Diamond Industry Hails Success of Conflict Conference

(Gaborone, Botswana) – November 9, 2006 – The Kimberley Process Plenary meeting, held in Gaborone, Botswana, this week between 71 countries, civil society and the diamond industry has successfully addressed remaining concerns about conflict diamonds.

The World Diamond Council applauds the actions of governments in strengthening the Kimberley Process to eradicate, once and for all, the trade in conflict diamonds.

The Plenary agreed all of industry’s demands on import/export controls, statistics and appropriate oversight of industry self-regulation measures. The Kimberley Process is the diamond industry’s primary safeguard and gives consumers assurance that their diamonds are conflict free.

World Diamond Council members are providing technical expertise to a number of countries to assist in full implementation of the Kimberley Process.

The Plenary in Botswana not only ensures the effectiveness and credibility of the Kimberley Process, but also recognizes the importance of working with initiatives by industry and NGOs on the economic, social, environmental and development needs of the informal mining sector.

This has been a further example of the positive results that come from a successful coalition of governments, civil society and industry to deal with pressing problems of public concern.

Eli Izhakoff, Chairman of the World Diamond Council, said: “We are delighted with the progress made in Gaborone. The Kimberley Process had already reduced conflict diamonds to less than one per cent of world rough diamond production, but this demonstrates the strong commitment of the 71 countries in the Kimberley Process to work with us and NGOs to eliminate the very last traces of conflict diamonds. It recognizes also the important contribution of diamonds to African development, particularly in providing employment, education and healthcare. All participants can be proud of their achievements.”