Mr. Speaker, I do have a very high level of confidence that the system of certifying and transporting rough diamonds in containers with a manifest will go a long way toward addressing the problem.
I was at a conference toward the end of last week. The participants were talking about the Kimberley process and the efforts of the government of Sierra Leone to address the Kimberley process. Obviously the government of Sierra Leone has not been able to control all the diamond mining that goes on within its borders. However within the first six months of this year it is my understanding that the government of Sierra Leone was actually able to process, through its own Kimberley process, more diamonds than it had processed in the previous 10 years.
Therefore within the first six months of this exercise taking place there has been a significant amount of control exerted on the diamond industry in Sierra Leone.
Interestingly enough, once the Kimberley process comes into force internationally, the diamonds that were previously smuggled out of the country to places like Liberia, Guinea and The Gambia for instance will be shut off by the Kimberley process. Those people who were smuggling diamonds out of the country will need to find other means of marketing those gemstones internationally. I think they will find it very difficult indeed.
I alluded earlier to the fact that we will need to give this process some time to get settled, to get operating and then to find the loopholes, the holes in the legislation or the holes in the process, to ensure to the greatest extent possible that the diamonds being mined will be mined for the purposes of development. Diamonds for development are critical certainly to Africa's future in places like the Congo, Angola and Sierra Leone.