SURVEY SHOWS THAT U.S. JEWELERS REASSURING CONSUMERS ABOUT CONFLICT DIAMONDS

NEW YORK, NY – February 5, 2007 – As part of an ongoing effort to eliminate conflict diamonds from the supply pipeline, the World Diamond Council (WDC) has worked to educate both consumers and retailers about conflict diamonds, encouraging consumers to ask tough questions-and retailers to give straight answers-whenever diamonds are bought or sold.

The diamond industry, non-government organizations (NGOs) and individual governments have been working aggressively for years to stamp out the trade in conflict diamonds. While more remains to be done, the results of a national survey released today by the WDC provide evidence that its education efforts are playing a part in helping to eradicate conflict diamonds from the legitimate diamond pipeline.

Conducted in the United States in January by GfK, one of the world’s largest independent research agencies, the study reports that 88% of the jewelers had asked for or received guarantees from their suppliers that all their diamonds are conflict-free.

The survey also found that two-thirds of the jewelers surveyed said some customers had asked them about conflict diamonds-and virtually all of the retailers (97%) were prepared to answer the questions.

What’s more, 89% said they had trained their staff to handle customer questions about the issue, while four out of five said they felt confident of their ability to explain the United Nations-mandated Kimberley Process. The Kimberley Process is the government-regulated system that makes it possible for retailers to guarantee that the diamond jewelry they sell is from a conflict-free source.

“While more work needs to be done to completely eliminate conflict diamonds from the supply chain, we are encouraged by the extent to which both consumers and retailers seem to be aware of and addressing the issue,” said Eli Izhakoff, chairman of the World Diamond Council.

Under the Kimberley Process Certification System, which was developed by the diamond industry in partnership with the UN, NGOs and individual governments, only diamonds certified as coming from conflict-free sources may be exported or imported by member nations. Today, the United States and 70 other nations, representing 99.8% of world diamond production, are members of the Kimberley Process.

The legitimate diamond trade is generating jobs and revenues that are essential to the prosperity of countries like Botswana, Namibia, South Africa, and Tanzania. The diamond industry employs over 10 million people around the globe not only throughout the African continent but also in key producing and cutting areas in Canada, Russia and India. Diamonds allow governments to provide free education and health care, and have helped to build much needed infrastructure such as roads, railways, and modern telecommunications. Diamonds also provide hope for recovering nations like Sierra Leone. As Nelson Mandela has said, “The diamond industry is vital to the Southern African economy.”

About the Survey
The GfK survey was conducted in the United States in early January and involved 318 jewelry retailers, ranging from small independent stores to national chains, department stores, and Internet outlets. The sample is considered representative of 90% of the U.S. retail diamond business.

Full survey results available on www.diamondfacts.org

About the World Diamond Council
Amid growing concern over human rights violations and atrocities committed against innocent victims in diamond producing countries of war-torn central and western Africa, the World Federation of Diamond Bourses and the International Diamond Manufacturers Association passed a resolution at their Antwerp meeting in July 2000, creating the World Diamond Council.

The resolution called for the newly formed WDC to include representation from the diamond industry itself and also from among countries where diamonds play a major economic role and from the international banking sector. The ultimate mandate for the World Diamond Council is the development, implementation and oversight of a tracking system for the export and import of rough diamonds to prevent the exploitation of diamonds for illicit purposes such as war and inhumane acts.

The World Diamond Council represents over 50 industry organizations – from mining companies and trade associations to manufacturers and retailers – worldwide.

WDC RESPONDS TO U.S. IMMIGRATION AND CUSTOMS ENFORCEMENT ANNOUNCEMENT OF SEIZURE OF SMUGGLED DIAMONDS

(New York, NY) – February 9, 2007 – The arrests that took place in Arizona provide great evidence that we are making progress and the Kimberley Process is having an impact on stopping the illegal smuggling of diamonds. The United States has laws in place to prosecute anyone who smuggles a diamond across an international border without the proper documentation. The World Diamond Council supports and applauds every effort to enforce as well as strengthen systems and laws to stop all illegal diamond trade activity.

WORLD DIAMOND COUNCIL ANNOUNCES FIFTH ANNUAL MEETING

(New York, NY) – March 13, 2007 – The World Diamond Council (WDC) is pleased to announce that it’s fifth annual meeting will be held at the David Citadel Hotel on May 9 and 10th in Jerusalem, Israel hosted by the Israeli Diamond Industry. The annual meeting is a time where government, non-government and industry leaders come together in an open forum to discuss the issues at had surrounding the eradication of the flow of conflict diamonds.

This year, the key note address will be from Gareth Penny, the Managing Director of the De Beers Group. “I am delighted to have the opportunity to go back to Israel to be amongst so many friends and colleagues. I salute all the participants of the Kimberley Process, including the World Diamond Council, industry and NGOs, in reducing conflict diamonds to less than one per cent of world rough diamond production” said Penny. “The Kimberley Process is the diamond industry’s primary safeguard and gives consumers assurance that their diamonds are conflict free. The WDC meeting presents an opportunity to further build on the successes to date and the strong commitment of the 71 countries in the Kimberley Process to work with industry and participating NGOs to eliminate the very last traces of conflict diamonds. ”

“Since our inception in 2000, the WDC has been working with the leaders of our industry to stop the flow of conflict diamonds through the implementation of the Kimberley Process and System of Warranties. The WDC continues to be at the forefront of this vital issue by continuing to work with our government and non-government partners to stop this evil trade” said Eli Izhakoff, Chairman of the World Diamond Council. “It is our hope that by gathering all interested parties at this forum we will be able to take great strides to make conflict diamonds a thing of the past.”

If you would like to register to attend the fifth annual World Diamond Council meeting, please log on to www.5-wdcmeeting.com to register.

For more information on the World Diamond Council, please visit www.worlddiamondcouncil.org or www.diamondfacts.org
About World Diamond Council

Amid growing concern over human rights violations and atrocities committed against innocent victims in diamond producing countries of war-torn central and western Africa, the World Federation of Diamond Bourses and the International Diamond Manufacturers Association passed a resolution at their Antwerp meeting in July 2000, creating the World Diamond Council.

The resolution called for the newly formed WDC to include representation from the diamond industry itself and also from among countries where diamonds play a major economic role and from the international banking sector. The ultimate mandate for the World Diamond Council is the development, implementation and oversight of a tracking system for the export and import of rough diamonds to prevent the exploitation of diamonds for illicit purposes such as war and inhumane acts.

The World Diamond Council represents over 50 industry organizations — from mining companies and trade associations to manufacturers and retailers — worldwide. Member organizations include: ABN Amro Bank International Division; Alrosa Company; American Gem Society; Antwerpse Diamantbank; Ascorp; Association of Diamond Manufacturers of Russia; Belgian Federation of Diamond Bourses; BHP Diamonds & Industrial Metals; Canadian Diamond Consultants Inc.; Cartier; Centre for Expertise, Valuation and Certification (Democratic Republic of Congo); CIBJO; Codiam; Damas; De Beers; De Beers LV; Debswana Diamond Co.; Diamond Chamber of Russia; Diamond Dealers Club New York; Diamond Federation of Hong Kong; Diamond Manufacturers and Importers Association; Diamond Trading Company; Dubai Metals and Commodities Center; EGL USA; Eurostar Diamonds Ltd.; Gem and Jewelry Export and Promotion; Harry Winston, Inc.; International Diamond Manufacturers Association; International Gemological Institute; Israel Diamond Exchange; Israel Diamond Institute; Israel Diamond Manufacturers Association; Jewelers of America; Jewelers Vigilance Committee; Leviev Group of Companies; London Diamond Bourse; Manufacturing Jewelers and Suppliers of America; Ministry of Mines (Namibia); Namdeb Diamond Corporation; Rapaport Corporation; Rio Tinto Diamonds; Rosy Blue; Shanghai Diamond Exchange Co. Ltd.; South African Diamond Board; Signet Group PLC; Tacy Diamond Consultants; The Dubai Multi Commodities Centre; Tiffany & Co.; Union Bank of Israel; United Association of South Africa; World Federation of Diamond Bourses; Zale Corporation.

WORLD DIAMOND COUNCIL FIFTH ANNUAL MEETING EXPECTED TO BRING TOGETHER UNPRECEDENTED WORKING GROUP ON CONFLICT DIAMONDS

(New York, NY) — April 11, 2007 — Last month, the World Diamond Council (WDC) announced that its fifth annual meeting will be held at the David Citadel Hotel on May 9 and 10th in Jerusalem, Israel hosted by the Israeli Diamond Industry.

The meeting will focus on how the industry, governments and civil society groups can and need to work together to focus the success of the Kimberley Process to affect real change for all members of the diamond industry, specifically within the alluvial sector, which is the most susceptible to conflict. In addition, the meeting will review the past success of the education campaign of 2006, in the hopes that together, all interested parties can work to refine the core message for 2007.

In a statement the WDC wrote, “In 2006, the issue of conflict diamonds received global attention and the diamond industry had a unique advantage of having addressed this issue seven years ago with the creation and implementation of the Kimberley Process. However, it is our responsibility and obligation to not only continue to success of the Kimberley Process, whereby 99.8% of the world’s diamonds are from conflict free sources, but to also move the dialogue forward to address the issues surrounding conflict, such as working conditions and alluvial mining.”

Meeting organizers noted that this year’s speakers are some of the most influential in the diamond industry, whose continued support moves the industry ahead in the eradication of conflict diamonds.

Scheduled Speakers:

Gareth Penny, Managing Director, De Beers
Sergey Vibornov, President, Alrosa
Lev Leviev, Chairman, Leviev Group of Companies
Ernie Blom, President, World Federation of Diamond Bourses
Jeff Fischer, President, International Diamond Manufactuers Association
Gaetano Cavalieri, President, World Jewellery Confederation (CIBJO)

“We are honored to have such a distinguished group of individuals join the WDC for our fifth annual meeting. It is my hope that this year’s meeting will solidify the need for us to focus our efforts and work together. We hope to come out of the two day conference with some tangible results and specific ways that all of us, industry, government and civil society can make a difference”said Eli Izhakoff, Chairman of the World Diamond Council.

If you would like to register to attend the fifth annual World Diamond Council meeting, please log on to www.5-wdcmeeting.com to register.

For more information on the World Diamond Council, please visit www.worlddiamondcouncil.org or www.diamondfacts.org
About World Diamond Council

Amid growing concern over human rights violations and atrocities committed against innocent victims in diamond producing countries of war-torn central and western Africa, the World Federation of Diamond Bourses and the International Diamond Manufacturers Association passed a resolution at their Antwerp meeting in July 2000, creating the World Diamond Council.

The resolution called for the newly formed WDC to include representation from the diamond industry itself and also from among countries where diamonds play a major economic role and from the international banking sector. The ultimate mandate for the World Diamond Council is the development, implementation and oversight of a tracking system for the export and import of rough diamonds to prevent the exploitation of diamonds for illicit purposes such as war and inhumane acts.

The World Diamond Council represents over 50 industry organizations — from mining companies and trade associations to manufacturers and retailers — worldwide. Member organizations include: ABN Amro Bank International Division; Alrosa Company; American Gem Society; Antwerpse Diamantbank; Ascorp; Association of Diamond Manufacturers of Russia; Belgian Federation of Diamond Bourses; BHP Diamonds & Industrial Metals; Canadian Diamond Consultants Inc.; Cartier; Centre for Expertise, Valuation and Certification (Democratic Republic of Congo); CIBJO; Codiam; Damas; De Beers; De Beers LV; Debswana Diamond Co.; Diamond Chamber of Russia; Diamond Dealers Club New York; Diamond Federation of Hong Kong; Diamond Manufacturers and Importers Association; Diamond Trading Company; Dubai Metals and Commodities Center; EGL USA; Eurostar Diamonds Ltd.; Gem and Jewelry Export and Promotion; Harry Winston, Inc.; International Diamond Manufacturers Association; International Gemological Institute; Israel Diamond Exchange; Israel Diamond Institute; Israel Diamond Manufacturers Association; Jewelers of America; Jewelers Vigilance Committee; Leviev Group of Companies; London Diamond Bourse; Manufacturing Jewelers and Suppliers of America; Ministry of Mines (Namibia); Namdeb Diamond Corporation; Rapaport Corporation; Rio Tinto Diamonds; Rosy Blue; Shanghai Diamond Exchange Co. Ltd.; South African Diamond Board; Signet Group PLC; Tacy Diamond Consultants; The Dubai Multi Commodities Centre; Tiffany & Co.; Union Bank of Israel; United Association of South Africa; World Federation of Diamond Bourses; Zale Corporation.

World Diamond Council Announces Featured Guests for 5th Annual Meeting in Jerusalem

(Jerusalem) May 2, 2007: The World Diamond Council (WDC) will hold its fifth annual meeting at the David Citadel Hotel in Jerusalem on May 9 and 10, 2007, hosted by the Israeli Diamond Industry.

The meeting will focus on how the industry, governments and civil society groups can and need to work together to focus the success of the Kimberley Process to affect real change for all members of the diamond industry.

The event will bring together members of the diamond industry from Israel, the United States, Russia, South Africa, Namibia, Australia, Canada, Italy, the United Kingdom, Belgium, China, Canada and more.

Among the featured speakers are:

Gareth Penny, Managing Director, De Beers
Sergey Vibornov, President, Alrosa
Lev Leviev, Chairman, Leviev Group of Companies
Eli Izhakoff, Chairman and CEO, World Diamond Council
Ernie Blom, President, World Federation of Diamond Bourses
Jeff Fischer, President, International Diamond Manufactuers Association
Gaetano Cavalieri, President, World Jewellery Confederation (CIBJO)

Vice Prime Minister Shimon Peres will be the guest speaker at the opening reception at the David Citadel Hotel on May 9 at 8:00 pm. Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Industry, Trade and Labor Eli Yishai will open the official sessions at the hotel on May 10 at 9:00 am. Former Prime Minister and Leader of the Opposition Benjamin Netanyahu will address the Gala Dinner at Teddy Hall on May 10 at 8:30 pm.

World Diamond Council Renews Call for Continued Support of the Kimberley Process through Collective Partnership of all Stakeholders

(Jerusalem, May 10, 2007) : The World Diamond Council (WDC) held its fifth annual meeting, hosted by the Israeli Diamond Industry, at the David Citadel Hotel in Jerusalem on May 9 and 10, 2007, where industry leaders gathered to discuss the future of the diamond industry and its unrelenting goal to eradicate the trade in conflict diamonds.

The meeting of over 100 participants provided a unique opportunity to review the work of the past year, while determining how the WDC and the industry will continue to tackle the issue of conflict diamonds. The meeting featured an esteemed list of industry speakers ranging from Gareth Penny, the Managing Director of De Beers and Sergey Vibornov, the President of Alrosa as well as Israeli Vice Prime Minister Shimon Peres, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Industry, Trade and Labor Eli Yishai and Benjamin Netanyahu, leader of the Israeli Likud Party, who gave the keynote speech at the gala evening event. Ernest Blom, President of the World Federation of Diamond Bourses, Jeff Fischer, President of the International Diamond Manufacturers Association and Gaetano Cavalieri, President, World Jewelry Confederation (CIBJO) also addressed the group on Thursday.

Since 2000, the diamond industry, under the leadership of the World Diamond Council, has worked diligently in conjunction with governments from around the globe, non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and the United Nations to eradicate the trade in conflict diamonds. Today, thanks to the Kimberley Process, and the industry’s active participation in it, conflict diamonds account for less than one percent of the world trade in rough diamonds. In spite of this success, the WDC continues to believe that just one conflict diamond is one too many and it reaffirmed its commitment to continue working closely through the Kimberley Process to ensure that consumers can be confident that the diamonds they are buying remain the ultimate symbols of love and commitment.

The WDC also made it clear that the industry will continue to take a firm stand when it believes that Kimberley Process procedures are being flouted and will call on governments and the international community to take swift and effective action. In particular, the WDC focused attention to the problematic areas of Zimbabwe and Venezuela while highlighting the positive outcome of past areas of issue such as Ghana and Liberia.

The international diamond industry has always maintained zero tolerance to the trade in conflict diamonds and those that partake in it. The industry stands ready and able to continue its leadership role and demands that, in partnership, governments increase their efforts to protect the diamond industry, and the millions around the world that depend on diamonds for their livelihood, from criminals that have no regard ethical behavior and the rights of innocent people.

This point was repeated and given renewed emphasis this week by Eli Izhakoff, Chairman of the WDC, when he stated: “The World Diamond Council believes strongly that a workable and effective Kimberley Process is absolutely essential if we and the millions of people who depend on this industry are to be properly protected from criminal activity and rebel or terrorist organizations that have no interest whatsoever in protecting the lives of innocents, in business ethics or in sustainable development in Africa.

“We will face many more challenges in the future and we must prepare ourselves. We must all look to ourselves and consider our individual place in the future of the WDC and what contribution we can make to its future success and development” added Izhakoff.

Building on past success, learning from our mistakes and looking to the future, Gareth Penny said that that the industry will continue to be judged on how it conducts its business and urged everyone to aspire to the highest ethical business standards, a practice he referred to as “living up to diamonds”. He went on to say that, “the WDC must be truly representative of the industry and the people and countries in which we conduct our business and it must continue to be transparent and accountable to all those who participate in it.”

Sergey Vibornov echoed those same sentiments, “We believe that transparency of the companies operating in the diamond market is a proven and efficient way to maintain consumer confidence and establish a impeccable image for the industry.”

In his concluding remarks, Eli Izhakoff stated that “the future provides us not only with challenges, but also with many exciting opportunities. The opportunity to build on our success, the opportunity to demonstrate greater unity, commitment and purpose. The opportunity to reflect the values of the unique and beautiful product from which we — and millions of others— derive our living.”

For more information on the World Diamond Council, please visit www.worlddiamondcouncil.org or www.diamondfacts.org

About World Diamond Council

Amid growing concern over human rights violations and atrocities committed against innocent victims in diamond producing countries of war-torn central and western Africa, the World Federation of Diamond Bourses and the International Diamond Manufacturers Association passed a resolution at their Antwerp meeting in July 2000, creating the World Diamond Council.

The resolution called for the newly formed WDC to include representation from the diamond industry itself and also from among countries where diamonds play a major economic role and from the international banking sector. The ultimate mandate for the World Diamond Council is the development, implementation and oversight of a tracking system for the export and import of rough diamonds to prevent the exploitation of diamonds for illicit purposes such as war and inhumane acts.

The World Diamond Council represents over 50 industry organizations – from mining companies and trade associations to manufacturers and retailers – worldwide. Member organizations include: ABN Amro Bank International Division; Alrosa Company; American Gem Society; Antwerpse Diamantbank; Ascorp; Association of Diamond Manufacturers of Russia; Belgian Federation of Diamond Bourses; BHP Diamonds & Industrial Metals; Canadian Diamond Consultants Inc.; Cartier; Centre for Expertise, Valuation and Certification (Democratic Republic of Congo); CIBJO; Codiam; Damas; De Beers; De Beers LV; Debswana Diamond Co.; Diamond Chamber of Russia; Diamond Dealers Club New York; Diamond Federation of Hong Kong; Diamond Manufacturers and Importers Association; Diamond Trading Company; Dubai Metals and Commodities Center; EGL USA; Eurostar Diamonds Ltd.; Gem and Jewelry Export and Promotion; Harry Winston, Inc.; International Diamond Manufacturers Association; International Gemological Institute; Israel Diamond Exchange; Israel Diamond Institute; Israel Diamond Manufacturers Association; Jewelers of America; Jewelers Vigilance Committee; Leviev Group of Companies; London Diamond Bourse; Manufacturing Jewelers and Suppliers of America; Ministry of Mines (Namibia); Namdeb Diamond Corporation; Rapaport Corporation; Rio Tinto Diamonds; Rosy Blue; Shanghai Diamond Exchange Co. Ltd.; South African Diamond Board; Signet Group PLC; Tacy Diamond Consultants; The Dubai Multi Commodities Centre; Tiffany & Co.; Union Bank of Israel; United Association of South Africa; World Federation of Diamond Bourses; Zale Corporation.

CHAIRMAN’S REPORT

Dear friends and colleagues, I am pleased to report that the World Diamond Council has accomplished much of what we set out to achieve last year in Catania.

Twelve months ago we deliberated on our position and response to a series of challenges that some described as the ‘perfect storm’. In the United States, for example, the Government Accountability Office was compiling a report for Congress on the effectiveness of the Kimberley Process Certification Scheme in America. Several high profile celebrities from the American music industry were developing documentaries and imparting emotional, if not always well-informed, comment on the role of diamonds in African conflict and the Kimberley Process was undergoing a three-year review, subjecting its structure and effectiveness to close scrutiny by the NGOs and other commentators.

One of our greatest challenges, however, was the release of the film, Blood Diamond. This film revived and renewed media and public interest in the issue of conflict diamonds. It acquired a new dimension as Hollywood joined the debate, casting a brighter spotlight on the diamond industry and its activities.

The film was a retrospective view on unspeakable atrocities inflicted upon an innocent civilian population almost a decade ago and there is no question that the sale of criminally acquired diamonds made a significant, albeit not exclusive, contribution to the ability of rebels to continue their ruthless and savage campaign. We must also accept that it is not wholly unreasonable for some to have asked if the industry could not have acted sooner.

Given the carnage witnessed in 1999, all but a few would agree that this was a story that had to be told. However, given the events of the last seven years, it was certainly not the whole story. We had a strong case to present to the consumer and other key stakeholders that, through the WDC, the diamond industry had contributed a great deal to bring this insidious trade to an end.

As a result, in Catania, I asked Rory More O’Ferrall to head a WDC task force to increase awareness and compliance throughout the industry and educate the public regarding the industry’s leading participation in the Kimberley Process and the good that diamonds do in places such as Africa.

This led to unprecedented co-operation and activity across the industry, as we developed a strategy of full engagement with all our key stakeholders, the most important being the retailers who play a vital role in communicating industry activities and values to the consumer.

Let us reflect briefly on some of the results of that co-operation. We refined and improved upon our key messages to the world and our own constituents, reminding the world of our commitment to the Kimberley Process and the System of Warranties and the measures we had taken to encourage awareness and implementation at all levels.

We agreed on deploying a more robust approach when it came to expressing our concerns regarding weaknesses or failings related to the Kimberley Process and we did not shy away from challenging the views and opinions of civil society if we believed they were wrong, or unjust. We did not stop there, however. We also provided solutions, expertise and resources and, where we thought they were right and reasonable, we supported the NGOs.

We developed a world-class website —diamondfacts.org— to convey these views to demonstrate how diamonds have a positive and lasting impact on the lives of millions around the world.

All of this inspired a new confidence throughout the WDC and from that confidence the courage not only to be proud of our achievements, but to also acknowledge and reflect upon our mistakes, how we have learned from them and how we intend to further improve on our performance.

The Kimberley Process Plenary in Gaborone last November was a seminal moment. It was a test not only of our resolve, but also that of the representatives of 71 governments and the NGO community.

The mood leading up to that meeting was inauspicious. Breaches of and anomalies within the Kimberley Process, from Ghana to the United States had been documented by the United Nations and commented on by NGOs. We gathered in Botswana in an atmosphere of suspicion and gloom.

However, pragmatism and common sense prevailed. On the opening day, I shared the platform with Ian Smillie of Partnership Africa Canada. It was clear from the start that we were equally determined to achieve success.

In my opening remarks I made it clear that the international diamond industry believes that a workable and effective Kimberley Process is absolutely essential if we and the millions of people who depend on this industry are to be properly protected from criminal activity and rebel or terrorist organisations that have no interest whatsoever in protecting the lives of innocents, in business ethics or in sustainable development in Africa.

I went on to emphasise that a successful conclusion to the Plenary and the challenges we faced was of paramount importance to the international diamond industry and that failure was not an option.

After three days of intense debate and negotiations we achieved our objectives. I would like to add that it would have been a great deal more difficult without the determined leadership shown by KG Moshashane, Chair of the Process at the time.

The last 12 months could prove to be the year that the WDC came of age. We have enhanced our role in the Kimberley Process, demonstrating greater leadership and maturity, an achievement that would not have been possible without the support, expertise and contribution from BHP Billiton, Rio Tinto, Leviev, Sterling, Tiffany, Alrosa and, in particular, De Beers. We have shown to ourselves that greater unity and more efficient organisation can pay dividends.

We must not, however, rest on our laurels. We will face many more challenges in the future and we must prepare ourselves. We must all look to ourselves and consider our individual place in the future of the WDC and what contribution we can make to its future success and development.

Next month, leading members and contributors will be hosting a fundraising event at the JCK fair in Las Vegas. I urge and encourage all of you who can to attend. Terry Burman will be our host and will elaborate on the need for each of us to reflect on our future involvement.

The World Diamond Council has given this industry well-earned credibility, an international profile and respect. I am proud to be its Chairman and equally proud of, and grateful for, the support I have received from friends and colleagues in the industry.

In conclusion, the future provides us not only with challenges, but also with many exciting opportunities. The opportunity to build on our success, the opportunity to demonstrate greater unity, commitment and purpose. The opportunity to reflect the values of the unique and beautiful product from which we — and millions of others — derive our living.

I believe that the World Diamond Council is part of that future, because there can be no turning back to the days when we were seen to be turning a blind eye.

Properly financed, with enhanced governance and universal participation, the WDC can spearhead an industry invigorated with confidence that is fit-for-purpose, inspires trust and sets a challenging example for other businesses to follow. I urge and encourage you to join me and others in pulling together and shaping that future.

Kimberley Process review visit to Zimbabwe to assess implementation of scheme to combat conflict diamonds

The Kimberley Process, chaired by the European Community in 2007, is sending a review visit to Zimbabwe from 29 May to 2 June 2007 at the invitation of its government. The team will assess the implementation of Kimberley Process rules in Zimbabwe. The team is led by the Russian Federation, with representatives from Norway, South Africa, the World Diamond Council and civil society (Partnership Africa Canada) and will meet relevant stakeholders in Zimbabwe.

European Commissioner for External Relations and Neighbourhood Policy, Benita Ferrero-Waldner, said “This review visit illustrates the determination of the Kimberley Process to ensure a robust monitoring system, and its determination to react swiftly and decisively and work with all member countries and partners to eliminate hiding places for conflict diamonds.”

Zimbabwe has invited a review visit from the Kimberley Process to assess its implementation of Kimberley Process rules. These rules require participating countries to implement effective controls over the production, import and export of rough diamonds.

The review visit will assess the implementation of these measures in accordance with the standard terms of reference for such visits agreed by Kimberley Process participants in 2003. At their most recent Plenary meeting in Gaborone, Botswana in November 2006, Kimberley Process participants noted that the vast majority of participating countries had already invited review visits. The Plenary agreed to launch a second round of review visits; this visit to Zimbabwe is the first of the second round.

During its visit the team will meet relevant stakeholders involved in KP implementation and go to the main mining areas of Zimbabwe. Following recent developments in the diamond sector in Zimbabwe, the Kimberley Process has been closely monitoring the situation. As part of this effort, the Government of Zimbabwe has provided regular reports and has invited a review visit.

Background

The Kimberley Process grew out of discussions in May 2000 in Kimberley, South Africa among interested governments, the international diamond industry and civil society, as a unique initiative to combat ‘conflict diamonds’ —rough diamonds used to finance devastating conflicts in the 1990s in some of Africa’s diamond-producing countries. The Kimberley Process is backed by the United Nations; in December 2000, the UN General Assembly adopted a resolution supporting the creation of an international certification scheme for rough diamonds, renewed most recently in December 2006.

In November 2002, an agreement was reached on the Kimberley Process Certification Scheme (KPCS): an innovative system imposing extensive requirements on all Participants to control all imports and exports of rough diamonds and to put in place rigorous internal controls over production and trade to ensure that conflict diamonds could not enter the legal diamond trade. In four years, the Kimberley Process has helped to reduce the amount of conflict diamonds to a tiny fraction of world trade.

The Kimberley Process Certification Scheme now has 46 Participants (representing 72 countries, with the European Community counting as a single Participant), including all major diamond producing, trading and polishing centres, and counts on the active participation of civil society and industry groups. Its most recent addition was Liberia, admitted on 4 May 2007, following the positive assessment of Kimberley Process experts and the decision of the UN Security Council to lift diamond sanctions.

To increase the effectiveness of the Kimberley Process, its requirements — including effective internal controls over diamond production and trade — must be applied in full by all Participants. The Kimberley Process has developed a number of tools to enable assessment of implementation and to address any issues which may arise. These tools include regular statistical reporting, annual reports and other compliance verification measures, such as review missions to participants who show ‘credible indications of significant non-compliance’. In October 2003, the Kimberley Process members agreed a comprehensive system of peer review. Since then, virtually all Participants have invited peer review visits. To date, nearly 40 review visits have been carried out, as well as a number of ad hoc monitoring missions, expert missions to applicant countries and review missions in cases of suspected non-compliance. Peer review teams are composed of representatives of governments, industry and civil society.

Members Only

New Years Message from Eli Izhakoff, Chairman, World Diamond Council


December 31, 2006

Members of the World Diamond Council

Dear WDC Member,

I am sure you will agree that 2006 has been both challenging and invigorating for all of us in the diamond industry.  It has been the most frenetic year and one in which, I am proud to say, the membership of the World Diamond Council was not found wanting when it came to addressing the demands and concerns of a world that is now focused, as never before, on the activities of the international diamond industry.

Although 2007 will be equally challenging and there remains much to do, I believe that we are now well placed to build on the achievements of this past year.  Together, we have demonstrated that we are sincere in our determination to work with governments, the international community and civil society to strengthen the Kimberley Process Certification Scheme and the System of Warranties.

Much of the increased media scrutiny we have seen over recent months has of course been inspired by the release of The Blood Diamond.  In 2006, we grasped the opportunity provided by the release of this film to increase awareness throughout the industry regarding the obligation to be Kimberley compliant and articulate the benefits diamonds bring to many in Africa and elsewhere.  The launch of the Education Pack and the diamondfacts.org website at this year’s JCK fair was a great success.  This pack is now available in 13 different languages and the website has so far received more than 100,000 visitors.

The highlight of the year was the successful conclusion of the Kimberley Process Plenary in Gaborone, Botswana.  The lead up to the Plenary was hardly auspicious, with — amongst other things — the three-year review of the Kimberley Process coming to a conclusion, with more than 80 of its recommendations having failed to gain consensus and reports of the smuggling of diamonds into Ghana from Ivory Coast.  The WDC was quick to alert and call upon government members of the Process to take swift and decisive action.  These proactive measures culminated in my address to Plenary, which combined with Partnership Africa Canada’s excellent speech, set the tone of debate for the next three days, during which much progress was made in resolving many of the problems we faced together with governments and the NGOs.

Much of this success was a result of the considerable contribution made by Mr. KG Moshashane as Chair of this year’s Plenary.  His statesman-like leadership and direction of the proceedings was an inspiration to us all.

As I said earlier, there remains much to do and we are determined not to rest on our laurels.  Looking forward to 2007, media scrutiny will continue into the New Year, as The Blood Diamond is released around the world.  The NGOs will continue to challenge and judge us and we must not be found wanting.  We must continue to drive the message home to all our constituents that compliance with the Kimberley Process and the System of Warranties is not optional.  We must also continue to demonstrate that diamonds are a force for good and carry out our business in a way that ensures they are.

We look forward to the European Community (EC) assuming the Chair of the Kimberley Process.  Mr. Karel Kovanda will be heading the EC delegation and having left such a positive impression in Gaborone, I am confident that he will carry on the excellent work of Mr. Moshashane.  Mr. Kovanda will have to deal with many challenges this year, including the review of the situation in Ghana, the resolution of irregularities in South America and recent reports of smuggling in Zimbabwe.

We do not intend to soften our approach in demanding swift and effective action by the Chair and governments on these important issues.  However, we will continue to work closely and productively with the Chair to ensure that the Kimberley Process and the System of Warranties will become evermore robust, and provide the consumer and all who work in the international diamond industry with the assurance and protection they demand and deserve.  We must continue to work together, not just to eradicate the trade in conflict diamonds today, but to ensure that diamonds are never again vulnerable to such abuse in the future.

Finally, we must never forget that diamonds are purchased and treasured by consumers because they represent the very highest human values, such as love and commitment.  In addition, we have every reason to be proud that this unique and beautiful product continues to make a unique contribution to the future prosperity of developing countries.  I believe that we are privileged to work with such a product and that it is our responsibility to do all we can to reflect these values, through our actions and the way we conduct our business.

I would like to thank you for your support and hard work over the last 12 months and wish you and your loved ones a peaceful, healthy and prosperous New Year.