Sierra Leone: Moving Beyond the Era of "Blood Diamonds"

November 25, 2009

About the Author: June Carter Perry serves as U.S. Ambassador to Sierra Leone.

[I am] Ambassador June Carter Perry, ambassador to Sierra Leone, previously ambassador to Lesotho.

I’m happy to say that Sierra Leone has moved forward in a very positive manner since that era of “blood diamonds”. And certainly President Koroma has made great steps in establishing an anti-corruption commission and in taking a very, very strong role on counternarcotics. I think that this puts Sierra Leone on the path forward. We hope that certainly this will benefit women, children and the youth, particularly, of Sierra Leone.

The diamond issue certainly remains an issue but not nearly as grave an issue as it had been years ago. Fortunately because of the legislative measures that have been put into place, efforts to enforce the Kimberley Process--all of these have brought a new dimension, a positive dimension on how to handle these resources in the country.

I certainly hope so. Certainly the President of the country, the Parliament are very together on this and very supportive of the youth. I am happy to say we are seeing an increase in U.S. investment interests as well. All this bodes for a brighter future for Sierra Leone.

You are most welcome. My pleasure.

Comments

Comments

Ron
|
New York, USA
November 30, 2009

Ron in New York writes:

Beyond Kimberley......

Diamonds, Gold, Silver, Colored-Stones, Minerals, Human Organs.....the list of illicit commodities is growing as world economies accelerate demand for goods (bads?)....The outcomes are often War, Poverty, and Human Rights violations of huge perportions. The Kimberley Process is a good start, but the problem of "Blood-$" rests on a foundation of Corruption. Dealing with corrupt governments is essential to stop this crisis. For more...see www.unodc.org.

Moe M.
|
Canada
December 1, 2009

Moe M. in Canada writes:

Looking at the past and trying to forge a future after ten years of civil war, explains why Sierra Leoneans need to work together and illustrate to international donors that the country has moved beyond the past and is ready to take on the corrupt elements of the state to solidify the future. I applaude President Koroma and his anti corruption team, in their relenthless effort to fight this long and chronic disease called corruption. I for one do not believe that Siera Leone is getting any better after reading an article from an LA Times reporter who wrote an extensive article about the state of the country. Although there is still some work to be done, but I'll assume that the country is better off today than it was 5-years ago. For the fact that the U.S Embassy in Freetown has acknowledged changes within the highest level of government, may serve as a guarantee to any potential U.S investment to the country in the future. Ambassador Perry's message is very enticing.

Ron
|
New York, USA
December 2, 2009

Ron in New York writes:

Paradigm Shift.....

Companies in the Diamond Trade (and other high-end commodities) must distinguish themselves in their commitments to meeting development goals for source countries. The UN Global Compact is a guiding star in this area. The value of a Diamond must be linked to greater human values if it is to be "forever".

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