European Union External Action

European Union takes over chairmanship of Kimberley Process on conflict diamonds

01/01/2018 - 06:00
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Today, the European Union takes over the chairmanship of the Kimberley Process, aimed to ensure sustainable and conflict-free trade in diamonds. Under the leadership of High Representative Vice President Federica Mogherini, the EU will head this international initiative to stem the trade in conflict diamonds during 2018.

CONFLICT DIAMONDS, blood dimonds, European Union, Kimberley Process
 © Flickr/Brian Harrington Spier


The Kimberley Process was launched in 2002 by a coalition of governments, civil society and the diamond industry in response to the role diamonds play in funding some of the most devastating civil wars in Africa.

On the occasion of assuming the lead role, HR/VP Federica Mogherini said "For the European Union, the Kimberley process is part of our work for sustainable development. It is part of our work for sustainable peace – to prevent new conflicts and cut the revenues of criminal and terrorist groups. It is part of our work for human rights – to make sure that diamonds produce wealth, not modern slavery. It has spread the idea that natural resources belong to communities, not militias. The main strength of the Kimberley process has always been that it looks beyond governments, to civil society and to private sector. This is our main asset as we chart the way ahead. We look forward to working closely with all stakeholders in this coming year."



Why is the Kimberley process important?

The Kimberley Process sets out requirements for participating States to control all imports and exports of rough diamonds. The Scheme puts in place rigorous 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 Scheme, and international shipments of rough diamonds must be accompanied by a process Certificate guaranteeing that they are conflict-free.


The EU's Chairmanship of the Kimberley process

The European Union has been at the forefront of the process since the outset and last chaired the Kimberley Process in 2007.

  • The principles of sustainability, inclusiveness, responsibility and dialogue will guide the EU's efforts.
  • Our focus will be on further strengthening the implementation and effectiveness of the Process and on ensuring sustainable livelihoods for producing communities.
  • A series of events will be organised in Antwerp in June and in Brussels in November.