A statement from the International Diamond Manufacturers Association (IDMA) following the G7 decision to impose sanctions on Russian diamonds and the “Twelfth Package of Restrictive Measures Against Russia” issued by the European Union
(ANTWERP, Belgium) – “At this pivotal moment for the global diamond industry, it is vital that we protect the lives and livelihoods of all those employed in the mining and manufacturing of diamonds,” IDMA President Ronnie VanderLinden said.
“We are pleased that the G7 will seek further engagement with diamond industry organizations such as the World Diamond Council (WDC) and IDMA, to ensure that diamond producers worldwide – particularly those on the African continent – can continue to mine and market diamonds without fear of job losses and broader economic harm,” he continued. “The global diamond industry employs several million people throughout the diamond supply pipeline, i.e., from mining to selling jewelry to the end consumer. It is of the utmost importance that none of those jobs, nor the industries and economies that depend on them, are jeopardized as this process of consultation advances.”
IDMA, like the WDC, firmly believes that the G7’s phased introduction of import restrictions must focus on the following priorities:
- The importance of providing African diamond-producing countries the freedom and independence to verify and certify the origin of rough diamonds mined in their territories.
- Ensuring that any technology-based solutions that may be used to verify the origin and provenance of diamonds are accessible to more extensive and smaller industry participants, including artisanal and small-scale mining sector members.
- Ensuring the new measures enhance rather than restrict access to the G7 consumer markets for responsibly sourced natural diamonds.
- Protection of jobs and economies – particularly in Africa.
Mr. VanderLinden added: “I repeat the words of former WDC President Edward Asscher that have become a core value of WDC policy: ‘Leave no one behind!’ The IDMA board and membership feel strongly about protecting the millions of jobs, the members’ businesses, and the countries and economies of the diamond mining, manufacturing, and trading communities operating in Africa, Asia, Europe, and the Americas. We must ensure we can conduct our businesses confidently, safely, and successfully worldwide.”