NEW YORK: July 30, 2012 - The newly elected WDC Board of Directors held its first meeting on July 24, and expressed the organization's strong support for the reform of the Kimberley Process and for the KP Chair's expanded definition for conflict diamonds, as was proposed at the World Diamond Council Annual Meeting in Vicenza, Italy, on May 14.
The Board also gave the green light to a proposal by WDC President Eli Izhakoff that a Steering Committee be established, to examine the restructuring of the World Diamond Council in terms of membership, financing and administration, so as to upgrade the functioning and efficiency of the organization in its second decade of operation. WDC Vice President Andrew Bone was appointed to head the steering committee.
Mr. Izhakoff greeted the new members of the board - Johan Dippenaar, Stephane Fischler, Lisu Lionel Hadebe, Vinod Hayagriv, Reuven Kaufman, Dilip Mehta, Yair Sahar and Leonid Tolpezhnikov. Andrew Bone and Stephane Fischler were appointed vice presidents.
"The WDC board applauded the two-year collaboration agreement between the United States and South Africa, and we believe that it provides an opportunity for real progress," Mr. Izhakoff said. "We urge the governments of the other KP member countries to join in this spirit of cooperation, in order to institute the reforms that the Kimberley Process so urgently needs, including the establishment of a permanent Administrative Support Mechanism, the implementation of a more rigorous peer review system and improved information exchange with international law enforcement agencies."
"The board affirmed the resolution of the WDC General Assembly in Vicenza that the proposal made by KP Chair Ambassador Gillian Milovanovic, according to which the term conflict diamonds would be amended to cover 'rough diamonds used to finance, or otherwise directly related to, armed conflict or other situations of violence,' is a good basis for moving forward the discussion on an expanded definition. We also hope to see progress in this respect, and call on all KP participants to engage in a constructive discussion so that the issue may be resolved."
The officers and directors of the World Diamond Council are as follows:
Eli Izhakoff, President
Avi Paz, First Vice President
Ernest Blom, Vice President
Andrew Bone, Vice President
Stephane Fischler, Vice President
Moti Ganz, Vice President
Shmuel Schnitzer, Vice President
Gaetano Cavalieri, Treasurer & CFO
Udi Sheintal, Secretary General
Lisu Lionel Hadebe
Jean Marc Lieberherr