The Kimberley Process Civil Society Coalition (KP CSC) has joined an international chorus demanding an end to the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
The KP CSC – a group of non-government organisations, which is an official ‘Observer’ of the Kimberley Process – was established in the early 2000s with the aim of preventing ‘blood diamonds’ from entering the mainstream rough diamond market, thus eliminating one method of financing conflict, most notably in Africa.
Over the last two decades the KP CSC has expanded its focus internationally and now, following the invasion of Ukraine in late February, the organisation is one of many demanding an immediate end to the conflict.
“We feel deep sorrow that yet another violent conflict is causing loss of lives and human suffering,’’ KP CSC said in a statement released on March 14.
“We strongly condemn all violations of human rights and international humanitarian law and call on the Russian Federation to immediately and unconditionally end its aggression.”
“The KP CSC has a specific mission to ensure that diamonds contribute to peace and prosperity, rather than conflict and misery. With this aim, we have always and continue to call on industry and governments in diamond producing, trading and manufacturing countries to make sure that diamond revenues do not contribute to financing conflict, violence or human rights abuse.”
The statement drew attention to diamond mining company Alrosa specifically. The Russian Federation owns one third of the shares of Alrosa, which is currently the largest diamond mining company in the world.
Another third of the company is owned by the Republic of Sakha in far east Russia, which is where most of the country’s diamonds are mined.
Alrosa produces around 32 million carats per annum, which equates to about 30 per cent of the world supply. It has the world’s largest diamond reserves too with more than 1bn carats in the ground. The company currently has projects in Angola and exploration development on-going in Zimbabwe.
The KP CSC stated that due to the size of the company and the global impact it has on the sector, moves must be made to prevent Alrosa from directly or indirectly contributing to the conflict in Ukraine.
“We therefore call upon governments, industry and the Kimberley Process (KP) Certification Scheme to ascertain that diamonds produced in Russia or by Russia’s state-owned diamond miner Alrosa do not contribute to financing conflict,” the statement reads.
“The Coalition in particular appeals to Botswana as 2022 Kimberley Process Chair to call a dedicated KP plenary meeting to establish if and which measures are required to secure that diamonds produced in Russia or by Alrosa do not contribute to financing this conflict.”