e_legs

These ain’t conflict diamonds, is they? Jacob, don’t lie to me man.

In International politics, International Trade, Laws & Regulation on October 11, 2006 at 10:47 am

Conflict diamonds – Kanye West rapped about them last year, activists around the world have been trying to bring attention to the situationfor years, and now the U.S. Government Accountability Office is trying to do something about it. The following was published by Inter Press Service via Common Dreams yesterday.

WASHINGTON – The United States, the world’s largest consumer of diamonds, should adopt stronger oversight measures to choke off a trade that fuels wars and human rights abuses in many exporting nations, a U.S. Congressional report finds.

The Government Accountability Office (GAO), the watchdog arm of the U.S. Congress, acknowledges in a new report that the United States has enhanced the quality of its rough diamond trade data by improving its collection processes, but says that “work remains to be done”.

The international diamond industry has built up a bad reputation in Africa by funding militants, rebel activities and civil wars in the poor continent in its pursuit of gems.

In December, the U.N. Security Council voted unanimously for a ban on diamond exports from Cote d’Ivoire to stop rebels in the war-divided nation from using gems to purchase arms.

In the United States, the Departments of State, Treasury, Homeland Security and Commerce, and the U.S. Kimberley Process Authority (USKPA), a private entity run by U.S. diamond trade groups that issues rough diamond certificates, have all been responsible for controlling U.S. imports and exports of rough diamonds.

But the 68-page report says that the United States lacks an effective system for confirming receipt of imports — a Kimberley Process requirement for avoiding possible diversions of rough diamond imports.

It also notes that the United States has not had a plan for monitoring USKPA, although it is now developing and testing one.

Washington is aiding some countries known for trading in conflict diamonds such as Sierra Leone and Liberia in their efforts to comply global rules, but the process remains severally constrained by the limited capacity and resources of these countries, the report says….

“This report shows that the U.S. government has inadequately enforced the Clean Diamond Trade Act, undermining global efforts to keep conflict diamonds out of the legitimate diamond trade,” said Corinna Gilfillan of the international watchdog group Global Witness.

“This is alarming given that proceeds from the diamond trade have been used by warlords and rebel groups in Africa to finance devastating wars, while terrorists and organised crime groups have used diamonds for money-laundering and other illicit purposes,” she said.

Activists say the findings of the report are particularly important because they urge improvements in the world’s largest diamond consuming country. The United States buys 65 percent of the world’s diamond production.

Read the entire article here.

Edit: After I wrote this, I did a little searching and found a top ten list of reasons not to buy diamonds or accept diamonds as gifts. It’s pretty interesting.

P.S. – Does anybody have any suggestions for nice stones that i can buy for my wife without supporting  the things that diamonds potentialy support.

 
 
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  1. For what it’s worth, my wife and I each wear a silver claddagh ring. It’s sufficient.

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