5668th Meeting (PM)
The Security Council today lifted a more than three-year-old ban on diamond imports from Liberia, applauding the Government's cooperation with the "Kimberley Process", a mechanism set up to keep so-called "blood diamonds" from reaching world markets.
Unanimously adopting resolution 1753 (2007) and acting under Chapter VII of the Charter of the United Nations, the Council terminated the measures on diamonds imposed in resolution 1521 (2003), by which all States should prevent the direct or indirect import of all rough diamonds from Liberia to their territory, whether or not such diamonds originated in that country (Press Release SC/7965 of 22 December 2003).
According to today's text, the termination would be reviewed in 90 days, after consideration of the report of the United Nations Panel of Experts on the matter and a report of the "Kimberley Process" on Liberia's application of its proposed Certificate of Origin regime.
The United Nations-backed Kimberley Process Certification Scheme of 2000 was designed to protect the legitimate diamond industry by stopping the marketing of "conflict diamonds" or "blood diamonds" -- the rough gems traded by rebels or their allies to finance violence. The initiative now governs diamond production and importation in 70 countries.
Trafficking in illegal diamonds is considered one of the root causes of the back-to-back civil wars in Liberia since 1989, as well as of the 10-year brutal conflict in neighbouring Sierra Leone that ended in 2001. Blood diamonds has also been blamed for financing wars in other African countries, including Angola, Côte d'Ivoire and the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
The meeting, which started at 3:10 p.m., adjourned at 3:14 p.m.
The full text of resolution 1753 (2007) reads as follows:
"The Security Council,
"Recalling its previous resolutions and statements by its President on the situation in Liberia and West Africa,
"Applauding the Government of Liberia's continuing cooperation with the Kimberley Process Certification Scheme and noting Liberia's progress towards putting in place the necessary internal controls and other requirements in order to satisfy the minimum requirements of the Kimberley Process,
"Taking note of the letter of the Government of Liberia to the Sanctions Committee, with a detailed description of the proposed Certificate of Origin regime, dated 4 April 2007,
"Welcoming the interim report of the United Nations Panel of Experts dated 4 April 2007 and looking forward to the submission by 6 June 2007 of the United Nations Panel of Experts final report as requested in paragraph 4 (d) of resolution 1731 (2006),
"Having reviewed the measures imposed and conditions set out by paragraphs 6 through 9 of resolution 1521 (2003) and concluding that sufficient progress has been made towards meeting those conditions,
"Determining that the situation in Liberia continues to constitute a threat to international peace and security in the region,
"Acting under Chapter VII of the Charter of the United Nations,
"1. Decides to terminate the measures on diamonds imposed by paragraph 6 of resolution 1521 (2003) and renewed by paragraph 1 of resolution 1731 (2006);
"2. Encourages the Kimberley Process to report in ninety (90) days to the Council, through the Committee established pursuant to resolution 1521 (2003), on Liberia's application to the Kimberley Process and calls on the Government of Liberia to carry out the recommendations of the expert mission identified for the period following admission to the Kimberley Process Certification Scheme;
"3. Decides to review the termination of the measures in paragraph 6 of resolution 1521 (2003) after consideration of the report of the United Nations Panel of Experts as requested in paragraph 4 (d) of resolution 1731 (2006) and of the report of the Kimberley Process encouraged in paragraph two (2), with a particular focus on the compliance of Liberia with the Kimberley Process Certification Scheme;
"4. Decides to remain actively seized of the matter."
For information media - not an official record