JOANNESBURG – Transparency, responsibility and sustainability are at the heart of the discussions at the thirty-seventh World Diamond Congress, which is taking place in Dubai. "From mining to diamond cutting and polishing, and from jewellery making to retailing, we must ensure that we’re all working in a fair and honest way," said re-elected World Federation of Diamond Bourses president Ernie Blom, who described transparency, responsibility and sustainability as being relevant to all the challenges currently facing the global diamond industry. In a release to Creamer Media's Mining Weekly Online, the head of the world diamond body emphasised the importance of proactively dealing with issues and going on the offensive. “We’ve been on the defensive for too long – and unnecessarily so,” he added, reiterating the challenge of securing financing by an industry faced with falling profitability, declining bank credit, synthetics and overgrading. Kimberley Process chairperson and Dubai Multi Commodities Centre head Ahmed Bin Sulayem described Dubai as a pivotal diamond location where the Kimberley Process Intersessional meetings would next week follow this week’s World Diamond Congress. Dubai Diamond Exchange chairperson Peter Meeus reported that more than $30-billion worth of diamonds had been traded in Dubai last year, prompting the city’s banks to mull financing options for the diamond business. International Diamond Manufacturers Association secretary-general Ronnie Vanderlinden highlighted the difficulties of manufacturers in making a profit and expressed the hope of greater banking sector support. Diamond Producers Association CEO Jean-Marc Lieberherr outlined research into the likes and dislikes of the world’s millennial generation ahead of his association’s marketing plans being publicised at next month’s JCK Show Las Vegas. Blom was unanimously re-elected president of the world body for a further two-year term, with Israel Diamond Exchange president Yoram Dvash elected vice-president.