Rapaport Press Release:
Martin Rapaport, Chairman of the Rapaport Group has begun a 3 day fast outside the Kimberley Process (KP) Meetings. The water-only fast began at sundown Sunday, June 20 and will continue until sundown Wednesday, June 24 following the close of the KP meetings in Tel Aviv, Israel.
Rapaport is fasting to protest the issuing of Kimberley Process Certificates for blood diamonds and to draw attention to the fact that it is unethical for the diamond and jewelry trade to rely upon the Kimberley Process Certificate Scheme or System of Warranties to ensure that diamonds are not involved in severe human rights violations such as murder, mutilation, rape, and forced servitude.
Martin Rapaport statement:
“The Kimberley Process (KP) is aiding and abetting severe human rights violations as it certifies, legalizes and legitimizes blood diamonds. Corrupt governments have turned the KP on its head. Instead of eliminating human rights violations the KP is legitimizing them.
“The diamond trade and consumers cannot trust the Kimberley Process, its system of warranties, or those that promote the Kimberley Process as an assurance of the legitimate source of diamonds. We must face the fact that the Kimberley Process is a politicized government-controlled initiative that is incapable of eliminating human rights violations in the diamond sector. It’s time for the World Diamond Council and responsible NGO’s to withdraw from the KP.
“The solution is outside the KP. The diamond trade must take full responsibility for how and where it buys its diamonds. It must stop hiding behind the KP and recognize that it has moral and ethical obligations that transcend national and international laws. While governments cannot enforce international human rights standards due to sovereignty issues, diamond traders can use their purchasing power to enforce such standards. The key to understanding this issue is that, in the end, our diamonds are only as good as we are.”
Greg Valerio fully endorses and supports Rapaport’s demonstration that the fight for justice in the mineral sector is not just an economic one but also a spiritual one.