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