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Eli Izhakoff calls for coalition between industry, government and civil society
Reiterates importance of KP in the industry
By: Diamond World News Service
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Jul 15 2010 11:57PM
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Reference: 5137  

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World Diamond Council (WDC) President Eli Izhakoff addressed the much debated issue of the relevance of the Kimberley Process, during his opening speech at the 7th Annual Meeting of the WDC, stressing that the coalition of the government, business and civil society was absolutely necessary for industry growth.

He called for discussions and dialogue to help develop new models that addresses three issues “the need of the citizens in the affected country to benefit from the revenues generated by their diamond deposits; the need of jewellery consumers to feel that the products they buy are not tainted by human suffering; and the need of the diamond industry to go about its business in an economic fashion. If any one of the needs are not met, the system will fail”, he said.

Welcoming the release from jail of Farai Maguwu, Eli Izhakoff urged the industry to continue to ensure protection for human rights activists while also working t o find a solution so that diamonds from Marange can legitimately make their way into the pipeline to help millions of ordinary Zimbabweans whose futures depend on revenues from diamonds.

Applauding the effectiveness of the Kimberley Process Certification Scheme in reducing the flow of conflict diamonds from 4 percent to less than 2 tenths of 1 percent, he stressed that solutions to the new issues related to political unrest in countries with diamond deposits can be addressed “as long as we maintain that coalition of government, industry and civil society.”

“It is also why we have to continue examining ourselves, both in the World Diamond Council and in the Kimberley Process to adapt to changing conditions and also implement reforms”, he added. Explaining the role of the World Diamond Council as a factor in the diamond business, he said, “By cooperating and voluntarily agreeing to be regulated, we reconstructed our pipeline so that only diamonds carrying KP certificates would pass through it.”

He concluded his talk with a vote of thanks to the hosts in particular the Diamond Chamber of Russia and its president, Sergey Oulin, who is also vice president of the World Diamond Council.

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