Antwerp Strikes Deal To Stop Angolan Conflict Diamonds

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(Rapaport…June 29, 2000) After a UN report said the Antwerp Diamond market has dealt in African conflict diamonds, Antwerp’s Diamond High Council (HRD) announced a deal with Angola to organize a central diamond export agency and create certificates of origin for all diamonds imported to Antwerp.

The UN report, submitted in March by Canadian diplomat Robert Fowler, specified Angola rebel leaders’ illicit diamond trade and said, “Extremely lax controls governing the Antwerp market facilitate and perhaps even encourage illegal activity.”

Emphasizing that conflict diamonds make up 3.7 percent of the market and 85 percent of the world’s rough is traded through Antwerp, Peter Meeus, managing director of the HRD said, “As the world’s largest market, we thought it our responsibility, our duty, to find a solution.”

Meeus said they are currently working on similar agreements with Sierra Leone and will speak to Liberia and Congo in July.

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