WDC Calls for International Action on Conflict Diamonds

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The World Diamond Council (WDC) is the international body chartered in Antwerp in July by the World Federation of Diamond Bourses and the International Diamond Manufacturers Association, solely for the purpose of rapidly developing and implementing a comprehensive plan to curtail trade in conflict diamonds while minimizing impact on the legitimate diamond industry. Membership of the Council is comprised of all segments of the international diamond industry — producers, manufacturers, traders, and retailers — as well as financial institutions, governments, relevant international and civil society organizations.

The World Diamond Council is dedicated to the eradication of the trade in conflict diamonds, allowing the legitimate diamond industry — which handles 96 percent of world rough diamond production and gives employment to over 2 million people — to continue the promotion and sale of diamonds as the ultimate symbol of love and as an agent for global economic growth and prosperity.

The Council held its inaugural meeting on Thursday, September 7, in Tel Aviv to begin implementation of its plan. The main features of the plan include:

 Establishment of dedicated import/export offices for rough diamonds closely supervised by individual government authorities;

 Adoption of a uniform international certification system of sealing and authenticating each parcel of rough diamonds prior to export;

 Monitoring and verifying industry-wide compliance with ethical codes of conduct that prohibit the trade in conflict diamonds;

 Obliging banks, insurance companies, shipping companies and other providers of auxiliary goods and services to cease business relations with any company or individual knowingly involved in dealing on conflict diamonds;

 The result of these steps will be to support a chain of warranties for traders of polished diamonds based on these rough controls;

The WDC calls upon the governments of those countries involved in diamond trade to enact and enforce these measures described above. The WDC offers its expertise and assistance in drafting appropriate legislation.

In addition the WDC asked that all relevant governments, and the United Nations, to initiate with utmost urgency an international embargo on the trade in weapons that provides rebel forces with the means to wage war.

The WDC invites the UN, governments and NGO’s, in the pursuit of international peace and security, to examine the role of other natural resources and, most importantly, the arms trade, in perpetuating conflict.

Mr. Eli Izhakoff, Chairman, said: “The World Diamond Council, representing the entire international diamond industry, pledges to continue to work in a spirit of cooperation with governments, civil societies and the United Nations to eliminate the trade in conflict diamonds.”

WDC Members

Eli Izhakoff Chairman – World Diamond Council U.S.A.
Sean Cohen Vice Chairman – WDC
President – International Diamond Manufacturers Association
South Africa
Abraham Fischler Vice Chairman – WDC
President – World Federation of Diamond Bourses
Sergei Oulin Vice Chairman – WDC
Vice President – Alrosa
Shmuel Schnitzer Vice Chairman – WDC
President – Israel Diamond Exchange
Matthew Runci Secretary General – WDC
President & CEO – Jewelers of America
Noa Balthazar President – Ascorp Angola
Ernest Blom President – Diamond Merchants Association of Southern Africa South Africa
William Boyajian President – Gemological Institute of America U.S.A.
Robert Bridel Executive Director – A.G.S. U.S.A.
Andrew Coxon Director – DTC De Beers England
Frank Demeyere Chief of Cabinet – Mininstry of Economic Affairs, Belgium Belgium
Jeffery Fischer President – IDMA U.S.A.
Stephan Fischler Secretary General – IDMA Belgium
Sylvia Fletcher Senior Advisor, USAID Office of Transition Initiatives U.S.A.
Cecilia Gardner Executive Director – Jewelers Vigilance Committee U.S.A.
Freddy Hager President – London Diamond Bourse England
Gordon Gilchrist Argyle Diamonds – Managing Director Australia
Paul Goris Chairman, Antwerp Diamond Bank Belgium
Peter Gross General Manager, International Diamond Division, ABN Amro Belgium
Terry Janes BHP Diamond Inc. Canada
Sanjai Kothari   India
Michael Kowalsky President & CEO – Tiffany & Co. U.S.A.
Lawrence Ma Chairman – Diamond Federation of Hong Kong China
Barbara Masekela De Beers – South Africa South Africa
Peter Meeus General Manager – High Diamond Council Belgium
Dianna Melrose Foreign & Commonwealth Office U.K.
Nchaka Moloi Advisor to Minister of Minerals and Energy South Africa
Louis Nchindo Botswana Diamond Company Botswana
Bemjamin Oshman President & CEO, Union Bank, Israel Israel
Youri Rebrik   Russia
Martin Rapaport Rapaport Corporation U.S.A.
Shri Nilesh Shah Gem and Jewelry Export Promotion India
Udi Sheintal Diamond Controller – Ministry of Trade and Commerce Israel
Abraham Taub President, Kidum for the Advancement of the Diamond Industry Israel
Inge Zaamwani Managing Director, Namdeb Diamond Corporation Namibia

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