Martin Rapaport Begins Three-Day Protest Fast Outside Kimberley Process Meeting

140 95 Rapaport News

RAPAPORT PRESS RELEASE, June 20, 2010, Tel Aviv: Martin Rapaport, Chairman of the Rapaport Group, has begun a three-day fast outside the Kimberley Process (KP) meetings. The water-only fast began at sundown on Sunday, June 20 and will continue until sundown on Wednesday, June 24, following the close of the KP meetings in Tel Aviv, Israel.

Rapaport is fasting to protest the issuing of Kimberley Process Certificates for blood diamonds and to draw attention to the fact that it is unethical for the diamond and jewelry trade to rely upon the Kimberley Process Certification Scheme (KPCS) or System of Warranties to ensure that diamonds are not involved in severe human rights violations, such as murder, mutilation, rape and forced servitude.
Martin Rapaport’s statement:
“The Kimberley Process (KP) is aiding and abetting severe human rights violations as it certifies, legalizes and legitimizes blood diamonds. Corrupt governments have turned the KP on its head. Instead of eliminating human rights violations, the KP is legitimizing them.
“The diamond trade and consumers cannot trust the Kimberley Process, its system of warranties or those that promote the Kimberley Process as an assurance of the legitimate source of diamonds. We must face the fact that the Kimberley Process is a politicized, government-controlled initiative that is incapable of eliminating human rights violations in the diamond sector. It’s time for the World Diamond Council (WDC) and responsible NGOs to withdraw from the KP.
“The solution is outside the KP. The diamond trade must take full responsibility for how and where it buys its diamonds. It must stop hiding behind the KP and recognize that it has moral and ethical obligations that transcend national and international laws. While governments cannot enforce international human rights standards due to sovereignty issues, diamond traders can use their purchasing power to enforce such standards. The key to understanding this issue is that, in the end, our diamonds are only as good as we are.”

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About the Rapaport Group: The Rapaport Group is an international network of companies providing value-added services that support the development of free, fair and competitive global diamond markets. Established in 1978, the Rapaport Diamond Report is the primary source of diamond price and market information. Group activities include publishing, research and marketing services, Internet information and diamond-trading networks, global rough and polished diamond tenders, diamond certification, quality control, shipping and financial services.

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