The Kimberley Process must evolve to meet new challenges, World Diamond Council president Eli Izhakoff said in a June 4 speech to the Kimberley Process Intercessional in Washington, D.C.
“The circumstances to which the KPCS has had to react have been dynamic,” he said. “The KPCS is not an end unto itself. It is the means to an end, and that end is sustainable economic and social development.”
He noted that the WDC had endorsed the notion of expanding the definition of conflict diamonds to include diamonds associated with violence.
“In many respects a broader definition has been applied de facto, but the time has come to codify it in the KP statutes,” he said. “We explicitly suggest that diamonds tainted by violence should be considered conflict material, and therefore subject to KP sanctions, which the World Diamond Council will help monitor through the promotion of its system of warranties throughout the diamond pipeline.
“The KP, at its core, is a human rights endeavor,” Izhakoff continued. “We certainly should not shy away from the issue of human rights. What we do stipulate is that, as Ambassador Milovanovic herself said, the KP focuses on issues that concern the diamond business.”
He also endorsed the creation of a new administrative support mechanism for the KP, and a toughening of the peer review process.