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Diamond Industry Resolves to Ban "Conflict Diamonds"

The 29th World Diamond Congress met last week from July 16 to July 19 in Antwerp, Belgium where the issue of "conflict diamonds," diamonds mined from warring countries including Sierra Leone and Angola, was the dominating topic. Conflict diamonds have fueled and funded wars in these countries, as well as led to the murder and mutilation of thousands of people. These conflict diamonds are estimated to account for four percent of $6.8 billion diamond production industry. On July 19, at the end of the Congress, a resolution was introduced by International Diamond Manufacturers Association (IDMA) and the World Federation of Diamond Bourses, which calls for an international system of certifying gemstones's origins, as well as a registry to monitor the sales, imports, and exports of the precious stones. The resolution was unanimously endorsed, including the approval of De Beers, the diamond trader that controls 60 percent of the entire diamond supply. The IDMA and the World Federation of Diamond Bourses believe that these measures will be implemented by the end of the year.
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Date of Scout Publication 2000-07-27
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