WDC Applauds the Start of KP Reform Cycle

Perth: World Diamond Council (WDC) members representing every sector of the diamond industry, joined together on May 1-4 at the 2017 Kimberley Process Intersessional Meeting in Perth. The focus of this year’s meeting was the start of the Kimberley Process Certification Scheme (KPCS) review cycle in order to strengthen the Kimberley Process.

For the second year in a row the WDC held an Observers Forum alongside the KP meeting, where WDC members, African Diamond Producers Association and civil society partners (CSC, DDI) met to discuss their common goals and joint efforts to promote further evolution of the KPCS and improve its efficiency.

In light of the KP Reform, the Observes Forum achieved a common understanding on the following issues: Strengthening KP internal controls, Policy on Conflict of Interest and Establishment of a KP permanent secretariat.

“The WDC continues its efforts to improve the System of Warranties, designed to extend the confirmation of non-conflict origin down through the diamond pipeline,” said Andrey Polyakov, president of the WDC and vice president of ALROSA. “We understand that the existing System of Warranties is far from being perfect, but we hope that by the end of this year we shall be able to present an updated System of Warranty. The creation of an effective system will be a significant industry contribution to strengthen consumer’s confidence and grow the excellent reputation of our product.”

“We launched the first Observers Forum alongside the 2016 KP Plenary in Dubai and it was a great success,” Polyakov continued. “Yesterday we hosted it again and had a fruitful discussion on the minimum requirements for reform and the issues surrounding origin guaranties. The main challenge of this work is the regulation and accounting of small-scale artisanal mining. The DDI and development agencies have so far initiated remarkable progress but we will request the support of other major organizations as well, in particular African Institutional Stakeholders, to jointly study and address this issue. African countries need to get maximum benefit from artisanal mining to develop the economies and improve the living conditions of their people. But they will not be able to achieve this without complying with all business and social responsibility standards.”