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USUN Press Release

United Nations, NYC
December 4, 2006


Statement by Barbara M. Barrett, Senior Adviser, for the United Nations General Assembly Resolution on the Role of Diamonds in Fuelling Conflict

Madame President:

The United States is pleased to co-sponsor the resolution on the role of diamonds in fuelling conflict.

We have made great strides in controlling the flow of conflict diamonds since the late 1990s witnessed brutal atrocities in Africa. Governments have joined forces with the diamond industry and civil society to control and monitor international trade in rough diamonds through the Kimberley Process. We join those in the international community who commend the Kimberley Process for dramatically reducing the flow of conflict diamonds and thus contributing to regional security, peace and stability.

Through the multilateral efforts of the Kimberley Process, we have made remarkable progress in a relatively short period of time to control conflict diamonds. Under the bold leadership this year of the Botswanan Government, Kimberley Process participants took further steps to increase controls on the international diamond trade including calls for increased government oversight of the industry.

Kimberley Process participants have been generous with technical assistance to help diamond-producing countries implement controls, but we encourage other donors to step forward to help diamond producers build capacity to monitor the diamond trade from mine to export. The cooperation of the diamond industry and its commitment to a zero-tolerance policy towards conflict diamonds has been essential to Kimberley Process efforts. The Kimberley Process has been made stronger by the efforts of civil society to identify emerging problems and promote constructive solutions.

The Kimberley Process should not rest on its laurels. Much has been accomplished, but the trade in conflict diamonds remains a threat to some of the most fragile states around the globe. The Kimberley Process will need to remain vigilant and respond quickly when evidence emerges that diamonds may be financing conflict or threatening regional stability. We appreciate the European Commission's willingness to take over the role of Chair of the Kimberley Process in 2007 and look forward to a year of continued close cooperation in the effort to control conflict diamonds.

Thank you, Madame President.

# 379(06)


Released on December 11, 2006

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