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Last Updated: Friday, 1 August, 2003, 16:06 GMT 17:06 UK
UN targets 'blood diamonds' trade
Campaigners have questioned the list's effectiveness
An attempt to crack down on the sale of so-called 'blood diamonds' - diamonds which have been used to help fund civil wars in Africa - has been launched by the United Nations (UN).

Illicit sales of diamonds have helped fund conflicts in Angola, Sierra Leone, Congo and Liberia.

The UN has now published a list of countries that have met its monitoring requirements by introducing national certification schemes that make legal trade in diamonds transparent and secure.

The countries' presence on the UN list means they will be allowed to trade in diamonds under the scheme, while countries which have not met the UN requirements will be excluded.

No guarantee

But pressure groups opposed to the trade have questioned the effectiveness of the UN list.

We already have laws against theft and human rights abuse... these have not stopped conflict diamonds in the past
Ian Smillie, Partnership Africa Canada
"We are a long way away from assuring that countries are not trading in conflict diamonds," Corinna Gilfillan from Global Witness, a non-governmental organisation which has been campaigning on this issue, told BBC World Business Report.

"Passing new regulations is not enough," agreed Ian Smillie of Partnership Africa Canada said.

"We already have laws against theft and human rights abuse. These have not stopped conflict diamonds in the past.

"The laws must have teeth."

But the organisation responsible for monitoring and implementing the scheme, Kimberley Process, insisted that publishing the list was far from a futile move.

"We have come a long way to be where we are today," Abbey Chikane, the chairman of the Process.


WATCH AND LISTEN
Global Witness Corinna Gilfillan
"We are a long way away from assuring that countries are not trading in conflict diamonds"



SEE ALSO:
Bush targets illicit diamonds
26 Apr 03  |  Americas
Al-Qaeda 'traded blood diamonds'
20 Feb 03  |  Africa
'Blood diamond' scheme begins
01 Jan 03  |  Africa


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