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World Diamond Council says work not over as threat of instability, conflict remains

13 march 2018
World Diamond Council (WDC) acting president Stephane Fischler said although the Kimberley Process (KP) has managed to quell wars that were driven by the so-called blood diamonds, the threat of instability and conflict remains and their “work is not over”.
He was speaking at a United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) side event, co-hosted by the governments of Australia and Botswana, to discuss the KP and strategies to advance its ongoing contributions toward peace, security and sustainable development in diamond mining communities.
This year marks the beginning of a crucial period for the KP, a two-year review and reform process led by the European Union Chairmanship and ending during next year’s Indian Chairmanship in 2019.
“This important KP review period gives us the opportunity to address contemporary challenges facing the diamond industry and implement reforms to protect the human rights, freedoms and development of people who depend on the diamond trade,” he said.
Also speaking during a panel discussion, Fischler reaffirmed industry’s commitment to the KP, while also reinforcing areas for reform to ensure continued success.
This included broadening the scope of the KP to increase the likelihood of safe and secure working conditions, fair labor practices and sustainable development in diamond communities, establish a permanent secretariat in a neutral country to strengthen long-term implementation of the organization.
“Let us not forget that the KP is a process for a reason – a tripartite with many participants, diverse points of view and numerous priorities,” he said.
“Even though only one group holds the power to enact change directly, we will not give up. Industry remains committed to working together with our partners to listen, discuss and reach consensus that drives positive change.
“I am especially encouraged by efforts of the Civil Society Coalition, now led and overwhelmingly represented by African-based NGOs, with whom we share a commitment to secure lasting change.”

Mathew Nyaungwa, Editor in Chief of the African Bureau, Rough&Polished


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