The Israeli diamond industry reiterated its commitment to the Kimberley Process and the eradication of the trade in conflict diamonds, at the conclusion of the annual plenary meeting in Gaborone, Botswana.
“The Israeli industry is determined to do all that we can to eliminate this abhorrent phenomenon,” said Moti Ganz, chairman of the Israel Diamond Institute and president of the Israel Diamond Manufacturers Association. “We are working closely with the Israeli government, as well as with all of the international partners, to ensure that the Kimberley Process is an effective mechanism in fighting conflict diamonds.”
Avi Paz, president of the Israel Diamond Exchange and vice president of the World Federation of Diamond Bourses, said that the international diamond industry is “Working zealously to implement the Kimberley Process Certification Scheme throughout the world, as part of a comprehensive effort to prevent the illegal trade in diamonds used to fund terrorism and war.”
They both said that the Israeli diamond industry has been a key supporter of the Kimberley Process since it was established. Israel was the first country in the world to issue Kimberley Certificates on trade in rough diamonds in January 2003.
The Israeli industry was represented at the plenary by Udi Sheintal, deputy director-general of the Ministry of Industry, Trade and Labor; Arieh Lev, deputy diamond controller; Moti Besser, managing director of IDMA; and Yair Cohen, managing director of IDE.
The plenary made progress on several issues, including the development of stronger internal controls to strengthen government oversight of the industry, as demanded by NGOs and the diamond industry. In addition, it was decided to implement strong measures to assist participants with compliance, as well as to develop formal procedures to deal with non-compliance by participating countries. The meeting singled out Ghana in particular, which will have to strengthen its governmental controls or face loss of its Kimberley Process status.