Thursday, March 29, 2012

CIBJO President addresses United Nations-private sector gathering,
calls for collaboration between UN agencies and jewellery industry

VIENNA, AUSTRIA: March 28, 2012 - CIBJO President Gaetano Cavalieri has addressed the United Nations' Private Sector Focal Points Meeting, which is being held today and tomorrow in Vienna, Austria. In his presentation, he expressed the commitment of the world jewellery industry to working together with the international body and its agencies, with the objective of advancing the UN Millennium Development Goals.
Being co-hosted by the UN Global Compact, the Food and Agriculture Organisation, the United Nations Children's Fund, the United Nations Industrial Development Organisation and the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, the Private Sector Focal Points Meeting is meant to enhance collaboration between the United Nations and the private sector, creating what the UN refers to as "transformational relationships" that advance humanitarian and development objectives. With senior UN officials in attendance, the meeting is being attended by a large number of executives from major business corporations from across the globe. Dr. Cavalieri is representing the jewellery sector.

In his presentation, Dr. Cavalieri stressed the specific nature of the jewellery business, emphasizing the long chain of distribution and the fact that it is made up predominantly by smaller companies. From mining to retail, he said the jewellery sector employs 15 to 20 million workers, with more than 90 percent of them employed by micro- and small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).

To successfully engage the jewellery sector in its development programme, Dr. Cavalieri said, United Nations bodies need to create institutional partnerships with umbrella organisations like CIBJO, which counts among its members national associations from more than 40 countries, and which has been formally associated with the United Nations since 2006. This will enable the creation of collaborative projects at the local level, he stated.

Dr. Cavalieri was joined at the Private Sector Focal Points Meeting by Jocelyn Fenard, a Senior Specialist in CSR and sustainability with the United Nations Institute of Training and Research (UNITAR), who today is also General Manager of Antwerp-ITCCO (International Training Centre for Corporate Opportunities). Antwerp-ITCCO was created by UNITAR to advance CSR education in the international jewellery sector, and CIBJO played a key role in its establishment.

"The jewellery sector is firmly committed to doing the right thing, and in our case it involves assisting our stakeholders and the communities in which they live to meet their development needs," Dr. Cavalieri said. "We face a series of challenges that are specific to our business, not only because of the nature of the product that we deal with, but also because of our structure. With that in mind, we are keen to work closely with the United Nations in developing methods and programmes that will lead to the fruition of the Millennium Development Goals."

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