In 1998, two non-governmental organisations (NGOs) from the United Kingdom and Canada respectively, brought to the attention of the diamond industry and the world media that the illegal trade of rough diamonds was funding the activities of rebel organisations in Angola and Sierra Leone. The diamond industry immediately began co-operating with the United Nations and engaged with government and leading NGOs to seek ways to halt trade in conflict diamonds.
In May 2000, the South African Government convened a meeting in Kimberley for all interested parties to meet and discuss a way forward
These meetings have come to be known as the Kimberley Process. Over a period of two years following the meeting in Kimberley, an agreement on an International Certification Scheme was reached. The Kimberley Process requires that each shipment of rough diamonds being exported and crossing an international border be transported in a tamper-resistant container and be accompanied by a government-validated certification stating that the diamonds are not Conflict Diamonds. The Kimberley Process has been implemented by over 60 countries, including the European Community.