05/06/2003
Press Release
SC/7778
AFR/634



PRESS STATEMENT ON SIERRA LEONE DIAMOND EMBARGO BY SECURITY COUNCIL PRESIDENT


Following is today’s press statement on the Security Council’s review of the Sierra Leone diamond embargo by Council President Sergey Lavrov (Russian Federation):


The United Nations embargo against the import of rough diamonds from Sierra Leone without a valid certificate of origin, imposed by resolution 1306 (2000) and renewed by resolution 1446 (2002), expired on 4 June 2003.  In the light of the Government of Sierra Leone’s increased efforts to control and manage its diamond industry and ensure proper control over diamond mining areas, and the Government’s full participation in the Kimberley Process, members of the Security Council have agreed not to renew these measures.


Members of the Council commended the Government’s efforts to strengthen and improve their management of the diamond industry.  They encouraged the Government to continue these efforts and to work closely with United Nations Mission in Sierra Leone (UNAMSIL) in ensuring the security of the diamond mining areas.


Members of the Council agreed that the Council would continue to pay close attention to the diamond sector of Sierra Leone because of its importance to the future stability and security of the country.


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