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UN (MODEL) Opening Speech - Republic of Congo - Economic Committee - Diamond Trade

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OPENING SPEECH for AFRICA in a MODEL UNITED NATIONS BY NIKHIL L The democratic republic Of Congo would like to address committee of one of the most perplexing issues that plagues the world today. Throughout the history of Africa, whenever a substance of value is found the locals die. This was true for ivory, rubber, gold and oil. It is now true for diamonds. Diamonds, traditionally a symbol of love and beauty, have turned into a curse for many today. Diamonds are not only purchased for their intrinsic value, but also for their beauty. According to a devastating report by 'Global Witness' these stones are being used to purchase arms and finance civil war. ...read more.


Delegates the world is falling apart. Stones are smuggled across the border of diamond producing countries such as countries such as Liberia which does not have diamond resources, but exports about 2000 billion dollars worth of diamonds annually, whereas countries such as Congo from where diamonds are smuggled lose out. Sierra Leone is an alarming example of the illegal trade in diamonds. The Revolutionary United Front (RUF) has relied on such trade to finance its military campaigns. The civil populations have been the victims of tragic waves of violence. Angola is another case. Over the past decade, the illegal trade in diamonds has made more than $3 billion for UNITA. This money has enabled it to continue its armed struggle. ...read more.


But illegal diamonds are still finding their way to market. It is up to the consumer to insist that a diamond is conflict-free. The democratic Republic of Congo is at still not at peace! 200,000 child soldiers still work as rebels. It is time to now stop and think of solutions which will enhance peace. One area that has not yet been thoroughly addressed is the issue of diamonds mined from territory under foreign military occupation. This problem affects, for example, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, which sees much of its diamond revenue siphoned off by others. But let us not fool ourselves into thinking that acting in this regard in these select areas alone will solve the problem. This is not just an African problem, or an Asian problem, or a European problem: it is a global problem, and it requires a universal solution. ...read more.

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