Thursday, December 08, 2011

Letter to Global Witness

elby tan to Annie Dunnebacke: +44 7912 517 127; , Andrea Pattison: +44 7970 103 083;

Certainly the news of Global Witness leaving the Kimberley Process after it has held an instrumental role in establishing it would raise a few eyebrows. But do you really think that it solves the problem? While you may say that the sad truth is that consumers do not know where their diamonds come from but isn't that where education comes in? I am quite sure that even if governments are not cooperative, consumers have a right to know, and the Kimberley Process is a tool that enables the consumer to understand and question where their products originate from.

While it may be difficult to establish ground rules of who does what when, and making sure that key industry players and governments adhere to it, I believe that like all causes you have to fight for what you believe in. The moment you walk out on a cause you lose your integrity and moral standing. How do you expect to maintain credibility with regards to your other campaigns on oil, minerals and other resources? How does any organization expect to maintain any credibility at all if you have set the precedence that they can walk out of any cause they have fought for at any time they want? Imagine if the World Food Programme suddenly decides one day that what they do is too difficult and leaves the people to fend for themselves. How many lives do you think that would affect?

I am quite certain that when you first started out the objective was to make a difference. While I applaud that feat, I think that all you are making now is a mistake.

Yours truly,
Elby Tan