UN votes to lift ban on Liberian diamond exports

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April 28, 2007 07:21

 
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The UN Security Council voted unanimously to lift a ban on Liberian diamond exports imposed in 2001 when so-called "blood diamonds" were being used to fuel civil wars in west Africa. Britain's UN Ambassador Emyr Jones Parry said Friday that the vote was "a recognition of the progress made in Liberia" to meet the conditions to join an international program to certify the diamonds' origin to ensure they were mined legally. After the vote, Liberia's UN Ambassador Nathaniel Barnes said he had just learned that the Kimberley committee was going to accept Liberia's application as a result of the council's action, "so as of now, we are officially a part of the Kimberley Process." Barnes said he expects the lifting of diamond sanctions to have an "incredibly positive" impact because it will provide jobs in a country with an 85 percent unemployment.

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