Sites Provide Info on ‘Conflict’ Debate

Jewelers wanting more information on the “conflict diamond” issue now have a variety of resources to choose from on the Internet. Retailers looking for suggestions on what to tell their customers should visit the following sites: www.jewelers.org/ja_member/ConflictDias.html and www.dps.org/conflictdiamonds.html.

But if you’re looking for further background, possibly the best resource is www.worlddiamondcouncil.com, a little-publicized but extremely helpful site from the industry body that is responding to the problem. There’s text of all the relevant resolutions and speeches, links to NGOs (nongovernmental organizations) active on the issue, and an extensive news archive that shows the extent of consumer media interest in the topic. In January 2001 alone, there were more than 60 “conflict”-related articles.

The text of the January White House Diamond Conference on “Technologies for Identification and Certification” is available at www.ostp.gov/whdc/index.html. This conference examined possible methods to identify the origin of diamonds scientifically and includes presentations from leading geologists and gemologists.

Using the gruesome domain www.conflictdiamonds.com, Antwerp’s Diamond High Council has a variety of resources on Antwerp’s efforts to develop a certification system.

The industry’s congressional critics have sites at www.congress.gov/tonyhall (site for Rep. Tony Hall, D-Ohio; click on “releases and statements”), and www.congress.gov/wolf (Rep. Frank Wolf, R-Va.; click on “newsroom” section). Global Witness, the organization that brought the issue to public attention, has a site at www.globalwitness.org. Other relevant NGO sites: www.amnestyusa.org (Amnesty USA) and www.phrusa.org (Physicians for Human Rights.) At press time, both had “conflict diamond” information linked from their home pages, and Amnesty had a now-notorious “Shadows” spoof at www.amnestyusa.org/diamonds/d4.html. Other NGO and United Nations material is available at www.igc.apc.org/globalpolicy/security/issues/diamond/index.htm. And for those who really want to delve into the issue, the latest U.N. report on Angola sanction violations is available at www.un.org/Depts/dpa/docs/monitoringmechanism.htm.

All of these links as well as an index of past coverage plus much more can be found at the new “conflict diamond” section at the JCK Web site, located at www.jckgroup.com.