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The Kimberley Process and the UN: Lessons Learned
Didier Verbruggen, February 2008

The United Nations, mainly through the UNSC and the UNGA, has played an important role in the genesis and development of the KPCS, an international control regime aimed at preventing conflict diamonds to enter into the legitimate trade.

The earliest forerunner of the KPCS stems from an embargo imposed by the UNSC in June 1998 on unofficial diamonds from Angola. UNSC Resolution 1173 prohibited all states to import diamonds unaccompanied by a Certificate of Origin issued by the Angolan government. In May 1999, UNSC Resolution 1237 established a Panel of Experts to investigate violations of, among other things, the diamond embargo.

This model was later replicated in the cases of Sierra Leone, Liberia and Côte d’Ivoire. The UNSC through Resolution 1306 (July 2000) called for a Certificate of Origin regime in Sierra Leone to prevent the export of illicit diamonds and established an Expert Panel a month later.
In March 2001, Resolution 1343 prohibited all states to import diamonds from Liberia and at the same time established a Panel. Sanctions on Ivorian diamonds were imposed in December 2005 by UNSC Resolution 1643, which again mandated a Panel to monitor compliance.


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