U.S. General Accounting Office Critical of Kimberley Process

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(Rapaport…June 18, 2002) The U.S. General Accounting Office (GAO) released a report on June 14 that addresses the international effort to combat the trade of conflict diamonds. The report, “International Trade: Critical Issues Remain in Deterring Conflict Diamond Trade,” states that the GAO finds the Kimberley Process proposal for a voluntary international certification scheme to be inadequate and lacking the controls necessary to effectively curb the flow of conflict diamonds.

“We evaluated the proposal using established criteria for assessing accountability and found that its heavy reliance on voluntary participation and lack of attention to potential high-risk areas suggest that participants may face major challenges in implementing an effective scheme to deter trade in conflict diamonds,” the report reads.

The report is also critical of what the GAO perceives as a sub par monitoring mechanism in the Kimberley Process that would assess the quality of performance over time in achieving stated objectives.

“Although the scheme states that the industry system of warranties will help facilitate tracing rough diamond transactions by government authorities, no government-monitoring plan for the system has been proposed,” the report reads.

To view the full report, visit http://www.gao.gov/new.items/d02678.pdf.

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