World Di­a­mond Coun­cil Reaches Con­sen­sus On Key Re­form Ar­eas

World Di­a­mond Coun­cil ( WDC) mem­bers passed the new Sys­tem of War­ranties Guide­lines and re­it­er­ated their com­mit­ment to KP re­form, in­clud­ing an ex­panded def­i­ni­tion of con­flict.

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The World Di­a­mond Coun­cil con­cluded its 14th An­nual Gen­eral Meet­ing (AGM) in Mum­bai, In­dia on Oc­to­ber 25th, reach­ing con­sen­sus on crit­i­cal ar­eas of re­form for both the Kim­ber­ley Process (KP) and the WDC Sys­tem of War­ranties (SoW).

Res­o­lu­tions for fur­ther improve­ment of a re­spon­si­ble sup­ply chain and en­hanced sel­f­reg­u­la­tion ex­er­cise within the

This year’s ses­sion was im­por­tant for many rea­sons, not the least of which is that our mem­bers truly em­braced the spirit of col­lab­o­ra­tion and co­op­er­a­tion, which ac­cel­er­ates our abil­ity to drive im­por­tant change within the in­dus­try and through our role as in­dus­try ob­servers to the KP.

WDC SoW Guide­lines were passed. A board-in­structed strate­gic plan­ning com­mit­tee will de­velop a mem­ber’s tool­kit to help in the im­ple­men­ta­tion of the guide­lines re­spect­ing the re­al­i­ties and prac­ti­cal­i­ties of the di­a­mond sup­ply chain.

These guide­lines will in­tro­duce the strong­est level of ad­her­ence to date for SoW state­ment users, re­quir­ing ad­her­ence to uni­ver­sally ac­cepted prin­ci­ples on hu­man and labour rights, anti-cor­rup­tion and anti-money laun­der­ing in sup­port of the manda­tory Kim­ber­ley Process Cer­ti­fi­ca­tion Scheme (KPCS) im­ple­men­ta­tion and in­cor­po­rat­ing the in­clu­sion of Or­gan­i­sa­tion for Eco­nomic Co-op­er­a­tion and De­vel­op­ment (OECD) due dili­gence guide­lines. Changes will be im­ple­mented on an on­go­ing ba­sis and will be in­cluded in the up­com­ing 20212025 WDC Strate­gic Plan.

WDC board mem­bers also re-af­firmed their con­tin­ued com­mit­ment to KP re­form with agree­ment to push for­ward on an ex­panded def­i­ni­tion of con­flict di­a­monds to ad­dress hu­man se­cu­rity and en­vi­ron­men­tal con­cerns. Other KP re­forms agreed upon were for a per­ma­nent sec­re­tar­iat and strength­en­ing of the peer re­view mech­a­nism; both these ad­min­is­tra­tive res­o­lu­tions have been re­spec­tively sub­mit­ted to the KP chair for dis­cus­sions and a vote at the up­com­ing KP Ple­nary in Novem­ber. Board mem­bers also agreed to sup­port the other KP re­form items, such as the re­view of the Core doc­u­ment and mul­ti­stake­holder fund, which would fo­cus on ca­pac­ity build­ing.

The WDC board meet­ing also ap­pointed Ed­ward Ass­cher as vice pres­i­dent, re-elected Ron­nie Van­der­lin­den as trea­surer, and re-ap­pointed Udi Shein­tal as sec­re­tary-gen­eral.

Stephane Fis­chler, pres­i­dent of the WDC, said, “This year’s ses­sion was im­por­tant for many rea­sons, not the least of which is that our mem­bers truly em­braced the spirit of col­lab­o­ra­tion and co­op­er­a­tion, which ac­cel­er­ates our abil­ity to drive im­por­tant change within the in­dus­try and through our role as in­dus­try ob­servers to the KP. We are grate­ful to our hosts the Gem and Jewellery Ex­port Pro­mo­tion Coun­cil (GJEPC) for fa­cil­i­tat­ing this year’s an­nual meet­ing and we look for­ward to the KP Ple­nary in Brus­sels where many of this year’s res­o­lu­tions are ex­pected to be con­firmed.”

In re­lated news, the WDC has con­tin­ued its ef­forts to ad­vo­cate for pos­i­tive change by work­ing to re­solve one of the most press­ing needs of the KP: bring­ing more African na­tions and voices into the process. To this end, prior to the WDC AGM, the WDC ex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tor Marie-Chan­tal Kaninda ad­dressed the Euro­pean Union in their ca­pac­ity of KP chair to ed­u­cate and ex­plain the crit­i­cal­ity of the African voice to the suc­cess of the KP and ways the EU can help to en­cour­age par­tic­i­pa­tion in the process.

Kaninda also ad­dressed a ses­sion held at the African Union hosted by Am­bas­sador Al­bert M. Muchanga, African Union com­mis­sioner for trade and in­dus­try. This was the first time that the WDC ad­dressed this dis­tin­guished group and Kaninda dis­cussed how the KP could be used as a de­vel­op­ment tool for African na­tions, how the ex­pan­sion of the con­flict di­a­mond def­i­ni­tion could lower risk and in­crease rev­enue for com­pli­ant na­tions, and the role of the per­ma­nent sec­re­tar­iat to im­prov­ing the KP process.

Kaninda con­cluded, “More than 60% of the world’s di­a­monds come from African soil, yet many of its na­tions have yet to reap the so­cial, eco­nomic and in­fra­struc­ture ben­e­fits that this re­source brings. It is our obli­ga­tion as an in­dus­try to en­sure that their voices are heard so that we can create a path for pos­i­tive change for these vi­tal di­a­mond pro­duc­ing coun­tries. It is through par­tic­i­pa­tion and com­pli­ance with the Kim­ber­ley Process that all na­tions to­gether will pros­per through eth­i­cal and re­spon­si­ble sourc­ing.”

World Di­a­mond Coun­cil board mem­bers at the 14th An­nual Gen­eral Meet­ing in Mum­bai, In­dia.

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