NGO Can’t Find Conflict Stones in India

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(Rapaport…December 6, 2002) A new report commissioned by the nongovernmental organization (NGO) Partnership Africa Canada (PAC) finds “no direct evidence” of conflict diamonds passing through India’s cutting centers. The report’s author found Indian diamantaires to be “complacent” about the apparent lack of illicit stones, and concerned about the soon to be enacted Kimberley Process diamond certification plan.

“The report says that the vast majority of the Indian industry, especially the processing sector, has little awareness of the seriousness of the conflict diamond issue and its humanitarian price, and finds that the Indian diamond industry — like others — has no reason for complacency,” said Susan Isaac, PAC’s conflict diamond project officer. “Neither does it have any reason to fear the Kimberley Process, international certification, or the concept of independent international monitoring. These all stand to benefit a healthy diamond industry.”

Kimberley will “provide greater assurance” that diamonds processed in India are conflict-free, Isaac said, but PAC reiterated its position that more monitoring is needed. Diamond trade organizations and all governments party to the Kimberley Process will keep track of diamonds, but PAC and other NGOs believe that is not enough.

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