World Diamond Council Encourages Retailer Participation in NGO Survey

(New York, NY) – 22 December 2006

The World Diamond Council (WDC), in its on-going commitment to eliminate conflict diamonds and to show full support for the Kimberley Process, issued a letter to retailers across the U.S. today encouraging them to participate in an Amnesty International (AI) and Global Witness (GW) survey on the Kimberley Process and retailers’ implementation of the System of Warranties (SoW).

Cecilia Gardner, General Counsel for the World Diamond Council and President of the Jewelers Vigilance Committee, states “I know that retailers across America have taken great efforts to ensure that they do their part in eradicating conflict diamonds.”  As the final link to the consumer, the retailer plays a critical role is conveying the government and industry based systems in place which comply with industry safeguards to protect the legitimate diamond supply.  Gardner stresses, “Responding to the NGO survey is a great opportunity to ensure that industry facts, not fiction, are being reported to the world.”  She also notes, “It is important that when GW and AI collate the survey, they will report the results in a responsible and fair manner that reflects the positive efforts made by the retailers and industry in America.”

The Kimberley Process is a government based system to address the movement of rough diamonds across international borders.  The industry based System of Warranties was created by the World Diamond Council to work hand-in hand with the Kimberley Process to ensure only diamonds from conflict-free sources enter the legitimate diamond trade. The WDC’s goal is to completely eradicate the trade in conflict diamonds.
The Kimberley Process, together with the System of Warranties, has succeeded in ensuring that 99.8% of all diamonds are from conflict-free sources.  At a recent Kimberley Process meeting in Gaborone, Botswana, 71 countries, civil society (including Global Witness) and the diamond industry renewed their commitment to strengthen existing industry safeguards.

Eli Izhakoff, Chairman of the World Diamond Council, has said “even one diamond traded in such a way is one too many. Only through industry-wide participation in the Kimberley Process and System of Warranties can we achieve our goal of zero tolerance towards conflict diamonds.”

For more information, please visit the WDC website