CIBJO President Gaetano Cavalieri has described to an audience of business and industry leaders meeting in the Italian capital of Rome, as well as online, the current and potential role of the jewellery industry as a catalyst for the fulfilment of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). He was participating in the Sustainable Development Festival (Festival dello Sviluppo Sostenibile), organised by the Italian Alliance for Sustainable Development (ASviS), which is taking part in cities around the country between 28th September and 14th October.
The annual festival which was held for the first time one year after the adoption by the United Nations in 2015 of the 17 SDGs and the 2030 Agenda, is intended to raise awareness about social, economic and environmental sustainability, in order to foster a cultural shift and to lobby the country’s leadership to comply with the agreements undertaken in the UN. It involves the participation of businesses, industry organisations, national and local administrations, universities and civil society.
Dr. Cavalieri spoke as a panellist during a high-level summit meeting on 7th October. The keynote speech at the summit was delivered by Professor Jeffrey Sachs, Director of the Center for Sustainable Development at Columbia University in New York and President of the UN Sustainable Development Solutions Network.
Speaking during a panel discussion that considered ideas for a global recovery from the effects of the covid-19 pandemic, Dr. Cavalieri pointed to the jewellery industry’s ability to empower societies and economies, particularly in economies where precious metal and gems are mined, farmed and harvested. Dr. Cavalieri stated, “The fact that the jewellery industry reaches the grass roots of almost any society means that we can play a critical role in advancing a range of the Sustainable Development Goals. Our goal must be that citizens of these countries should be able to leverage the natural resources with which they have been blessed into sustainable economic and social opportunity. Unlike in the past, where they were primarily regarded as a source of raw materials, our commitment now must be that they extend their involvement up the value chain, developing home-grown cutting and polishing industries, precious metal refineries, jewellery design and manufacturing hubs, and wholesale and retail trading networks.”