UN Sponsors Conflict Diamond Hearings

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(Rapaport…August 1, 2000) After imposing an 18-month ban on all Sierra Leone diamonds, the UN is sponsoring two-day public hearings to find solutions that will end the trade of conflict diamonds.

Beginning July 31, diamond industry representatives and human rights groups including Global Witness of London, Human Rights Watch, and Partnership Africa Canada, are slated to speak before members of the Security Council’s Sierra Leone sanctions committee.

On the second day, tactical weapon and aviation experts will join African government officials when they discuss ways to deplete rebel funds that have caused Sierra Leone’s decade-long civil war.

Ambassador Anwarul Karim Chowdhury of Bangladesh, head of the Sierra Leone sanctions committee, will lead the meetings.

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