Letter in support of KP

Dear WFDB Members and Industry Colleagues,

I would like to put firmly on record that the World Federation of Diamond Bourses (WFDB) restates its support for the work of the Kimberley Process Certification Scheme (KPCS). This organisation fights to eradicate conflict diamonds and prevent them from entering the legitimate diamond pipeline and continues to play a critical role and must have the full support of the global diamond sector.

The establishment of the KPCS was a great leap forward for the diamond industry when it started operating in 2003 and showed governments and the public that the diamond trade was ready to take responsibility and lead the fight against the scourge of conflict diamonds. It has carried out excellent work for much more than a decade and continues to do so.

It has the full support of the WFDB, which represents the vast majority of the diamond trade, because it is the main way we show the world, and particularly consumers, that we take this issue extremely seriously. The WFDB's support for the KPCS is delivered via the World Diamond Council of which we are a leading member and which represents the diamond industry as one of the three main pillars of the KPCS. We all know that getting the KPCS to agree on a decision is time-consuming process because of the need for consensus. However, it brings together the diamond industry, NGOs and governments which is important.

I urge all trade bodies and individuals working in the diamond industry to use whatever platform they have to give their full support to the KPCS. We cannot allow a situation to come about where the public might see individuals attacking it. The KPCS gives legitimacy to us all by monitoring and auditing diamond production globally and providing independent statistic relating to rough diamond output. It also reviews the way all country members operate, thus ensuring a level playing field.

It's important to remember that conflict diamonds at the turn of the century constituted around 4 percent of diamonds in the pipeline. That number is now down to just under 0.2 percent. This is a development which took, and continues to take, a lot of serious work by many people and organizations devoting many hours and days to the task. The KPCS deserves the unequivocal support of the entire global diamond trade.

Best regards,

Ernie Blom