Oct 27, 2016

CIBJO Congress Inaugurated by Armenia’s President Serzh Sargsyan

The CIBJO 2016 Congress was inaugurated at the Meridian Expo Center in Yerevan, Armenia, in the presence of the country’s president, Serzh Sargsyan on October 26, marking the first time ever that the organisation is holding its Congress in a Central Asian country. The Congress is being hosted by the Armenian Jewellers Association (AJA).

The 2016 Congress also marks the 90th anniversary of the founding of the World Jewellery Confederation, confirming the organisation’s status as the longest established representative body serving the international industry.

Speaking at the inauguration, President Sargsyan referred to the long and illustrious jewellery-making history of the country, and said, “Armenia has celebrated a National Jewellers Day for many years, and, indeed, there is a jewellers’ street in Yerevan which leads to the Meridian Expo Center which is home to the most significant jewellery exhibition center in Armenia. I welcome you all and thank you for coming from across the world to take part and I wish you a successful Congress.”

Gagik Gevorkyan, President of the AJA and Advisor to the President of Armenia, also welcomed Congress participants and said, “Armenia is an important diamond polishing and jewellery making center and we believe it is right that the CIBJO Congress is happening here.”

CIBJO President Gaetano Cavalieri was awarded a special medal of gratitude in honour of his and CIBJO’s contribution to the jewellery industry in Armenia and worldwide. While accepting the honour, Dr. Cavalieri emphasised that he was doing so on behalf of CIBJO, its members and the work done by the confederation.

Addressing the gathering, Dr Cavalieri said that Armenia is in the centre of a massive region and a growing jewellery industry and market. He said that Armenia’s contribution to the Russian jewellery industry has been immense and it has also aided Armenia’s economy.

Dr. Cavalieri went on to say that CIBJO prides itself on forging new paths for the international jewellery and gemstone industries, looking over the horizon to areas that may not have previously been part of the public discussion. “CIBJO is the only organisation operating in the industry that considers its area of interest and responsibility to include the entire chain of distribution, from the mine to the consumer outlet, in every country and region where jewellery and gemstones are produced, manufactured and sold. There are no size restrictions in terms of the individuals or organisations we serve, meaning that our commitment to the wellbeing of the smaller player is as solid and absolute, as is our commitment to the larger players in the business.”

He said that CIBJO had helped develop the standards, terminology, strategies and systems that enable all individuals and companies to operate fairly and responsibly. “These change over time, are influenced by economics and geopolitics, and particularly by technological developments. That is why the work of our sectors and commission is never done.”

Ahmed Bin-Sulayem, Chair of the Kimberley Process (KP) and Executive Chairman of the Dubai Multi Commodities Centre, congratulated CIBJO on holding its Congress in Armenia and spoke of the strong relations between Armenia and the United Arab Emirates.

Andrey Yurin, head of Gokhran, said that Russia paid a great deal of attention to international standards that are recommended by CIBJO. These standards are being applied at Russian jewellery manufacturing plants, he commented.

Andrey Zharkov, the President of ALROSA, said he was delighted that the CIBJO Congress was taking place in Yerevan. “CIBJO has done great work in creating standards for the precious stones and metals industries. This allows for the production of high-quality goods. I must also praise CIBJO for its environmental work which is extremely important,” he said.

Also present at the opening session were Suren Karayan, Minister of Economic Development and Investment of the Republic of Armenia, and Adylbek A. Kasymaliev, Minister of Finance of the Kyrgyz Republic.

CIBJO was originally founded in the French capital in 1926 as BIBOA, an organisation whose mission was to represent and advance the interests of the jewellery trade in Europe. It was restructured in 1961 as CIBJO (Confédération International de la Bijouterie, Joaillerie, Orfèvrerie des Diamants, Perles et Pierres), with a worldwide focus, rather than one which was exclusively European.