The World Diamond Council (WDC) concluded its 14th Annual General Meeting (AGM) in Mumbai, India this week, reaching consensus on critical areas of reform for both the Kimberley Process and the WDC System of Warranties (SoW), the industry organization announced in a press release. The WDC passed resolutions for further improvement of a responsible supply chain and enhanced self-regulation exercise within the WDC SoW.
A strategic planning committee will develop a member’s toolkit to help in the implementation of the guidelines respecting the realities and practicalities of the diamond supply chain. These guidelines will introduce the strongest level of adherence to date for SoW statement users, requiring adherence to universally accepted principles on human and labor rights, anticorruption and anti-money laundering in support of mandatory Kimberley Process Certification Scheme (KPCS) implementation and including the inclusion of OECD due diligence guidelines.
WDC Board members also re-affirmed their continued commitment to KP reform with agreement to push forward on an expanded definition of conflict diamonds to address human security and environmental concerns. The WDC additionally agreed on the need for KP reforms including a permanent secretariat and strengthening of the peer review mechanism, which have been submitted to the KP Chair for discussions and vote at the upcoming KP Plenary next month in Brussels. Board members also agreed to support the other KP reform items, such as the review of the core document and multi-stakeholder fund which would focus on capacity building.
Stephane Fischler, president of the WDC, said, “This year’s session was important for many reasons, not the least of which is that our members truly embraced the spirit of collaboration and cooperation which accelerates our ability to drive important change within the industry and through our role as industry observers to the KP." WDC Executive Director Marie-Chantal Kaninda recently addressed a session held at the African Union, addressing how the KP could be used as a development tool for African nations and how the expansion of the conflict diamond definition could lower risk and increase revenue for compliant nations. “More than 60 percent of the world's diamonds come from African soil, yet many of its nation’s have yet to reap the social, economic and infrastructure benefits that this resource brings," she said. "It is our obligation as an industry to ensure that their voices are heard so that we can create a path for positive change for these vital diamond producing countries. It is through participation and compliance with the Kimberley Process that all nations together will prosper through ethical and responsible sourcing.”
The WDC Board Meeting included the appointment of Edward Asscher as Vice President, the re-election of Ronnie Vanderlinden as Treasurer, and re-appointment of Udi Sheintal as Secretary-General.