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Diplomacy – NGOs and Conflict Diamonds GEOG220. Global Witness JZE JZE.

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Presentation on theme: "Diplomacy – NGOs and Conflict Diamonds GEOG220. Global Witness JZE JZE."— Presentation transcript:

1 Diplomacy – NGOs and Conflict Diamonds GEOG220

2 Global Witness JZE JZE

3 Viktor Bout


5 Leonid Minin


7 Outline Resources and armed conflicts – Empirical evidence The case of diamonds -Structure of the industry -Conflict diamonds cases -Anti-conflict diamond responses

8 What do statistical studies find? About 20 large-N studies on resource dependence and wars: Conflict likelihood: low except for oil and diamonds Duration: relative (oil shortens if out of conflict area, prolongs if in, diamonds prolong) Severity: relative (more severe for oil and diamonds; less severe for narcotics) Termination: favor military government (by government)

9 $13 billion industry millions of workers De Beers controls 70%

10 The (political) geology of diamonds


12 Comparison Botswana / Sierra Leone: Per capita production and tax revenue (US$, 2005)

13 Characteristic of diamond producing countries

14 Conflict diamond cases Angola (1992-2002) Sierra Leone (1991-2001) Liberia (1989-2005) Dem. Rep. Congo (1996-present) Côte d’Ivoire (2002-present) - Guinea (2000) - Centre Africain Republic (2001)

15 Angola UNITA rebel group – at war with government since 1975, major diamond revenues since early 1990s, war ends 2002

16 Sierra Leone RUF rebel group – at war with government since 1991, major diamond revenues since 1995, war ends 2001

17 Challenges Diamonds easily produced, transported, stored and traded Complicity or at least complacency of the diamond industry including main buyer De Beers Large industry crucial to the economy of some countries (esp. Botswana and Namibia)

18 Responses Military interventions Peace agreements Economic sanctions Advocacy International trade reforms Media coverage

19 Military interventions (paid by local governments) It is EOs mission to provide: … - A total a-political service based on confidentiality, integrity, professionalism and dedication in order to create a climate for peace and stability for foreign investment.

20 Peace negotiations and wealth sharing Foday Sankoh (leader of the RUF/SL) Chairman of the Commission for the Management of Strategic Resources, Sierra Leone

21 Source: M. Ross, 2006 Ivory Coast (FN) Angola (UNITA) Cambodia (KR) Sierra Leone (RUF) D.R.Congo Liberia United Nations Security Council responses 60% of commodity sanctions on diamonds

22 Advocacy “There is a dangerous acceptance amongst the international community that the mechanics of the trade in diamonds, particularly from UNITA controlled areas [in Angola], are beyond any real controls.” Global Witness December 1998

23 Second major NGO report - PAC INSIGHTS Partnership Africa Canada THE HEART OF THE MATTER SIERRA LEONE, DIAMONDS & HUMAN SECURITY Ian Smillie, Lansana Gberie, Ralph Hazleton January 2000

24 NGO recommendations Investigations into UN sanctions busting Global certification scheme Deployment of UN peacekeepers

25 NGO coalition (2000) 13 NGOs react collectively to the UN expert panel on UNITA sanctions (14 April 2000 open letter to UNSC) Action for Southern Africa Africa Policy Information Center Catholic Institute for International Relations Center for Development of International Law Comité Afrique Australe European Network for Information and Action on Southern Africa Global Policy Forum Global Witness Ibis Denmark Nederlands Instituut voor Zuidelijk Afrika Peace Action International Quaker United Nations Office Saferworld => FATAL TRANSACTIONS created (EU)

26 ‘Big NGOs’ come in Human Rights Watch (May 2000) Amnesty International (May 2000) Oxfam (June 2000) World Vision (July 2000) Attacks on NGOs Global Witness funded by De Beers? PAC is Canadian… trying to ‘kill’ Antwerp Tensions among NGOs Constructive approach versus boycott Campaign ownership and band-wagons


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29 Diamond industry responds Southern Africa diamond-producing countries and companies meet in Kimberley, May 2000 NGO Joint letter reacting to World Diamond Congress (Antwerp, July 2000) => Industry represented by World Diamond Council United Nations General Assembly supports Certification, December 2000 Tripartite negotiation process resulting in an international voluntary scheme of certification (2003)

30 Diamond certification

31 Media coverage and policy interventions Global Witness ‘Rough Trade’ report UNSC Sanctions RUF UNSC Sanctions UNITA UNSC ‘Fowler’ report PAC ‘Heart of the Matter’ report KPCS agreement UNAMSIL hostage crisis KPCS launched

32 Toothless? Expulsion of the Republic of Congo Acceptation of practices in Zimbabwe

33 Conflict diamonds: lessons learned Move beyond ‘business as usual’ (e.g. ‘paper sanctions’ and ‘licit smuggling’) Address individual conflicts through broad industry reforms Understand the characteristics of conflicts and resources, including structure and practices of the industry Build broad coalitions (NGOs, industry, governments)

34 Beyond conflict diamonds Be hopeful: a few people can make a difference Be ambitious: local issues cannot always be resolved locally and even ‘big business’ can change Be tenacious: reforms take time Be principled and constructive: keep standards but reach out to build alliances

35 Main sources Ballentine, K and H Nitschke (2005) Profiting from Peace. Managing the Resource Dimensions of Civil War. Boulder: Rienner. Bannon, I and P Collier (2003) Natural Resources and Armed Conflicts. Options and Actions. World Bank. Le Billon, P (2005) Fuelling War. Natural Resources and Armed Conflicts. Adelphi Paper 373, IISS & Routledge. Le Billon, P and E Nicholls (2007) Ending resource wars: revenue sharing, economic sanction, or military intervention? International Peacekeeping 14(5): 613-632. Le Billon, P (2008) Diamond Wars? Conflict Diamonds and Geographies of Resource Wars. Annals of the Association of American Geographers 98(2): 345 - 372 Ross, ML (2006) A closer look at oil, diamonds, and civil war. Annual Review of Political Science 9: 265- 300. New book: Ian Smillie (2010) Blood on the Stone: Greed, Corruption and War in the Global Diamond Trade.

36 Online sources Global Witness – Partnership Africa Canada – Kimberley Process – Blood diamonds documentary –

37 Diamonds and Human Security Political: prolongation/escalation of civil war Community: expulsion of local populations, anti-migrant repression Personal: criminality Economic: inflation, labour market distorsions Food: high prices, farmland degradation Health: working conditions, malaria, STDs (HIV/AIDS) Environmental: ecosystem degradation, pollution, human settlements


39 Diavik mine

40 Follow-up by Global Witness 25 reports and 60 press releases between 2000 and 2007 Constant participation in international meetings Focus on reform process – Certification (Kimberley process), prosecution, post- conflict reforms But limited presence in producing countries

41 PAC - Recommendations Recommendations – Permanent Independent International Diamond Standards Commission (under UN) – Deployment of UN troops in SL diamond areas and transport routes – Reforms in diamond management – De Beers to increase its oversight – Belgium to strengthen controls – UN sanctions on Liberia and Ivory Coast – Canada to control its mining companies – Call for effective consumer campaign

42 Follow-up by PAC Regular newsletter Investigative reports Constant participation in international meetings

43 Lessons learned NGOs Investigations: gather evidence and bring the story out (but avoid sensationalist journalism) Advocacy: patience, tenacity and leadership Constructive engagement : medias, governments, companies, and consumers Sticks and carrots: boycott and branding Adaptation: from ‘blood diamonds’ to ‘development diamonds’



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