Antwerp: The Antwerp World Diamond Centre (AWDC) welcomed the Kimberley Process (KP) Chair, His Excellency Wei Chuanzhong, Vice-Chair Bernardo Campos and the Mr. Edward Asscher, President of the World Diamond Council (WDC) for the purpose of renewing the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on the KP Administrative Support Mechanism (ASM).
In 2012, the KP Plenary designated the World Diamond Council through its members AWDC, alongside the Israeli IDI, the Indian GJECP and the Ghana Government Diamond Houseas the host of the Administrative Support Mechanism (ASM). This mechanism was designed to increase the efficiency of the Kimberley Process, to assist the rotating KP chairperson. AWDC was entrusted with the responsibility of running the ASM’s daily operations.
In the presence ofAWDC President Mr. Stéphane Fischler and AWDC CEO Mr. Ari Epstein, Mr. Edward Asscher, newly elected World Diamond Council President, and the Chinese KP Chair and Angolan Vice-Chair renewed the MoU which sets out the mutual expectations of the KP Chair and the ASM host organization. The renewal of the MoU reflects the KP Plenary’s and the KP Chair’s continued confidence in the ASM.
In the framework of the meeting, AWDC, WDC President Mr. Asscher and the KP Chair and Vice Chair discussed relevant topics, such as the need for an equal level playing field, ensuring compliance to KP requirements is enforced on a global scale.
Furthermore AWDC stressed that the KP is a highly effective mechanism in assisting countries in meeting minimum requirements and in creating opportunities for diamond countries to reap the benefits from their natural resources. The representative organization of the Antwerp diamond industry therefore requested the Chair to actively support the development dimension of the KP, for example by developing or supporting technical assistance projects.
In addition, the AWDC reiterated that the debate on a KP reform, initiated and supported by the KP Chair, should be based on the founding principles of the KP of inclusiveness, a tri-partite structure and bottom-up process.
AWDC also requests the Chairman to initiate the written procedure to allow the participating countries to resume the import of rough diamonds from Ivory Coast. In terms of the highly worrying situation in the Central African Republic, AWDC urges the KP and all its participants to make sure that no diamonds from CAR are entering the legal flow, and that these illicit diamonds are not illegitimately certified in their countries.