KP In­ter­s­es­sional Dis­cusses Am­bi­tious Re­form Agenda

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The Eu­ro­pean Union, as the chair of the Kim­ber­ley Process (KP) for 2018, hosted this year’s In­ter­s­es­sional meet­ing in An­twerp, Bel­gium from June 18th-22nd. This year’s In­ter­s­es­sional meet­ing – the an­nual fo­rum where mem­bers gather to dis­cuss the tech­ni­cal as­pects of the var­i­ous work­ing groups that com­prise the KP – re­viewed the lat­est de­vel­op­ments in the im­ple­men­ta­tion of the Kim­ber­ley Process Cer­ti­fi­ca­tion Scheme (KPCS) and wider di­a­mond gov­er­nance, as well as the on­go­ing re­form agenda of the KP. The In­ter­s­es­sional was at­tended by the global di­a­mond com­mu­nity con­sist­ing of di­a­mond-pro­duc­ing and trad­ing coun­tries, the di­a­mond in­dus­try and civil so­ci­ety.

The World Di­a­mond Coun­cil (WDC) reaf­firmed its com­mit­ment to driv­ing on­go­ing pos­i­tive change through re­form at the In­ter­s­es­sional meet­ing. In­di­vid­ual mem­bers of the WDC cur­rently serve on a range of KP work­ing groups that in­clude Mon­i­tor­ing, Cen­tral African Repub­lic (CAR) Mon­i­tor­ing Team, Sta­tis­tics, Rules and Pro­ce­dures, Par­tic­i­pa­tion and Chair­man­ship, Al­lu­vial and Ar­ti­sanal Pro­duc­tion and Di­a­mond Ex­perts.

Kim­ber­ley Process chair Hilde Harde­man, in her clos­ing speech, said, “I would like to thank all con­cerned for the fruit­ful work this week on help­ing the Cen­tral African Repub­lic to ad­dress the chal­lenges it is fac­ing. This goes to the heart of what the Kim­ber­ley Process is about. We must make sure that we de­liver. The re­form and re­view agenda has taken a cen­tral place in our work this week, and will re­main cen­tral for the months ahead. Re­form must help en­sure that the Kim­ber­ley Process re­mains fit for pur­pose in a chang­ing world.

“We fur­ther need to con­tinue our work on de­vel­op­ing a clear and con­vinc­ing ap­proach to re­spon­si­ble sourc­ing, as part of the re­view of the core doc­u­ment, which will cover the is­sue of the scope. The po­si­tion of mining com­mu­ni­ties is cen­tral in this re­gard.

“There are many opin­ions on how we should shape a fu­ture per­ma­nent sec­re­tar­iat, to take up and fur­ther de­velop the role that is cur­rently played by the Ad­min­is­tra­tive Sup­port Mech­a­nism. That is why the Eu­ro­pean Union has made it pos­si­ble to con­duct an in­de­pen­dent needs as­sess­ment on a ded­i­cated sec­re­tar­iat and a multi-donor fund. We need prag­matic so­lu­tions that re­spond to the real needs, that work and are sus­tain­able, also fi­nan­cially.”

Harde­man said the KP was pay­ing at­ten­tion to al­lu­vial and ar­ti­sanal mining, and that fur­ther re­search could help in im­prov­ing trace­abil­ity, and con­trib­ute to giv­ing con­sumers the nec­es­sary guar­an­tees. Both as­pects will re­main a fo­cus in the time ahead, she added.

In a speech, Stephane Fis­chler, act­ing pres­i­dent of the WDC, re­it­er­ated the need for KP re­view and re­form in the ar­eas of scope of con­flict di­a­monds, KPCS min­i­mum stan­dards, and longterm im­ple­men­ta­tion of KPCS di­rec­tives via a per­ma­nent sec­re­tar­iat. He also ap­pealed to al­lu­vial di­a­mond pro­duc­ing coun­tries, in par­tic­u­lar, to em­brace the op­por­tu­ni­ties for progress and im­prov­ing lives in their own com­mu­ni­ties made pos­si­ble with the KP.

In ad­di­tion to en­cour­ag­ing KP re­form, the WDC con­tin­ues to ad­vo­cate for pos­i­tive change from within. In June, the WDC Sys­tem of War­ranties (SoW) en­tered a pub­lic re­view pe­riod fol­low­ing the com­ple­tion of an in­dus­try re­view. The WDC SoW ex­tends the as­sur­ances pro­vided by the KPCS by re­quir­ing all di­a­mond sup­pli­ers and di­a­mond jew­ellery man­u­fac­tur­ers to pass on a con­flict-free war­ranty state­ment each time di­a­mond goods (rough or pol­ished) change hands. It also asks SoW state­ment users to en­sure that trad­ing ac­tiv­i­ties main­tain strict ad­her­ence of uni­ver­sally ac­cepted prin­ci­ples on hu­man and labour rights, an­ti­cor­rup­tion and anti-money

laun­der­ing in sup­port of the oblig­a­tory im­ple­men­ta­tion.

The WDC is also tak­ing an ac­tive role through­out the year in en­cour­ag­ing re­form by meet­ing di­rectly with or­gan­i­sa­tions and gov­ern­ments that can ef­fect change in ar­eas where the is­sues of con­flict di­a­monds are most acute. In May 2018, ex­ec­u­tives from the WDC trav­elled to the Demo­cratic Repub­lic of Congo (DRC) and met with the chair of the Work­ing Group on Ar­ti­sanal and Al­lu­vial Pro­duc­tion (WGAAP); the min­is­ter of mines; the Cen­ter for Eval­u­a­tion, Ex­per­tise and Cer­ti­fi­ca­tion (CEEC) chair, deputy chair and team; the Di­a­mond Devel­op­ment Ini­tia­tive (DDI); and DRC civil so­ci­ety mem­bers. In April 2018, the WDC pledged its sup­port to the Or­gan­i­sa­tion for Eco­nomic Co-op­er­a­tion and Devel­op­ment (OECD) due dili­gence guid­ance for re­spon­si­ble supply chains of min­er­als from con­flict-af­fected and high­risk ar­eas.

“To­gether through the KP, civil so­ci­ety, gov­ern­ment and in­dus­try are mak­ing im­por­tant progress to­ward long-term so­lu­tions that ad­dress the mod­ern chal­lenges of di­a­mond com­mu­ni­ties around the world,” said Fis­chler. “But that is not enough. We must also look within our­selves to en­cour­age di­a­logue, lis­ten to con­cerns and drive mean­ing­ful and on­go­ing progress from within. By con­struc­tively chal­leng­ing poli­cies and pro­ce­dures, to­gether we will cre­ate a bet­ter path for­ward and up­hold the duty of care we owe to the peo­ple and com­mu­ni­ties where di­a­monds are pro­duced.”

In his clos­ing re­marks, Sipho Manese, chair of the Work­ing Group on Mon­i­tor­ing, in­formed that the CAR Mon­i­tor­ing Team was able to shorten and stream­line pro­cesses of mon­i­tor­ing ship­ments in the CAR to seven days, from the ini­tial two weeks. The US re­it­er­ated its strong con­cern for the sit­u­a­tion in the CAR, where there are five Western zones from which rough di­a­monds can be ex­ported law­fully con­sis­tent with the KP. “Hun­dreds of thou­sands of rough di­a­monds from across the coun­try are still ex­it­ing il­le­gally, which un­der­scores the im­por­tant work of the KP CAR Mon­i­tor­ing Team to as­sist the CAR gov­ern­ment with mon­i­tor­ing its rough di­a­mond ex­ports,” the US Mis­sion to the EU stated.

In a sep­a­rate state­ment, the An­twerp World Di­a­mond Cen­tre (AWDC) said that 2018 was an im­por­tant year for the KP, which is at a cru­cial stage of its devel­op­ment. Un­der the lead­er­ship of the Eu­ro­pean Union, the KP is dis­cussing an am­bi­tious re­form agenda with three pri­or­i­ties: a deep­en­ing of the KP, in­clud­ing the re­in­force­ment of the sys­tem of con­trols and the trans­for­ma­tion of KP rec­om­men­da­tions into min­i­mum

We must also look within our­selves to en­cour­age di­a­logue, lis­ten to con­cerns and drive on­go­ing progress from within. By con­struc­tively chal­leng­ing poli­cies and pro­ce­dures, to­gether we will cre­ate a bet­ter path for­ward and up­hold the duty of care we owe to the peo­ple and com­mu­ni­ties where di­a­monds are pro­duced.”

To­day’s con­sumers place great im­por­tance on the so­cio-eco­nomic value of di­a­monds. It is there­fore very im­por­tant that the KP broad­ens its man­date.”

re­quire­ments; an ex­pan­sion of the KP by means of broad­en­ing the def­i­ni­tion of con­flict di­a­monds; and the pro­fes­sion­al­i­sa­tion of the KP by, among oth­ers, the es­tab­lish­ment of a per­ma­nent sec­re­tar­iat.

Dur­ing the KP In­ter­s­es­sional, par­tic­i­pants and ob­servers en­gaged in a thor­ough dis­cus­sion of the re­form agenda in or­der to lay the foun­da­tion for de­ci­sions that will be taken dur­ing the KP Ple­nary meet­ing at the end of the year. Tak­ing place in Brus­sels this com­ing Novem­ber, it is hoped that it will be the start of the KP 2.0.

The KP was es­tab­lished in 2003 with the ob­jec­tive to elim­i­nate con­flict di­a­monds from the di­a­mond trade. Since its es­tab­lish­ment, the per­cent­age of con­flict di­a­monds has de­clined to 0.2% from an es­ti­mated 10%.

The AWDC added that the KP needs to adapt to chang­ing con­sumer de­mands. “To­day’s con­sumers place great im­por­tance on the so­cio-eco­nomic value of di­a­monds. It is there­fore very im­por­tant that the KP broad­ens its man­date. Dur­ing this KP In­ter­s­es­sional, civil so­ci­ety as well as the global di­a­mond in­dus­try – serv­ing as ob­servers in­side the KP – de­clared them­selves ready for the broad­en­ing of the def­i­ni­tion of con­flict di­a­monds.

“Fur­ther­more, the global di­a­mond in­dus­try – in sup­port of the KP – de­vel­oped its own stan­dards years ago to en­sure that di­a­monds are mined and traded in an eth­i­cal and trans­par­ent man­ner. The Re­spon­si­ble Jew­ellery Coun­cil (RJC), the Di­a­mond Devel­op­ment Ini­tia­tive and the WDC’s up­dated Sys­tem of War­ranties are clear ex­am­ples of this ef­fort.

“The in­dus­try in this re­gard af­firms the am­bi­tious per­spec­tive of the Eu­ro­pean Union. There­fore, both hope that the more con­ser­va­tive mem­bers of the KP will ar­rive at new in­sights dur­ing this In­ter­s­es­sional meet­ing, so that the KP may con­tinue to rein­vent it­self and evolve in such a way as to keep up with the times.”

The dis­cus­sions that took place at the In­ter­s­es­sional will be con­tin­ued dur­ing the Ple­nary meet­ing in Brus­sels from Novem­ber 12th-16th, 2018.

Kim­ber­ley Process chair Hilde Harde­man (right) at a KP meet­ing in New York in March 2018.

The re­form and re­view agenda took cen­tre stage dur­ing the In­ter­s­es­sional.

The Ad Hoc Com­mit­tee on Re­view and Re­form meet­ing in Paris, France on April 20th, 2018.

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