U.S. Department of State
U.S. Department of State
Other State Department Archive SitesU.S. Department of State
U.S. Department of State
U.S. Department of State
U.S. Department of State
U.S. Department of State
U.S. Department of State
U.S. Department of State
Home Issues & Press Travel & Business Countries Youth & Education Careers About State Video
Fact Sheet
Bureau of Public Affairs
Washington, DC
April 21, 2008

Rough Diamonds and The Kimberley Process

Get Acrobat Reader PDF version   

Multilateral Diplomacy and Conflict Prevention

 “Diamonds are critical to the economic growth and development of African and other countries, so preserving their legitimate trade is an important foreign policy objective.”
 – President George W. Bush, April 25, 2003

Conflict diamonds are diamonds used by rebel movements or their allies to finance conflict aimed at undermining legitimate governments. The use of diamonds to finance conflict remains a problem in Africa, particularly in Côte d’Ivoire and regions of the Democratic Republic of the Congo.


  • Many of the world’s most fragile states are diamond producers.
  • African countries produce roughly 65% of the world’s diamonds. 
  • Diamonds play a major role in African economic development. 
  • An estimated 10 million people globally are directly or indirectly supported by the diamond industry.

The Kimberley Process Certification Scheme was launched in 2003 to control and monitor the trade in rough diamonds and prevent the atrocities witnessed in African countries such as Sierra Leone and Angola in the 1990s. The Kimberley Process now includes 74 countries and covers more than 99 percent of the world’s diamond production.

Under the Kimberley Process, rough diamonds must be must be shipped in sealed containers and exported with a forgery-resistant certificate which certifies that the diamonds are from conflict-free areas. The Kimberley Process monitors diamond trade through a system of peer reviews and by analyzing diamond trade and production data which is submitted quarterly by participating countries.

The United Nations Security Council first endorsed Kimberley Process efforts to control rough diamonds in Resolution 1295 in April 2002. Most recently, the United Nations General Assembly approved a resolution on November 26, 2007, recognizing that continued action to curb the trade in conflict diamonds is necessary. Kimberley Process countries met in Brussels, Belgium, in November 2007 and agreed to strengthen government oversight over the diamond industry in countries that produce, trade, cut and polish diamonds.

U.S. Government agencies have taken steps to strengthen controls over the U.S. diamond industry in response to a General Accountability Office (GAO) review of the 2003 Clean Diamond Trade Act. U.S. agencies will inspect rough diamond imports and exports, provide confirmation of shipments to foreign exporting authorities and improve data collection on diamond imports and exports.

The U.S. Department of State and U.S. Agency for International Development and the U.S. State Department have allotted more than $14 million since 1999 to programs to strengthen government controls in the diamond sectors in Sierra Leone and Liberia. New programs to provide geological assessments and address land tenure issues have been launched in Guinea, Mali and the Central African Republic.

For more information see:
Contact: U.S. Special Advisor for Conflict Diamonds 
Sue Saarnio, U.S. Department of State 202-647-1713

  Back to top

U.S. Department of State
USA.govU.S. Department of StateUpdates  |   Frequent Questions  |   Contact Us  |   Email this Page  |   Subject Index  |   Search
The Office of Electronic Information, Bureau of Public Affairs, manages this site as a portal for information from the U.S. State Department. External links to other Internet sites should not be construed as an endorsement of the views or privacy policies contained therein.
About state.gov  |   Privacy Notice  |   FOIA  |   Copyright Information  |   Other U.S. Government Information

Published by the U.S. Department of State Website at http://www.state.gov maintained by the Bureau of Public Affairs.