In July 2000, the World Federation of Diamond Bourses and the International Diamond Manufacturers Association met in Antwerp at the 29th World Diamond Congress. High on the organisation’s agenda was the need to develop an industry-wide response to the problem of rough diamonds being used by rebel groups in parts of Africa to finance civil war. During the meeting, a resolution was passed to create the World Diamond Council (WDC), under the chairmanship of WFDB Honarary Life President Eli Izakhoff.
The resolution called for the WDC to develop and implement a tracking system for the export and import of rough diamonds to prevent diamonds being exploited for illegal purposes.
As a result of the commitment and resolve of WDC leaders and members, significant strides have been made toward resolving and reconciling these issues. The development and implementation of the Kimberley Process, for example, has reduced the flow of conflict diamonds in the marketplace from approximately 4 percent to significantly less than 1 percent. While the number of conflict diamonds has been reduced, and this is an improvement, it is still not enough. The diamond industry will continue its efforts until conflict diamonds are eradicated completely.
The World Diamond Council today represents over 50 industry organizations - from mining companies and trade associations to manufacturers and retailers - worldwide.