Former vice president Al Gore said that the industry will no longer have to worry about bad publicity over conflict diamonds during a speech at the Antwerp Diamond Conference on International Policies and Strategies.
“This is a new beginning for your industry,” he said. “I predict this is the end of a two-and-a-half year period of negative publicity on conflict diamonds and the beginning of a period of the world recognizing that your industry is playing a constructive role and having a positive impact. You have overcome this controversy with a lot of hard work and soul searching. I congratulate this industry for stepping forward and doing the right thing. Keep it up.”
Nicky Oppenheimer, chairman of De Beers, introduced the Diamond Relief Fund which provides aid for developing countries. “It is just the sort of initiative to show the world that gem diamonds are and indeed must be a source not only of beauty, but of legitimate pride for everyone involved in their production and ultimately and most importantly, for those who wear them,” he said.