2013 CIBJO Congress opens in Tel Aviv, Israel

The 2013 CIBJO Congress has opened in Tel Aviv, Israel, before an audience of about 200, of which about 130  are delegates from national jewellery and gemstone associations from around the world, as well as representatives of international corporations and representative organisations operating in the industry.

Opening of CIBJO Congress_big

Opening of CIBJO Congress_big

CIBJO President Gaetano Cavalieri opened the annual event by emphasising the openness and transparency of the organisation’s meetings. “I have spoken a great deal over the years about the grass roots of the jewellery industry, for it is from there – and only from there – that CIBJO derives its authority,” he said. “It comes through our national association members, who bring under our umbrella literally hundreds of thousands of companies and individuals across the globe, and at all levels of the business.”

“We are an inclusive organisation. Our meetings are open. All interested parties are invited to participate and voice their opinion. And when a decision is taken, it is done so in the full light of day,” Dr. Cavalieri said.

CIBJO delegates give of their time generously and on a voluntary basis, Dr. Cavalieri stated. “They do this not for personal gain. Indeed many take time from their own businesses in order to contribute. They do so because of their love of the business, and because of their deeply held belief that our success is vested in a sense of fair play, and in the confidence that our consumers show in us and our products,” he stated.

Delivering a keynote speech was South Africa’s Minister of Mineral Resources Susan Shabangu. She said that one of her country’s aims in 2013, as Chair of the Kimberley Process, is to demonstrate its relevance. She said stakeholders should reaffirm their commitment to the diamond trade.

“We must all take diamonds forward, and ensure that they are not used to fuel conflicts and by rebels. We must conduct the KP’s business in an open way that leads to harmony. Diamonds must continue to play a critical role in Africa as it is a matter of life and death. We must also give a vision of the future for the generations to come. South Africa aims to contribute to the process to make diamonds relevant,” the South African minister stated.

Shabangu was followed by Zimbabwe’s Mines and Mining Minister Obert Mpofu who said that the jewellery industry in his country was in its infancy. “We call upon you to show interest in Zimbabwe’s diamond industry and to participate in its development.”

Andrei Abramov, Chief of the NGO section of ECOSOC, the United Nations Economic and Social Council to which CIBJO has been affiliated since 2006, said CIBJO has been working for many years to promote transparent sourcing and manufacturing. “You must look beyond what your industry is doing. Humankind is at a critical stage of development. There is enormous inequality and environmental degradation. We need new economic development models.

“CSR is critical. We need inclusive societies and new solutions. Many African countries rely on diamonds and gold and they are important to reduce poverty since many miners live in terrible conditions. We need new initiatives for artisanal mining,” Mr. Abramov said.

World Diamond Council President Eli Izhakoff, who also is CIBJO’s Honorary Life President, said the World Jewellery Confederation has elevated its position enormously in recent years, becoming an even more serious player in the global jewellery business. He also spoke about the importance of leadership and that CIBJO provides guidance on a wide range of issues.

“While a manager focuses on systems and structure, a leader focuses on people,” Mr. Izhakoff said. “Leaders do not simply define tasks; they assign purpose.”

“The entire CIBJO philosophy is based upon this,” Mr. Izhakoff continued. “The organisation does not impose nor enforce its rulings. It rather provides guidance and frameworks with specific end goals in sight. This is true in respect to the industry standards and accepted nomenclature contained in its Blue Books, as well as in its approach to ethics and Corporate Social Responsibility, where the emphasis has been upon education.”

Shmuel Mordechai, the Controller of Diamonds at Israel’s Ministry of Economy welcomed the CIBJO delegates on behalf of the Israeli government. Also addressing the meeting was Tung Lai Margue, Head of the Service for Foreign Policy Instruments of the European Union, who spoke the need of the jewellery industry to address chain of custody protection.

Courtesy : cibjo

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