CIBJO President extols jewellery industry’s role as a catalyst
for sustainable development, at high-level summit in Italy

CIBJO President Gaetano Cavalieri (second from left), participating in the panel discussion on recovery from the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, during ASviS’s sustainable development summit in Rome on October 7, 2021. He is flanked (from left) by Marco Patuano, President of A2A, one of Italy’s largest energy companies; Musonda Mumba, the panel moderator and Director for the Rome Centre for Sustainable Development; and Francesco Tramontin, Vice President Group Public Policy at Ferrero, the world’s second largest confectionary company.

OCTOBER 11, 2021

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 September 28 and October 14.

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 October 7, at which ASviS presented the results of a research project that looks at the relative success of the G20 countries in advancing the  SDGs, and considering areas of potential international cooperation among them. CIBJO actively supported and contributed to the research, which has been conducted during a period during which Italy holds the presidency of the G20, an intergovernmental forum comprising 19 of the world’s most economically advanced countries and the European Union. 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.

CIBJO President Gaetano Cavalieri speaking during the ASviS summit. “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,” he said.

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 metals and gems are mined, farmed and harvested.

“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. This does not mean undermining the existing centres. On the contrary, in an interconnected global industry we will all benefit from their development and the growth of the market in general,” Dr. Cavalieri stated.

The jewellery industry finds itself uniquely positioned to serve as a catalyst for economic and social development, Dr. Cavalieri said. All the countries in which raw materials are mined have centuries-old jewellery traditions, so the challenge is a not to create capacity in areas where none previously existed, but rather to adapt, build upon and upgrade knowledge and skills that are already present in the community. Furthermore, in certain fields, like pearl farmining, the industry can also impact positively on the region’s land and marine environment.

“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,” Dr. Cavalieri said. 

“They include SDG 1, ending poverty; SDG 5, gender equality; SDG 8, decent work and economic growth, SDG 9, industry, innovation and infrastructure; SDG 12, responsible consumption and production, SDG 13, climate action; SDG 14, life below water, SDG 15, life on land; SDG 16 peace, justice and strong institutions; and, in particular, SDG 17, partnerships for the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals,” the CIBJO President added.

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