Mr. Speaker, yesterday I introduced Bill C-402, an act to prohibit the importation of conflict diamonds into Canada.
We know the marketing lines that “diamonds are a girl's best friend” or that “diamonds are forever”, but to many people on the African continent, diamonds mean something completely different.
The illegal diamond trade has been used to finance the activities of rebel groups in places like Sierra Leone, Angola and the Democratic Republic of Congo. To many Africans, diamonds do not mean eternal love, they mean death, destruction and suffering.
This illegal trade must be stopped. It not only threatens human rights, political stability, economic development and peace and security in a number of areas, it also threatens the legitimate diamond trade in countries like Botswana, South Africa and indeed Canada.
We have been a leader in the Kimberley process which involves an international system for the certification of rough diamonds. We must work to ensure the Kimberley process is successful if we are to finally eliminate the trade in conflict diamonds.