Over the past 10 years, the Kimberley Process has proven the effectiveness of international cooperation, said Eli Izhakoff, President of the World Diamond Council, in his address today to the KP Plenary Meeting taking place in Washington, D.C . But to continue to be able to do so, the organization needs to be able to deliver on what it promises, he said, adding that to be effective all countries need to be equally committed to the process and the decisions that are taken within the forum.
It is enabling countries like Zimbabwe to use their natural resources to meet the challenges of the future that is the essence of the mission of the Kimberley Process and the World Diamond Council, said Eli Izhakoff, WDC President, in his address to the opening session of the 2012 Zimbabwe Diamond Conference.
The World Diamond Council has expanded its reach to mobile phones and tablet computers, with the launch of both iPhone and iPad applications that mirror its WDC and DiamondFacts websites.
The applications can be downloaded free of charge from the Apple Store through iTunes.
The World Diamond Council app is geared specifically for members of the World Diamond Council and diamond and jewelry professionals, and provides news, background information, resource documents, photos and videos covering the activities of the WDC.
Focusing on the theme of change, Eli Izhakoff, President of the World Diamond Council, has addressed the opening of the World Diamond Congress today in Mumbai, India. In his speech, he supported the principle of expanding the definition of "conflict diamonds," but emphasized that, whatever definition is applied, it must meet he ability of participants to implement the Kimberley Process Certification Scheme effectively, and be directly associated with the trade in rough diamonds.
The newly elected WDC Board of Directors held its first meeting on July 24, and expressed the organization’s strong support for the reform of the Kimberley Process and for the KP Chair’s expanded definition for conflict diamonds, as was proposed at the World Diamond Council Annual Meeting in Vicenza, Italy, on May 14.
WASHINGTON, D.C.: The following is the full transcript of the speech delivered by Eli Izhakoff, President of the World Diamond Council, to the Intercessional Meeting of the Kimberley Process, which opened in Washington, D.C., this morning.
VICENZA, ITALY: The World Diamond Council has paid a special tribute to De Beers Chairman Nicky Oppenheimer at the Gala Dinner which concluded the organization's 8th Annual Meeting in Vicenza, Italy.
Presenting Mr. Oppenheimer with a silver plate to mark the occasion, WDC President Eli Izhakoff read the inscription which recognized the De Beers chairman for his many years of dedicated support for the World Diamond Council and the Kimberley Process.
VICENZA, ITALY: Members of the World Diamond Council, meeting today in Plenary Session at the WDC's 8th Annual Meeting, reaffirmed the diamond and jewelry industry's commitment to eliminating the trade in conflict diamonds, and agreed that the Kimberley Process Certification Scheme should evolve to reflect changes that have taken place since the KPCS was first launched in 2003.
In particular, the WDC expressed its support for discussions to widen the conflict diamonds definition in the Core Documents of the KPCS, beyond the current definition which limits its scope to diamonds that finance civil conflict. The Plenary Session affirmed a proposal that conflict diamonds should cover "diamond-related violence in rough diamond producing and trading areas."
VICENZA, ITALY: The Plenary Session of the 8th Annual Meeting of the World Diamond Council opened this morning in Vicenza, Italy. The following is the full transcript of the speech delivered by Eli Izhakoff, President of the World Diamond Council, at the opening of the Plenary Session.
Ladies and gentleman,
For the eighth time since the World Diamond Council was established in the year 2000, we meet in Plenary Session. Many of us have traveled thousands of kilometers to be here today, and we have done it not for the purpose of conducting any commercial activity, but rather to defend the integrity of our product and our industry. In so doing we provide hope for a better future to millions of people living in the diamond producing areas.
Nicky Oppenheimer, the Chairman of the De Beers Group, will be honored at the Gala Dinner of the World Diamond Council on May 14, 2012, during its 8th Annual Meeting in Vicenza, Italy, in recognition of his considerable contribution to the industry’s effort to eradicate the trade in conflict diamonds.
“It is difficult to imagine where we would be today were it not for the role played by Nicky Oppenheimer and De Beers right from the very birth of our organization,” said Eli Izhakoff, President of the World Diamond Council. “Not only was he among the first industry leaders who understood and appreciated the implications of the conflict diamond trade, and consequently sounded the rallying cry, but over the years he has been one of our most important and enthusiastic supporters, and has participated in numerous WDC meetings. He was a staunch advocate of the Kimberley Process from the beginning."
The Minister of Natural Resource of the Republic of South Africa, Ms. Susan Shabangu, will deliver a keynote address to the Plenary Session of the 8th Annual Meeting of the World Diamond Council in Vicenza, Italy, on May 14. The meeting will open on May 13.
Ms. Shabangu will be leading a delegation of high-level officials from South Africa. The country holds the vice chair of the Kimberley Process and is scheduled to become KP chair on January 1, 2013. South Africa was the first chair of the Kimberley Process, and will mark the 10th anniversary of the launch of the Kimberley Process Certification Scheme during its second term next year.
The Antwerp ITCCO (International Training Center for Corporate Opportunities) will conduct a high-level seminar in Vicenza, Italy, on May 15, where representatives of the United Nations, the European Community, national governments and the Kimberley Process, as well as leaders from the diamond and jewelry industries, will consider the strengthening of the Kimberley Process through training and capacity development, and the establishment of systems designed to enable the monitoring, certification and labeling of ethical jewelry.
Among the officials who have indicated that will serve as seminar panel members are the Kimberley Chair, Ambassador Gillian A. Milovanovic, and Carlos Lopes, UN Assistant Secretary-General and the Executive Director of the United Nations Institute for Training and Development (UNITAR).
Ambassador Gillian A. Milovanovic of the United States, the Chair of the Kimberley Process, will address the 8th Annual Meeting of the World Diamond Council, which will take place in Vicenza, Italy, May 13 and 14. She will join senior government officials from a number of countries who will be attending the event.
“As members of the diamond and jewelry industries we are privileged to host Ambassador Milovanovic in Vicenza,” said Eli Izhakoff, WDC president. “Her participation, as well as that of her colleagues in government, underscores the spirit of the Kimberley Process, which in its essence is a partnership involving government, civil society and the industry.
Online registration has begun for the 8th Annual Meeting of the World Diamond Council, which will take place May 13-14, 2012, in the northern Italian jewelry center of Vicenza. Participants are invited to register via a dedicated website at http://meeting2012.worlddiamondcouncil.org.
Participants are requested to fill in the interactive registration form provided online. The dedicated website will also enable them to book hotel accommodation in Abano Terme, a resort town located between Vicenza and Venice which is one of Europe's most popular spa resorts. There is no registration fee for the WDC Annual Meeting, and the official hotels are offering participants a special package, which can be extended both before and after the event.
Ambassador Gillian A. Milovanovic, the newly appointed Chair of the Kimberley Process, provided first details of the KP’s agenda for the coming year, during her first public speech in the new position. She was speaking at an Indaba in Cape Town, South Africa.
Ambassador Gillian A. Milovanovic of the United States has been appointed Chair of the Kimberley Process. With the appointment taking place in January, she became the first woman to lead the Kimberley Process. It also is the first time that the United States has held the KP chairmanship.
Ms. Milovanovic served as U.S. Ambassador to the Republic of Mali from 2008 to 2011. Prior to that, she served as Ambassador to the Republic of Macedonia from 2005 to 2008; Deputy Chief of Mission at the U.S. Embassy in Pretoria, South Africa, from 2002 to 2005 and as Deputy Chief of Mission at the U.S. Embassy in Stockholm, Sweden, from 1999 to 2002.