World Diamond Council Calls for Immediate Action with Ghana KP Exports

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RAPAPORT…On September 29, 2006, World Diamond Council chairman Eli Izhakoff informed the Kimberley Process chairman and process participants of his grave concerns regarding a report of diamond smuggling from Cote d’Ivoire into Ghana. In a letter to Kimberley Process chair Kago Moshashane, Izhakoff appealed to all parties and participant nations to act swiftly, decisively and in unison, to resolve this serious situation.

Dear Chair and Kimberley Process Participants,

We, the World Diamond Council, would like to express our grave concerns regarding the current situation in West Africa amid reports that rough diamonds from Ivory Coast are being smuggled over the border into Ghana and exported from Accra with the validation of a Kimberley Process Certificate.

We appeal to the Chair and participant nations of the Kimberley Process to act swiftly, decisively and in unison, to resolve this serious situation to safeguard the integrity of the Kimberley Process itself and protect the industry from diamonds that have potentially originated from prohibited sources.

We appeal to the Government of Ghana to consider whatever actions it deems necessary to ensure that diamonds from Ivory Coast are not exported using Ghanaian Kimberley Process Certificates, including – if necessary – the temporary suspension of all rough diamond exports from Ghana.

In addition, we appeal to all rough diamond importing countries to carry out appropriate inspections of all parcels of rough diamonds emanating from West Africa to ensure that they do not contain Ivory Coast production, prohibited under UNSC Resolution 1643.

We thank you for your urgent attention regarding this matter.  We are prepared to provide any necessary technical assistance that is required to achieve a successful resolution.

Thanks and kind regards,
Eli Izhakoff
Chairman, World Diamond Council

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