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WDC signs MoU with Kimberley process
The MoU is directed at establishing a permanent Administrative Support Mechanism to support the KP
By: Diamond World News Service
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May 8 2013 6:27PM
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Reference: 7804  

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A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed between the World Diamond Council (WDC) and the Kimberley Process, during the Ninth Annual WDC Annual Meeting In Tel Aviv, Israel. The WDC met in the Plenary Session. Eli Izhakoff, President of the World Diamond Council, and Ambassador Welile Nhlapo, Chair of Kimberley Process.

The MoU entails establishing a permanent Administrative Support Mechanism to support the Kimberley Process in its mission to eradicate the trade in diamonds from conflict areas. As per the terms of the MoU, the World Diamond Council will provide a variety of support services to the Kimberley Process, including creation of an online electronic archive, the provision of communication services, logistical support for the KP Chair, chairs of KP Working Groups and ad hoc committees, as well as planning and following through on training, data, technical assistance and support.

The task of establishing and operating the Administrative Support Mechanism will be divided among WDC members: the Israel Diamond Institute Group of Companies, the Antwerp World Diamond Center, India's Gem and Jewellery Export Promotion Council, and the Diamond House of the Government of Ghana. WDC President Eli Izhakoff mentioned that some my consider ‘that, with the ASM, the structure that we are establishing is incongruous’. "For it is a permanent civil service that is operated by private industry to support the operation of the Kimberley Process, which at the national level is government-operated. In effect, it is the regulated working with the regulators to assist in their regulation," he added.

He also stated that the veterans of the Kimberley Process will not find this unusual. "The Kimberley Process, which is administered and enforced by national governments, is designed to defend the integrity of a chain of distribution that is inherently international. It is we, the industry, which make it international, linking those various countries to one another. We have a vested interest in making the system work, and the system will not work without us,” he added.

World Diamond Council expressed its support for the efforts currently made by the Chair of the Kimberley Process to monitor the flow of diamonds from the Central African Republic which currently is embroiled in civil conflict. These efforts include the consideration of suspending the trade in diamonds from the country, while the Kimberley Process works together with the CAR to gain control over the situation.

Also during he meeting, Andrew Bone, WDC Vice President, reported on the work of the Steering Committee set up in 2012 to look into the restructuring of the World Diamond Council’s membership, financing and administration. Mr. Bone said, the committee has made significant progress in developing alternatives for the WDC's membership and financial structure, so that the council will be properly and consistently supported over the long term. The World Diamond Council confirmed that the organization's first Vice President, Avi Paz, will assume the duties of president, when Mr. Izhakoff leaves the position, as he announced, at the end of June. Elections for WDC President will take place in January 2014.

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