Dec 13, 2017

WDC Stresses Need For KP Reforms in Pre-Plenary Bilateral Meetings

Even as the Kimberley Process (KP) Plenary Session (being held in Brisbane from December 9-14, 2017) draws towards its conclusion, the World Diamond Council (WDC), which had called for open discussion on KP reforms at the Plenary some days ago, reported that it had received a good response to its proposals from various bodies.

The   WDC issued a statement  recently, saying that prior to the   commencement of the Plenary, the WDC   held bilateral meetings “with  members of the KP family including the Chair, some of the 81 KP member countries and the Civil Society Coalition”.  The organisation also conducted its third Observer’s Forum to discuss mutual interests among industry, the Civil Society Coalition (CSC) and non-governmental organisations (NGOs).

The WDC team was led  by Acting-President Stephane Fischler and Executive Director Marie-Chantal Kaninda and supported by several KP Task Force members from industry, including those from ALROSA, Antwerp World Diamond Centre, Chow Tai Fook, De Beers, Rio Tinto, Rubel & Ménaché, Signet Jewelers, the US Jewelry Council and the World Federation of Diamond Bourses.

At the interactions,  WDC  stressed  the importance of reform “in order to continue the KP’s mission to deliver the duty of care owed to communities and consumers with respect to conflict-free diamonds”.

The WDC has outlined  three specific areas where reforms would be most impactful. These, in WDC’s words, are:  

1. The need to broaden the scope of the KP definition of conflict diamonds. As part of that discussion, the topic of “systematic violence” within the definition arose as an example of a progressive step.

2. The need to establish a permanent secretariat with a location to be determined based on international best practice, built on the success of the Administrative Support Mechanism (ASM) that was established four years ago.

3. The implementation and enforcement of the KPCS minimum requirements should be strengthened by standardizing the peer review mechanism.

Remarking on the discussions Fischler commented: “I am encouraged by the open dialogue and discussions we have had so far, but we should not underestimate the complexity of what lies ahead. Reaching consensus among such a large and diverse group is never easy. A successful outcome on KP reform will require patience, openness and compromise. As the voice of industry in this process, the WDC is fully committed and we remain confident that together we will reach this goal.”

The final outcome and final decisions taken at the Plenary are now awaited.

India to Lead Team for Country Review of Bangladesh and  Indonesia 

Even as the KP Plenary is in progress,  it is learnt that India will lead a team for the country review of Bangladesh and Indonesia under the Kimberley Process Certification Scheme (KPCS) in 2018.  

A tweet from the India’s Department of Commerce said: “India will be leading a team for country review of Bangladesh and Indonesia under KPCS for #Kimberlyprocess in 2018. Besides, India shall participate in KPCS country review of Canada, South Korea and Angola in 2018.”  

India will be assuming the post of Vice-Chair of  Kimberley Process (KP) in 2018 and the position of Chair in 2019.