Fact Sheet: U.S. Initiatives On “Conflict Diamonds”

Fact Sheet: U.S. Initiatives On "Conflict Diamonds"
U.S. Department of State, Office of the Spokesman

For over a year the United States has been actively involved in initiatives to curb the powerful and far-reaching impact of the illegitimate diamond trade on African conflicts, particularly in Sierra Leone, Congo, and Angola. "It is time to attack the economy of war that supports illicit arms flows," Secretary Albright said in a special ministerial meeting of the UN Security Council last September. "In many instances, these transactions are fueled by sales of gemstones. . . . Too often the profits fund violence and mayhem – as in Sierra Leone, where illicit diamond profits allowed the Revolutionary United Front to transform itself from a band of 400 to a marauding army of thousands."

The Administration’s approach to the complex issue of "conflict diamonds" is to work through a partnership of legitimate diamond-producing states, diamond-consuming and marketing states, and the diamond industry itself. To this end, the Administration has been taking steps to tighten global marketing practices and to build capacity to manage the diamond sector in affected states. At the same time, the U.S. has worked hard to ensure that efforts to address conflict diamonds not harm the stable market democracies in Africa -- particularly Botswana, Namibia and South Africa -- which depend heavily on gemstone diamond production.

In recent months, the United States has made headway in engaging the diamond industry, the diamond producing states, and other members of the international community to address this problem.

The U.S. will work continue to work closely with the southern African states to support full implementation of these important recommendations. The Working Group has already met twice, in June in Luanda and in London in July.

The U.S. has been involved in a series of other activities over the past year to advance prospects for a comprehensive solution:

President and First Lady | Vice President and Mrs. Gore
Record of Progress | The Briefing Room
Gateway to Government | Contacting the White House | White House for Kids
White House History | White House Tours | Help
Privacy Statement


Site Map

Graphic Version

T H E   W H I T E   H O U S E