DeBeers’ Statement on Kimberley Process Agreement

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Statement by Nicky Oppenheimer, chairman of De Beers, regarding the ministerial meeting of the Kimberley Process held in Gaborone on Thursday, November 29, 2001:

I extend my congratulations to the assembled government representatives, the World Diamond Council and the NGOs, for their outstanding achievement in reaching a Kimberley Process consensus after many months of hard negotiations.

All of us in the international diamond industry look forward most eagerly to the Kimberley Process recommendations to the United Nations General Assembly being implemented swiftly by individual countries, so the legitimate supply chain can be secured, the trade in conflict diamonds eliminated and consumers worldwide certain that their diamonds are untainted. For these aims to be realised, it is essential that the provisions of the Kimberley Process are sufficiently robust to prevent any abuse of the mechanisms put in place. There may well be a need for modifications as we go forward, but for today I believe we should celebrate what has been achieved and determined to continue to work together to complete the task.

I am proud of the role played by the diamond industry itself. Through the skilful leadership of the World Diamond Council, the industry worldwide will introduce measures of self-regulation, which have been welcomed by both governments and NGOs and which are now incorporated in the Kimberley Document. Furthermore, the industry has placed its expertise and knowledge at the disposal of governments. We will continue to do everything in our power to assist the international community in bringing an end to the trade in conflict diamonds, protect the integrity of our product and safeguard the reputation of our business.

De Beers, as a South African company, with its partners here in Botswana and Namibia, thanks all participants for their concern in this Process to protect the vital interests of the southern African democracies whose economies benefit from diamonds. I should particularly like to thank South Africa, and Mr. Abbey Chikane, for the excellent and successful way they have handled the demanding task of the Chairmanship of the Kimberley Process, and the Botswana Government for hosting the meetings in Gaborone.

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