World Diamond Council pushing for strengthening of Kimberley Process
At the group’s Annual General Meeting held in Antwerp, Belgium, its president, Stephane Fischler, said that his administration is preparing a dossier to be presented when the KP Plenary meets in India in November. The document outlines how progress can be made in strengthening the definition of “conflict diamonds,” so that it better addresses the types of systemic violence being seen in certain diamond-mining areas. Several amendments to the ‘conflict diamonds’ definition are currently being considered by the Kimberley Process
“These are extremely complex negotiations, where the North-South divide is apparent, and where different historical contexts must be acknowledged, for they shape perceptions and understandings,” Fischler said in a media statement.
In the executive’s view, the KPCS should not be regarded as a sanctions mechanism but rather as a system that prevents instances of violence and conflict, and in so doing facilitates capacity building in the mining areas and promotes consumer certainty.
Fischler also said that his organization is working on a program to support the integrity of the diamond value chain. This program involves an updated System of Warranties, whose scope extends beyond that of the KPCS, covering both the rough and polished diamond trade, and directly referencing international conventions on human and labor rights, anti-corruption and anti-money laundering.
The president of the World Diamond Council welcomed the fact that delegates to the AGM discussed a toolkit that currently is being developed to assist members of the industry in the implementation of the System of Warranties.