Ramat Gan: Edward Asscher, outgoing president of the World Diamond Council (WDC), defended the Kimberley Process (KP) and addressed the “white elephant” of Russian sanctions at the World Federation of Diamond Bourses (WFDB) Congress in Israel.
“Today, through the KP and the work that we all do, I am convinced that 99.9 percent of all diamonds in the global marketplace are conflict free,” he said.
“Is the KPCS (Kimberley Process Certification Scheme) perfect? No, it is not. In a rough diamond market worth $13-$15 billion, there will always be individuals who will try to circumvent the system.”
But he cautioned against ditching it. “Even if it is not perfect, it should not be discarded, rather improved. For those who call it to be thrown out, I say: be careful what you ask for.”
He also said that segregating Russian diamonds was likely to become standard practice very soon, at least for diamonds above a certain size.
“We cannot be indifferent to the tragic loss of many lives in the Ukraine, as well as the loss of property and livelihoods, and the displacement of millions of people,” he told delegates.
“Over and above the law, which is a red line we cannot cross, each businessperson needs to act according to his or her conscience.”