YEREVAN (Armenpress)-The Central African Republic–the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC)–and the Republic of Congo and Tanzania are among 58 participants eligible for trade in rough diamonds with the US in accordance with the Clean Diamond Trade Act–the US State Department announced Monday. Trade will be conducted in accordance with the Kimberley Process Certification Scheme (KPCS). The KPCS has its origins in the Southern African diamond-producing countries’ 2000 decision to take action to stop the flow of conflict diamonds-diamonds originating from areas controlled by forces opposing legitimate governmen’s and used to fund military action against those governmen’s-to the markets–while at the same time protecting the legitimate diamond industry. Since then–the initiative has grown and evolved to include more than 70 countries involved in the production–export and import–as well as trade in rough diamonds.
According to Global Witness–a UK-based NGO working to highlight the links between the exploitation of the natural resources and human rights abuses–the trade in conflict and illicit rough diamonds has funded and prolonged conflicts in Angola–Sierra Leone–Liberia and the DRC Congo–and has also funded international terrorism. The US State Department said the list of participants would be updated periodically as additional countries meet the requiremen’s of the Act.
The complete list of approved participants is as follows: Algeria–Angola–Armenia–Australia–Belarus–Botswana–Brazil–Burkina Faso–Cameroon–Canada–Central African Republic–China–Democratic Republic of the Congo–Republic of the Congo–Cote d’Ivoire–Cyprus–Czech Republic–European Community–Gabon–Ghana–Guinea–Guyana–Hungary–India–Israel–Japan–Democratic People’s Republic of Korea–Republic of Korea–Laos–Lebanon–Lesotho–Malaysia–Mali–Malta–Mauritius–Mexico–Namibia–Norway–Philippines–Poland–Russia–Sierra Leone–Slovenia–South Africa–Sri Lanka–Swaziland–Switzerland–Taiwan–Tanzania–Thailand–Togo–Tunisia–Turkey–Ukraine–United Arab Emirates–Venezuela–Vietnam and Zimbabwe.