London – Demonstrators from Global Witness and Amnesty International greeted first-day attendees of the World Diamond Congress being held at the Langham Hilton.
The small protest included a Marilyn Monroe look-alike crooning about the dangers of “conflict diamonds.” Demonstrators called for tougher monitoring standards and faster implementation of the Kimberley Process, the system of warranties designed to eradicate conflict diamonds. The Process is due to begin on January 1, 2003, but concerns about some nations being unprepared for it could delay its implementation.
The demonstration received some media coverage, and representatives of both the industry and the NGOs were interviewed by CNN.
Despite the protest, speakers at the opening ceremony said the industry was in the “post conflict diamond” era, and wanted to turn their attention to equally important matters.
The World Federation of Diamond Bourses elected Shmuel Schnitzer its new president, succeeding Bram Fischler.