
Mobile: +44 7703 108 401
Partnership Africa Canada
Dorothée Gizenga Ngolo in Ottawa:
Tel: +1 613-237-6768 ext. 4