Almost 40 countries have agreed to introduce next year the system of international control over trade in rough diamonds for the purpose of cutting short the financing, with its help, of local wars and conflicts.
Such is the main result of the international conference held at the ministerial level which was over yesterday evening in Interlaken (Switzerland). Taking part in it were representatives of the European Union and of another 40 countries, including the Russian delegation headed by deputy foreign minister Andrei Denisov.
The conference has become an important stage in giving a specific expression to two-year efforts of the international community within the framework of the Kimberley process aimed at stopping the financing, through "conflict diamonds," of sanguinary internecine conflicts in the developing countries. Experts estimate their cost at 2 percent of the total volume of the world trade in precious stones.
The basis for the new control system, approved practically by all leading exporters and importers of rough diamonds, will be their compulsory certification during their delivery to the market, which will officially confirm the origin of the precious stones. Each batch of diamonds should have a visa of the authorities of countries which supply and consume them.
The declaration adopted at the conference in Interlaken does not fix any time-limits for the states to join the new control system, yet the year 2003 has been determined as the basic period.
Most countries which participated in the conference expressed intention to adopt new rules of trade in rough diamonds, called certification scheme of the Kimberley process, early next year.