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WDC reasserts call for redefining ‘conflict diamond’

World Diamond Council (WDC) president Eli Izhakoff quoted Mahatma Gandhi’s “commerce with morality” when he referred to updating the definition of ‘conflict diamond.’

In a speech presented at the 2012 World Diamond Congress in Mumbai, India, Izhakoff re-affirmed the council’s support for expanding the definition of conflict diamond to incorporate other forms of violence currently not covered by the Kimberley Process Certification Scheme (KPCS) like human rights abuses.

“What we insist upon is that whatever definition be applied, it must meet the ability of the participants to implement the Kimberley Process effectively, and be directly associated with the trade in rough diamonds,” Izhakoff said, adding the definition proposed by KP chair Gillian Milovanovic at the WDC annual meeting in Vicenza in May is “a good basis for helping move the discussion forward.”

Izhakoff cited an article written by Gandhi on the roots of violence, which he described as “wealth without work, pleasure without conscience, knowledge without character, science without humanity, worship without sacrifice, politics without principles, and commerce without morality.”

“All are critical,” Izhakoff said. “But it is about the last one with which we have been most concerned in the World Diamond Council and the Kimberley Process.”

In his closing remarks, he reiterated WDC’s support for establishing a permanent administrative support mechanism within the KP to ensure continuity from chair to chair, as well as to improve the efficiency of its working bodies.

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