KP Takes Step Forward at Meeting in Perth: WDC

wdcPerth: The World Diamond Council (WDC) said that Kimberley Process Certification Scheme (KPCS) members took significant steps forward on many issues concerning the rough diamond pipeline at the KP’s annual Intersessional meeting held in Perth, Australia.

For the second consecutive year, the WDC also held an Observers Forum alongside the KP Intersessional meeting where WDC members, the African Diamond Producers Association, the Civil Society Coalition and the Diamond Development Initiative achieved consensus on proposals to strengthen KP internal controls, establish a policy on conflict of interest and create a KP permanent secretariat.

At this year’s event, the KP Chair called for an “Indaba” approach, based on the African system where problem solving is based on listening to each participant’s opinion in turn. It was the first time such an approach has been employed at the KP’s Intersessional meeting, the WDC said.

“This week we talked about the fundamentals of our future as we enter the three-year cycle of KPCS review which is a process that is vitally important as it will determine not only the future of the Kimberley Process, but also the future of the entire diamond industry for years to come,” said WDC President Andrey Polyakov.

“To elevate the KP to the next level of effectiveness, we must look beyond administrative issues and make sure that responsibility and expertise go hand-in-hand in the coming years. We took a strong step forward in this regard at the meeting by rigorously and constructively questioning all aspects related to the origin of the diamond product that consumers ultimately purchase. It is in all of our best interests to continue this productive dialogue so that we can continue to deliver on our promise to eradicate conflict diamonds from the supply chain,” added Polyakov.

A separate forum on diamond equity was also held which was met with great interest by African mining nations. The conversations created an important dialogue between U.S. and Indian retailers and diamond producers in African countries.

“The fruitful discussions we had will continue in the coming months in the spirit of partnership and commitment to finding solutions to our challenges. One of the topics discussed at length was the need for African countries to get maximum benefit from artisanal mining in order to develop their local economies and improve the living conditions of their citizens. Compliance with business and social responsibility standards will be the path forward to making this possible. The WDC, through its members, plays an important role in this area by providing access to important evaluation training that supports professional appraisers in their work in areas where help is needed and recommended by the KP,” Polyakov concluded.

In other news from the Intersessional, the newly created KP website was finalized with the help of the WDC and is expected to launch on May 8. Another KP Observers Forum is planned during the upcoming KP Plenary scheduled for late 2017.