WDC Meeting Addresses Kimberley Progress

March 31, 2004

WDC Meeting Addresses Kimberley Progress

At the third annual meeting of the World Diamond Council held March 29-31 in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, Eli Izhakoff, WDC chairman and CEO, said that much progress has been achieved in implementing the Kimberley Process to eradicate conflict diamonds, but much work remains. WDC is an international organization created by the World Federation of Diamond Bourses and the International Diamond Manufacturer's Association to organize industry efforts to stop the trade in conflict diamonds.

Izhakoff praised host UAE for being the first Kimberley Process participant to volunteer for a peer review of its internal controls. "We applaud UAE for taking the lead. As the first from the 47 participants of the Process, the UAE has set a trend for others to follow," Izhakoff said. "We encourage such transparency and believe this step will accelerate Dubai toward establishing an internationally acclaimed diamond center of note."

WDC also took exception to the March 30 Global Witness report saying retailers are falling short of goals to ascertain and guarantee the diamond jewelry they sell are conflict-free and that the industry is not policing itself adequately. In a release, WDC said it "utterly rejects the representation of [the] industry as unable to offer proper assurance to consumers.

"At the same time, WDC acknowledges that there is more work to be done to ensure industry awareness at all levels of the trade," said the release. "WDC also recognizes the continuing importance of greater transparency throughout the diamond trade in order to reduce vulnerability to external threats."

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