The World Diamond Council acknowledges with sorrow the death of Nelson Mandela, and joins with the people of South Africa in mourning a great leader who became a model and shining example for people the world over.
Through his strength of character, personal example and unwavering commitment to justice, Nelson Mandela led his nation on a path of recovery, showing the world that peaceful reconciliation and the finding of common cause among diverse people are possible, even when the odds seem unsurmountable. He transformed a country and region that once stood on the brink of disaster into a symbol of hope and progress.
Avi Paz, President of the World Diamond Council, has congratulated the Government of the Republic of Angola on being elected Vice President of the Kimberley Process for 2014, at the KP Plenary session in Johannesburg on November 22. He also welcomed the decision by the KP Plenary to extend for another three years its agreement with the WDC, by which the Council will continue to manage the Kimberley Process’ Administrative Support Mechanism (ASM).
“It is a proud moment for the Kimberley Process that a country which, once afflicted by civil conflict, has now regained political and economic stability and, as a consequence, is in a position to assume a position of leadership in the very institution that helped set it on its way to recovery,” Mr. Paz said. “We wish Angola the very best of luck.”
The focus on the diamond-producing regions of Africa that was brought about by the Kimberley Process did more than just create a mechanism to prevent the infiltration of conflict diamonds into the pipeline; it also helped deepen the appreciation that diamonds and the diamond industry are essential ingredients to the well-being of ordinary people living in those areas, said Avi Paz, President of the World Diamond Council, in his address today to the Plenary Session of the Kimberley Process in Johannesburg.
A vote by the full membership of the World Diamond Council has resulted in the approval of a set of amendments to the organization’s bylaws, as well as a Code of Conduct that lists core values according to which members are guided.
The vote, which was conducted by an email poll of WDC’s global membership, followed the approval of the amended bylaws and Code of Conduct by the organization’s Board of Directors.
Avi Paz has succeeded Eli Izhakoff as President of the World Diamond Council, which is the body charged with leading the diamond and jewelry industry’s campaign to end the trade in conflict diamonds.
Mr. Paz, who was First Vice President of the WDC, assumed the position of President after Mr. Izhakoff’s earlier decision to step down at the end of June 2013.
One of the overriding consequences of the Kimberley Process has been the empowerment of the African nations and the African people in the diamond business, said Eli Izhakoff, President of the World Diamond Council, in his address today to the Angola Centenary Diamond Conference, in Luanda, Angola.
The following is the full text of his address:
The primary responsibility of the Kimberley Process is to protect and enhance the wellbeing of ordinary citizens in the diamond producing countries, and to do that there is a need to defend the reputation of the diamond and the diamond industry among jewelry consumers, said Eli Izhakoff, President of the World Diamond Council, in his address today to the Intersessional Meeting of the Kimberley Process, in Kimberley South Africa.
The following is the full text of his address:
Eli Izhakoff, President of the World Diamond Council has supported without reservation the decision issued on May 23 by Ambassador Welile Nhlapo, Chair of the Kimberley Process, to suspend temporarily the Central African Republic (CAR) from the Kimberley Process Certification Scheme.
Ramat Gan, Israel: The Israeli Diamond Industry saluted WDC President Eli Izhakoff for his enormous contribution to the world diamond industry, presenting him with the first ever IDI Medal of Honor, at the conclusion of the WDC 9th Annual Meeting in Tel Aviv.
During the conference, Izhakoff announced that he would be stepping down as WDC president, and announced that former WFDB and IDE president Avi Paz would replace him.
The World Diamond Council has met in Plenary Session at the Ninth Annual WDC Annual Meeting In Tel Aviv, Israel. During the gathering, the WDC and the Kimberley Process signed a Memorandum of Understanding that will establish a permanent Administrative Support Mechanism to support the Kimberley Process in its mission to eradicate the trade in diamonds from conflict areas.
Signing the MOU were Eli Izhakoff, President of the World Diamond Council, and Ambassador Welile Nhlapo, Chair of Kimberley Process.
Just as the Kimberley Process led jewelry consumers to understand that the diamond industry will take active steps to protect the ethical integrity of the diamond pipeline, it also has reinforced a corresponding belief in the producing countries,” said Eli Izhakoff, World Diamond Council President, in his opening address to the Plenary Session of the WDC Annual Meeting, which is taking place today in Tel Aviv, Israel.
“In those places there is now an insistence that we have an obligation to be both responsible and contributory,” he stated. “In other words, it is not enough that we be non-threatening; we also need help them optimize the benefit they receive from their own natural resources.”
The 9th Annual Meeting of the World Diamond Council is set to convene at the Dan Panorama Convention Center in Tel Aviv on May 5 and 6. The Plenary Session will take place on Monday, May 6, with the welcoming address being delivered by Naftali Bennett, Israel’s Minister of Economy and Trade. He will join government ministers from a variety of diamond producing and consuming countries, senior representatives of international organizations, and leaders of the world diamond and jewelry industries.
The WDC Annual Meeting is the official forum for the General Assembly of the WDC, which coordinates the effort of the international diamond and jewelry sectors to eliminate the trade in diamonds from areas of conflict. The host of the meeting is the Israel Diamond Institute Group of Companies.
With fewer than three weeks to go before the start of the Ninth Annual Meeting of the World Diamond Council in Tel Aviv, two senior ministers from African mining countries have confirmed their attendance as guests of honor. They are the Minister of Mineral Resources of the Republic of South Africa, Hon. Ms. Susan Shabangu, and the Minister of Mining and Mining Development of the Republic of Zimbabwe, Hon. Dr. Obert Mpofu. Both will address the WDC Plenary Session on May 6.
Jose W. Fernandez, the Assistant Secretary for Economic and Business Affairs at the U.S. Department of State and the most senior American official overseeing U.S. government policy related to the Kimberley Process, has confirmed that he will attend as a guest of honor at the Ninth Annual Meeting of the World Diamond Council, which will take place in Tel Aviv, Israel, May 5 and 6, 2013.
Assistant Secretary of State Fernandez also will address the WDC Plenary Session on May 6.
Ambassador Welile Nhlapo, the Chair of the Kimberley Process, has confirmed that he will attend as a guest of honor the Ninth Annual Meeting of the World Diamond Council, which will take place in Tel Aviv, Israel, May 5 and 6, 2013. He will address the Plenary Session.
Ambassador Nhlapo, who assumed the post of KP Chair at the beginning of 2013, earlier served as South African Ambassador to Washington, D.C. He has also served as National Security Special Adviser to South African President Jacob Zuma, and as South Africa’s Special Representative to the Great Lakes countries, including Burundi, Uganda, Tanzania, Democratic Republic of Congo and Rwanda.
World Diamond Council President Eli Izhakoff has been honored at the Gala Dinner of the Dubai Diamond Conference, in a ceremony during which his years of service were recounted and praised.
“We are honoring someone who has served the diamond industry for 33 years,” said Peter Meeus, Chairman of the Dubai Diamond Exchange, who tracked Mr. Izhakoff’s career for the 600 participants at the event, recalling that when he was called back into public service at the outbreak of the conflict diamond crisis in 2000, the WDC President had thought that his career in diamond politics was over.
“Our role as leaders of this industry, on the one hand, is to ensure that the foundation of our enterprise is secure for the future, and that we do by defending the integrity of both diamonds and the diamond industry, as well by ascertaining that all stakeholders benefit fairly from the revenues that are generated,” World Diamond Council President Eli Izhakoff has told the opening session of the Dubai Diamond Conference. “We also need to be astute managers, investing wisely in infrastructure, technology, human resources and market research, and taking long-term advantage of opportunities as they present themselves. ‘Carpe diem,’ or seize the day, as the Romans used to say.”
The World Diamond Council has launched a dedicated website for its Ninth Annual Meeting, which will take place on May 5 and 6 in Tel Aviv, Israel. The website enables participants to register online, as well as to book hotel rooms at special rates.
The dedicated WDC Annual Meeting website is located at: http://meeting2013.worlddiamondcouncil.org/
The European Union has released the Kimberley Process certificate numbers for parcels of rough diamonds that were stolen by gunmen from the hold of a Swiss-bound aircraft at Brussels International Airport on February 18.
The EU and the World Diamond Council are urging members of the trade who may be offered diamonds carrying these associated KP certificate numbers to immediately contact the authorities in their countries, and report the possibility of stolen merchandise being located in their jurisdiction.
The Ninth Annual Meeting of the World Diamond Council will take place on May 5 and 6 in Tel Aviv, Israel, the WDC President, Eli Izhakoff, has announced.
The meeting, which will gather together in Israel leaders of the diamond and jewelry industries from around the world, as well as representatives of government and civil society, is the official forum for THE General Assembly of the WDC, which is the body charged with managing the industry’s effort to eliminate the illegitimate trade in diamonds from areas of conflict.
Eli Izhakoff has announced that he will conclude his term as President of the World Diamond Council on June 30, 2013, after 13 consecutive years at the head of the diamond and jewelry organization.
Mr. Izhakoff’s decision was not sudden and was entirely personal. He had informed the WDC Board of Directors about his intention at the WDC Annual Meeting in Vicenza, Italy, already in May of last year, and had said then that he would allow ample time for a successor to be elected and a smooth transition to take place.
Less than two weeks before ending her term in office, the outgoing chair of the Kimberley Process, U.S. Ambassador Gillian Milovanovic, introduced on December 18, 2012, a draft resolution to the General Assembly of the United Nations, highlighting the role of the KP in helping eliminate the trade in conflict diamonds.
The General Assembly adopted the text of the resolution without a vote, and in so doing noted the devastating impact that the trade in conflict diamonds had on the peace, safety and security of people in affected countries.