World Diamond Council to Meet Feb. 5-8 in Sicily

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(Rapaport…December 23, 2005) The World Diamond Council (WDC) expects to gather for three days beginning February 5, 2006, in order to update the trade on council projects. World Jewellery Confederation president Gaetano Cavalieri is also the chief financial officer of the WDC and will host the meeting, which is to take place in Cavalieri’s native Catania, located along the eastern coast of Sicily.

Specifically, the WDC has been charged with coordinating the diamond industry’s fight against conflict diamonds, and expects the topic to be paramount during the meeting.

WDC chairman Eli Izhakoff said, “The fact that the conflict diamonds issue does not grab the headlines like it did several years ago should not indicate that the threat has subsided. What it does mean that we are doing our job properly.”

The Kimberley Process “is already in place, but it constantly needs to monitored and adjusted. For this purpose, we have been conducting on-site reviews of the KP mechanisms in a variety of countries, and we constantly keep our finger on the pulse on what is happening out in the field,” Izhakoff said.

The meeting in Catania is expected to cover diamond import and export statistics and the chain of warrantees. “It also will allow us to interact with officials of national governments and international organizations, as well as with representatives of the NGOs,” Izhakoff said.

The United Nations, during December, has banned diamonds from both Liberia and the Ivory Coast, and it resolved ongoing support for the Kimberley Process. Izhakoff applauded the world body’s support saying, “What we have done over the past five years is almost unheard of phenomenon in the often apathetic business community. At a time when consumer confidence is so important a factor, this is really a feather in all of our caps.”

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