Lightweight, valuable and easy to mine and smuggle, rough diamonds have been responsible for fuelling some of the worst armed conflict in Africa—from Sierra Leone and Liberia to Angola and the Democratic Republic of Congo.
More recently countries like Zimbabwe and Angola have emerged as the main perpetrators of diamonds-related human rights abuses, as their governments have wage violent campaigns to control lucrative diamond fields. In such jurisdictions, diamonds are often used to shore up threatened political elites, perpetuate corruption and deprive state coffers of much needed revenues.
For over a decade PAC has been at the forefront of a global campaign to stop violence in diamond producing areas and create a responsibly managed diamond supply chain.
PAC is internationally recognized for the leadership role it played during the negotiations that led to the creation of the Kimberley Process (KP), a UN mandated system initiated in 2000 to break the link between the trade in rough diamonds and armed conflict. We later helped negotiate the Kimberley Process Certification Scheme, the regulatory mechanism used by the KP which came into effect in 2003. PAC continues to be actively involved in the day to day affairs of the KP.
The Kimberley Process is not our only focus. PAC carries out extensive investigative and policy research, public education and advocacy on conflict diamonds and the developmental potential of diamonds. In doing so PAC works with the diamond industry, governments and civil society in Africa and elsewhere to ensure greater development impact from diamonds, especially in countries emerging from conflict, so that diamonds become an asset for, rather than a detriment to peaceful and long-term development.