Diamond Council: KP Must Support Human Rights

World Diamond Council chairman Eli Izhakoff has endorsed an
NGO suggestion to add “human rights language” to the Kimberley
Process charter.

Charmian Gooch, director of NGO Global Witness, argued at
the Kimberley Process Plenary’s opening session in Jerusalem on Monday that the
organization needed to address such concerns to maintain consumer confidence.

“Human rights has to be at the core of how the diamond
industry operates,” she said.

Izhakoff agreed the group needed to take a tough line on any
human rights violations associated with diamond extraction.

“We cannot have diamonds associated with any kind of
abuses,” he said. “Every place that is happening, that is unacceptable.”

But he doesn’t see any kind of “human rights language” being
adopted at this Plenary.

“There will be an agreement between the World Diamond
Council and the NGOs on that, but that doesn’t mean that it will be adopted,”
he said. “Anything you have to pass at the KP is extremely difficult because
you need consensus between 72 governments. Just one person can say, ‘I have to
check back with my government,’ and then it doesn’t pass. You have to do a lot
of groundwork for a change like that.”

Izhakoff also endorsed having all KP Plenary sessions open
to the media.

“You have a room of 350 people, and the press is left out,”
he said. “I don’t get it.”

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