October 30, 2002
WDC Approves System of Warranties to Support Kimberley
Participants in the World Diamond Congress, meeting in London Oct. 28-29, unanimously adopted a resolution endorsing the Kimberley Process and outlining a system of warranties to prevent conflict diamonds from entering the legitimate trade.
The groups adopting the resolution, the World Federation of Diamond Bourses and the International Diamond Manufacturers Association, both meet at the biannual congress. Their endorsement of a voluntary system of warranties will help track diamonds after they are certified conflict-free by the Kimberley rough diamond certification system, scheduled to be ratified Nov. 5 in Interlaken, Switzerland, by more than 40 nations that import, export and re-export rough diamonds.
The Kimberley system, which only vets rough diamonds conflict-free, needed the support of the diamond and jewelry trade to ensure legitimate diamonds can continue to be tracked after they are cut and polished. The voluntary system of warranties will involve dealers, manufacturers and retailers, all passing on assurances that polished diamonds, either loose or contained in jewelry, began their journey free from associations with conflict. All members of the trade who provide such assurances have promised to keep records of their diamonds' clean roots. Those records will be monitored by companies' individual auditors as part of their regular duties.
"I hope that in the coming years, we will see a hermetic closure against any trade of rough diamonds that might inflict suffering on the people of the African continent," says Shmuel Schnitzer, the new president of the WFDB and president of the Israel Diamond Exchange.
by Peggy Jo Donahue & Robert Weldon, G.G.