RJC Welcomes Zimbabwe Agreement

140 95 Rapaport News

Press Release: The Responsible Jewellery Council (RJC) welcomes the agreement reached by the Kimberley Process (KP) that will enable the renewal of rough diamond exports from the Marange diamond fields in Zimbabwe. The agreement was reached during the World Diamond Council (WDC) meeting held in St. Petersburg on July 15, 2010.

The RJC, like all other stakeholders, is encouraged by this agreement and looks forward to its full and complete implementation by all relevant actors.

RJC congratulates all participants on this outcome, which was attained after many hours of diligent negotiation at KP meetings in Tel Aviv and St. Petersburg. RJC particularly acknowledges the efforts of the KP chairman, Boaz Hirsch; the WDC’s chairman, Eli Izhakoff; and the president and chief executive officer (CEO) of Jewelers of America (JA), as well as RJC’s chairman, Matt Runci; Rio Tinto’s general manager of external affairs and RJC’s vice chairman, John Hall; the CEO of the Jewelers Vigilance Committee (JVC), Cecilia L. Gardener; the World Federation of Diamond Bourses’ (WFDB) president, Avi Paz; and the International Diamond Manufacturing Association’s (IDMA) president, Moti Ganz, as well as the government and civil society delegations to the St. Petersburg meeting, for their joint efforts in achieving this successful result.

“The RJC Code of Practices includes four provisions requiring conformance with the Kimberley Process Certification Scheme (KPCS) for rough diamonds. Full compliance with the KPCS is vital for RJC members and for the entire jewellery industry. As part of the RJC certification process, RJC members will undergo independent, third-party auditing of their relevant business practices to evidence their conformance with the RJC’s requirements for KPCS compliance,” said Michael Rae, RJC’s CEO.

RJC has established a consultative panel of external stakeholders to engage in ongoing standards development activities with the council. Of particular relevance to the recent KP decision is the focus the RJC and its consultative panel will bring to investigating the feasibility of chain-of-custody certification for the diamond, gold and platinum jewelry supply chains. A voluntary RJC chain-of-custody certification for eligible products would complement the RJC’s existing system for the independent, third-party certification of its members’ responsible business practices and a logical next step for the council.

The Responsible Jewellery Council is the trading name of the Council for Responsible Jewellery Practices Ltd.

The Council for Responsible Jewellery Practices Ltd. is located at the First Floor, Dudley House, 34-38 Southampton Street, London, U.K., WC2E 7HF.

The Council for Responsible Jewellery Practices Ltd. is registered in England and Wales with company number 05449042.

“We are grateful for the positive responses received from the many stakeholders who have expressed enthusiasm and interest in participating in the RJC Consultative Panel. Participants in the Consultative Panel include leading nongovernment (NGO) organizations, standards/supply chain associations, research institutions and companies that operate product-tracking systems. Future standards for chain-of-custody certification in the jewelry industry can only benefit from this broad multistakeholder engagement,” said Rae.

For more information about the RJC chain-of-custody certification initiative, see:
http://www.responsiblejewellery.com/chain-of-custody.html.

For more information about the RJC Consultative Panel, see: http://www.responsiblejewellery.com/downloads/RJC_Standards_Consultative_Panel_July2010.pdf.

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