WFDB: Kimberley Process Will Survive

World Federation of Diamond Bourses president Avi Paz issued
a statement on June 16 saying he is optimistic about a resolution to the
Kimberley Process’ current deadlock on Zimbabwe and about the certification
scheme’s future. 

“Contrary to reports and various commentaries published over
the past few weeks, reports of the KP’s death are very much exaggerated,” Paz
noted. “In fact, in spite of the numerous and difficult obstacles the KP
has encountered during the past year, the KP is very much alive.”

Paz said he is confident that, at next week’s KP meeting in
Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of Congo, the scheme meant to eradicate “blood
diamonds” will remove barriers preventing the export of rough diamonds from the
Marange region in Zimbabwe.

Paz added that while his organization would support a KP
decision to allow Zimbabwe to resume rough diamond exports from all areas in
the country, it would at the same time like to see Zimbabwe’s government be
held more accountable.

“Zimbabwean authorities will have their work cut out to meet
and uphold the criteria to enable the country to export its diamonds and
benefit from the resources it so desperately needs,” he said. “Surely, the
world at large will scrutinize Zimbabwe carefully as its leadership will need
to assure that its mineral resources will lead to genuine sustainable
development and increased prosperity for its people.”

Paz reiterated that until a formal announcement is made,
all members of the WFDB are to continue to follow the KP’s and the WFDB’s
directives not to trade in rough diamonds from Marange, or any other rough
diamonds that do not have KP certification.

Paz also emphasized the WFDB’s ongoing full and unequivocal
support for the World Diamond Council (WDC) and its president, Eli Izhakoff.

On May 26, Paz issued
a statement
calling for a resumption of exports from Marange, which caused
in Kimberley Process circles.