The Kimberley Process is an international forum joining governments, non-governmental and civil society organizations involved in the diamond industry. The Process was established in 2003 as a means for instituting a reliable trade system of ‘conflict-free’ rough diamonds. In other words, the Kimberley Process endeavored to develop a trade mechanism which would eradicate the funding of guerilla organizations, wars and illegal operations in some of the African diamond producing states. The Process began as a series of meetings among southern African state governments in the city of Kimberly in South Africa. These governments, including South Africa, Namibia and Botswana, joined an initiative aimed at tracking the traffic of rough diamonds worldwide.
The Kimberley Process Certification Scheme imposes the requirement for official certification on each rough diamond shipment sent from the exporting state. In addition, the World Diamond Council is responsible for the issuing of invoices for polished diamonds throughout their sale process. Invoices sealed with the official stamp serve as proof that the diamonds are conflict free. The Kimberley Process also states that rough diamond trade with non-participating entities is forbidden.
More than 70 countries are members of the Kimberley Process. Israel, one of the Process’ founders, was the first in the world to issue its certification in 2003. At last year’s Kimberley Conference held in New Delhi it was decided that in 2010 Israel shall assume the position of Chair of this prestigious entity.