(Rapaport…March 18, 2002) The World Diamond Council (WDC) announced at its meeting in Milan that it will implement its own system of controls to combat the trade of conflict diamonds. By a unanimous vote, WDC members elected to implement a system of warranties that will endorse every rough diamond transaction at trade centers around the globe. The WDC warranties are designed to complement the certification system developed by the Kimberley Process.
“Consumer confidence is the most essential asset of our industry, and the unanimous decision taken today to implement this system of warranties demonstrates our determination to maintain that confidence,” said WDC Chairman Eli Izhakoff.
Matthew Runci, president and CEO of Jewelers of America (JA) and executive director of the WDC, also addressed the WDC on the issue of conflict diamonds.
“The WDC must recognize that the terrorism factor has raised the stakes in the U.S. and that this new dimension of our old problem isn’t going to go away very soon,” Runci said. “Therefore, the fact that peace seems to have come to Sierra Leone, or that Joseph Savimbi has been eliminated, or that Charles Taylor may soon be overthrown, does not promise relief. The WDC, in turn, needs to convey that same reality to Kimberley Process participants. If the U.S. retail market is damaged, many parties in several countries will feel the pain.”
The WDC warranties will be included in future Kimberley Process measures, and they will also be presented for ratification by the United Nations General Assembly.