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WDC AGM focuses on KP Plenary in New Delhi

21 october 2019

World Diamond Council’s (WDC) Annual General Meeting, which took place on October 2 in Antwerp, focused on the Kimberley Process Plenary Meeting scheduled to be held in New Delhi in November 18-22, according to the press note from the organisation. 
In his report to the AGM, WDC President Stephane Fischler expressed a degree of optimism that progress will be made at the KP Plenary, but he was cautious in predicting a final result. “We have thus far judged our success by the fact that the KP membership agreed to engage the subject of reforming its infrastructure, scope and review mechanisms. That’s not an insignificant achievement in itself, for it implies recognition that there are problems that need to be addressed. Still, at this point in time, I must be honest and point out and I don’t know whether the KP will actually succeed in reforming itself, and in so doing ensure that the KPCS remains relevant,” he stated. 

Image credit: WDC

Under a three-year review and reform process KP stakeholders proposed to extend the definition of  “conflict diamonds” to also cover the types of systemic violence now more likely to be seen in certain diamond-mining areas, including those carried out various security forces, as well as by criminal elements.
WDC also proposed to establish a Permanent Secretariat to better support the work of KP. It was formally adopted by the KP Plenary in Brussels last year.
WDC has also been involved in the discussion about the creation of a Multi-Donor Fund that will be established to finance participation in certain KP activities by countries with limited resources, the participation of the members of the Civil Society Coalition, and support certain capacity-building projects.
Another primary focus of the AGM, and also a key element in WDC’s strategy moving forward is the new System of Warranties (SoW), which was approved by the organization’s Board of Directors during 2018. Covering the trade in both rough and polished diamonds, the scope of the SoW goes significantly beyond that of the KPCS.
Like the original SoW, the upgraded version requires that all members of the trade selling rough diamonds, polished diamonds and jewelry containing diamonds include a statement on the invoice or memo document that the goods being sold are in compliance with the KPCS. It also includes a commitment that they adhere to WDC Guidelines, which today expressly reference international conventions relating to human and labor rights, anti-corruption and Anti-Money Laundering (AML).

Victoria Quiri, Correspondent of the European Bureau, Rough&Polished, Strasbourg