Three jewelry associations recently issued statements on the Kimberley Process’ controversial decision not to expel Zimbabwe from the diamond certification scheme.
Jewelers of America called on the Kimberley Process to fully and quickly implement the agreed upon work plan, which specifically targets exports of rough diamonds from the country’s Marange diamond fields, the site of reported human rights violations.
"Jewelers of America continues to support the Kimberley Process, which has been vital to maintaining consumer confidence in diamonds since it was first implemented in 2003," says JA President & CEO Matthew A. Runci. "However, we are disappointed with how the KP has handled the situation in Zimbabwe, believing more decisive action was widely expected at the Plenary meeting."
That said, JA called the Work Plan "a step in the right direction that would help ensure KP compliance and improve conditions on the ground in Zimbabwe."
The association fully supports the U.S. Department of State, which has called for the "full and expeditious implementation of the stringent controls" that were agreed upon at the Plenary. As part of the KP Work Plan, all rough diamond shipments from the Marange region will be suspended until a KP Monitor is in place. Once the KP Monitor is in place, all exports from that region must bear the signature of the Monitor on the KP Certificate.
The International Diamond Manufacturers Association and the World Federation of Diamond Bourses, currently meeting in Antwerp, stressed that, with Zimbabwe now not allowed to export rough diamonds from Marange pending full implementation of the monitoring system, "any member who trades in rough diamonds from Marange prior to the full implementation of this monitoring system and in full compliance of the KP resolution will be subject to expulsion"
The attending IDMA and WFDB presidents further stated that any human rights abuses linked to diamond mining and processing cannot and will not be tolerated.
"IDMA and the WFDB reconfirm their commitment to end and prevent the use of rough diamonds for the purpose of funding conflict, anywhere in the world. We reiterate that our endorsement of the Kimberley Process, the World Diamond Council and the Supportive System of Warranties remains strong," they declared.