The EU Plenary, which brings together the three pillars of the KP and its many stakeholders, was marked as a unique opportunity to advance the ambitious reform agenda set in 2017. Under the leadership of the EU, the KP discussed an agenda with three priorities: a deepening of the KP, including the reinforcement of the system of controls and the transformation of KP recommendations into minimum requirements; an expansion of the KP by broadening the definition of conflict diamonds; and professionalization of the KP by, among others, the establishment of a permanent KP secretariat.
The EU Chairmanship of the Kimberley Process and the ongoing review of the KP provide a unique opportunity to transform it into a tool not just for conflict prevention, but also for sustainable development, the AWDC told us yesterday afternoon. The gathering momentum for transforming the KP's very narrow definition of conflict diamonds during this year’s Chairmanship will only be brought to fruition through the concerted efforts of all the public and private actors across the diamond value chain.
The executive director of the World Diamond Council (WDC), Marie-Chantal Kaninda on May 31 addressed U.S. State Department officials and civil society members on the topic of responsible diamond sourcing and the Kimberley Process (KP). This is the first time that the WDC presented to the U.S. State Department and supports the WDC’s strategy to raise awareness for, and encourage participation in, efforts to combat conflict diamonds.
The United Nations General Assembly, welcoming progress made by the Kimberley Process Certification Scheme to break links between the diamond trade and conflict, on March 7 adopted a consensus resolution aimed at intensifying that work and aligning it with the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
"In recent years the diamond industry has been battered by falling prices and the growing threat from synthetic, lab-grown stones", writes Jon Yeomans for The Telegraph. "But it is alert to the problems in its supply chain and the reputational threat these hold.
Rapaport’s Sarah Jordan lists five common misconceptions about the diamond industry and lets industry experts explain the difference between myth and reality.
Myth: Customers are significantly at risk of buying a conflict diamond
Reality: The Kimberley Process alongside a multitude of legislation and self-regulation are a guarantee that 99.8% of diamonds are conflict-free.
The Bureau d'Évaluation et de Contrôle de Diamant et d'Or (BECDOR) in the Central African Republic, which oversees the country’s production and trade of diamond and gold, maintains a database and assesses the value of diamond parcels that are to be exported from the country, has just set up a new price list - defining mineral prices between government and traders. The new price list for these mineral resources is designed to enable the State to have enough financial resources to meet its obligations, reports APA News (Agence de Presse Africaine).
The World Diamond Council (WDC) will stay its course focused on the primary mission to curb the trade in conflict diamonds under new acting president Stephane Fischler, who assumed the reigns on July 1 after the resignation of Andrey Polyakov, writes Henry Lazenby for Mining Weekly Online. Mr. Fischler will serve in this capacity until the end of the term of this board on May 1 2018, at which time he will start his two year term as WDC President.
“‘A Game of Stones’ documents these facts not to harm the diamond trade in CAR, but to ensure they are confronted rather than ignored. It acknowledges - and tentatively welcomes - the efforts of the Kimberley Process and the government of CAR, but warns of risks that must be acknowledged and dealt with if genuine reform is to be achieved. It seeks to expose those who view the country’s current troubles as a business opportunity, while urging greater support for those seeking to mend them, including from international diamond companies."
The World Diamond Council (WDC), an industry group focused on preventing conflict diamonds from entering the global supply chain and protecting the value of natural diamonds, reaffirmed in a press release today its commitment to the Central African Republic (CAR). The statement reads: The WDC supports the efforts in preventing the trade of conflict diamonds originating from CAR and stresses the collaboration of intergovernmental organizations and civil society groups to monitor the situation on the ground.
The Ministry of Mines, Energy and Hydraulics of the Central African Republic (CAR) has issued a press release categorically rejecting the allegations contained in Global Witness' report, "Game of Stones", which detailed the NGO's investigation into diamond smuggling from CAR.
A new investigative report by Global Witness shows how smugglers are using social media platforms such as Facebook Messenger and WhatsApp to get diamonds linked to the ongoing conflict in the Central African Republic (CAR) out of the country and into international markets. Representatives went undercover by creating a social media profile for a fictitious diamond buyer that claimed to be based in Antwerp but operates internationally. They managed to speak to several dealers who promised easy access to CAR’s diamonds.
The World Diamond Council (WDC), an industry group focused on removing conflict diamonds from the global supply chain and protecting the value of natural diamonds, today announced that current president Andrey Polyakov will be resigning by the end of the week. Current WDC Vice President Stephane Fischler will become acting President effective July 1, 2017. Mr Fischler will serve in this capacity until the end of the term of this Board, at which time he will start his two year term as WDC President.
Diamond expert, industrialist and industry analyst Ehud Arye Laniado takes an incisive look at the value proposition of synthetic diamonds, taking their producers and marketers to task on their main selling points. Reprinted in full with the permission of the author.
The diamond industry has a sort of 'Holy Grail' when it comes to consumer confidence and putting to rest an issue that critics rely on to deride the trade as unethical and still awash with 'conflict diamonds': guaranteed provenance. Acoording to an interview last week, Andrey Polyakov, president of the World Diamond Council (WDC) and a vice-president of Russian diamond giant ALROSA, believes one key to obtaining that grail is close at hand in the form of a physical 'fingerprint' that would enable diamonds to be tracked to their origin.
The video is incorrect when it states baldly, “Diamonds can’t be tracked.” True, there is nothing gemologically in a diamond that offers any proof of origin. But there is no reason that diamonds can’t be tracked. Bananas are tracked. Coffee is tracked ... If a manufacturer buys directly from a specific mine, establishing a diamond’s origin should be relatively easy.
JCK's Rob Bates conducted an in-depth and personal interview with Cecilia Gardner, who recently stepped down after 18 years as president and CEO of the Jewelers Vigilance Committee, a not-for-profit trade association dedicated to compliance with laws pertaining to the jewelry industry.
When people talk badly about diamonds, they think of the stone they're going to buy, but they don't think of the lives that are going to be affected. In Botswana, for example, 45-50% of the total GDP comes from diamond mining. So when people say, "I'm not going to buy a diamond because it has a bad rep", think of the two-plus million people in Botswana that will be affected.
Award-winning journalist Rob Bates raises some highly relevant issues in the wake of the announcement by Ashley Orbach - U.S. Department of State’s special advisor for conflict diamonds for the last three years - that she will be leaving the agency and her role as advisor. There was always going to be a sense of uncertainty concerning the U.S. stance toward the Kimberley Process and human rights in the mining industry under the unpredictable new administration, and the loss of continuity signalled by Orbach's departure may well add to it.
Wedding planner website The Knot asks a common question to diamond ring purchasers: “How can you be sure your stone is conflict-free?” The fact that this question is still a concern to consumers even today, when ‘conflict diamonds’ have been all but eliminated from the supply chain, points to a misconception that most, if not all natural diamonds are considered conflict diamonds. But what exactly is a ‘conflict diamond’? Why do people still hold to the misconception that there is a great risk of buying them? And what steps can consumers take to be absolutely certain?
The Kimberley Process (KP) has declared three new ‘compliant zones’ in the Central African Republic, meaning diamond exports from those regions can resume after a suspension of more than two years, writes Rapaport News following a statement by the KP. The KP’s monitoring team approved shipments from the sub-prefectures of Boda, Carnot and Nola in the west of the country on September 19, the KP announced. KP Chair Ahmed Bin Sulayem has communicated the decision to all KP participants and observers.
JCK's award-winning news director Rob Bates sat down for a chat with Internet radio program "The Daily Beat" on Breakthru Radio (BTR) to talk all things diamonds, and in particular the Kimberley Process and diamonds in American culture.
BTR: What effect did the movie Blood Diamonds (2006) and reports after that have on the diamond industry?
Kimberley Process Chair Ahmed Bin Sulayem has visited the Central African Republic (CAR) where he met President Faustin-Archange Touadera and Mines Minister Leopold Mboli Fratran. CAR resumed exports of rough diamonds earlier this month after a three-year ban when an internecine war broke out with both sides accused of using diamonds to fund their activities. Mining was is due to resume once other zones in the western part of the country are declared compliant.
The Central Africa Republic (CAR) will resume diamond exports three years after they were judged to be financing armed groups in an inter-religious conflict and placed under embargo, according to the country's mines minister Leopold Mboli Fatrane. After successful elections aimed at drawing a line under the violence, new President Faustin-Archange Touadera is seeking to revive the shattered economy. Mboli Fatrane said on state-owned radio that the partial lifting of the export ban would initially apply to the southern region of Berberati, according to a Reuters report.
The Diamond Development Initiative (DDI), an organization dedicated to improving the working conditions and lives of artisanal diamond miners, is announcing the launch of the Maendeleo Diamond Standards (MDS), the organization anounced today in a press release. Maendeleo, the Swahili word for development and progress, is a fitting designation for standards that will ensure respect for human rights, for the environment and for community well-being, according to Dorothée Gizenga, Executive Director.
The 2016 Kimberley Process (KP) Chair issued a communication dated 14 April informing all KP Participants and Observers that the Central African Republic region of Berberati in the southwest of the country has been declared a "Compliant Zone" as per the requirements of the Administrative Decision and Operational Framework for Resumption of Exports of Rough Diamonds from the Central African Republic (CAR). The KP Monitoring Team for CAR is currently in the process of agreeing with the country's KP Authority on a schedule for the team's monthly inspections of export shipments from Berberati.
Reports from multiple sources are starting to detail the murky structures hiding the tremendous wealth accumulated by certain players in the diamond and gold trade that emerged through last week's release of the Panama Papers.
News director of JCK Rob Bates outlines how a report in UAE newpaper The National, based on comments by Kimberley Process chair Ahmed bin Sulayem, wrongfully reported that diamond exports from the Central African Republic will soon resume thanks to, it claims, a deal brokered by Ahmed bin Sulayem.
Pending a positive recommendation by the Kimberley Process (KP) monitoring team - consisting of representatives of the various KP working groups and civil society - after consideration of the results of their review visit to the Central African Republic (CAR), the resumption of rough diamond exports from CAR is looking increasingly possible.
There is need to urgently come up with effective interventions to rein in chaos ignited by the order for the miners to immediately stop operations. It is not a secret that what transpired [in the chaos of years gone by] damaged the country's image ... we should not invite this upon ourselves again at a time when Zimbabwe has more pressing issues ... The U.N. has placed embargos on conflict diamonds, a tag Zimbabwe's enemies can easily place on the country if the situation in Chiadzwa is allowed to spiral out of control ...
Pope Francis - in a speech on 26 November in Nairobi, Kenya to the regional UN headquarters during his first official trip to Africa - said that illegal trade in diamonds and other precious stones and metals, as well as the poaching of elephants for their ivory tusks, “fuels political instability, organized crime and terrorism.” He said that, “This situation is a cry rising up from humanity and the Earth itself, one which needs to be heard by the international community.” He also stated that, “We cannot be silent about forms of illegal trafficking which arise in situations of poverty and in
A new report by the Groupe d'Appui aux Exploitants des Ressources Naturelles (GAERN) in collaboration with Partnership Africa Canada (PAC) details "the atrocious acts committed by unauthorized government agencies in the artisanal diamond mines in rural Mbuji- Mayi, a town in Kasaï-Oriental Province, Democratic Republic of the Congo." The report presents the results of a field study of artisanal diamond mining sites that interviewed almost 500 people from ten sites in the town, and draws damning conclusions about the level of corruption, extortion and even physical abuse that leaves the mini
The World Diamond Council (WDC) has issued a press release following the Kimberley Process (KP) Plenary Meeting held in Luanda, Angola last week, reasserting the importance of the tripartite foundation of the KP and reiterating that no conflict diamonds should, under any circumstances, enter the legitimate diamond trade.
ALROSA Vice President Andrey Polyakov has been elected World Diamond Council (WDC) Vice President at the WDC's annual general meeting taking place in Moscow. Polyakov will become WDC President in 2016. The WDC members outlined a strategic plan for the coming two years, which includes cooperation with the KP on the issues regarding the exclusion of conflict diamonds from international trade. The Council will continue its work on improving and fulfilling the demands of regulatory and voluntary systems to control the trade in diamonds.
In a press release, Sodiam C.A.R. - a diamond buying company registered in the Central African Republic - has responded to Amnesty International's report of September 29, "Chains of Abuse", which uses CAR as a case study to examine the diamond supply chain. The report includes criticisms of Sodiam C.A.R.'s activities since the suspension of the Kimberley Process in the CAR, alleging that the company failed to ensure that all the diamonds it purchased were acquired from lawful sources, and that there is a "high risk" that they purchased diamonds that have funded armed groups.
World Diamond Council President Edward Asscher has rejected a report by London-based Amnesty International last month that said diamond trafficking was helping to fuel violence in the Central African Republic. The Kimberley Process has removed “more than 99 percent” of so-called conflict diamonds from the market, Asscher said in an interview with Bloomberg Business. "The diamond council [WDC] gladly re-invites Amnesty to participate and join us and the civil society coalition looking into aspects of CAR and the whole Kimberley Process," he said.
U.S.-Belgian national Michel Desaedeleer has been extradited to Belgium where he is in custody and charged with crimes in Sierra Leone, TV station RTBF reported. Spanish authorities arrested Desaedeleer on September 1 on charges of enslavement and diamond pillaging during Sierra Leone’s civil war, according to Swiss-based victims’ association Civitas Maxima. Desaedeleer is suspected of forcing enslaved civilians to mine for diamonds in Sierra Leone’s eastern district of Kono between 1999 and 2001.
An energy company executive has appeared in court in New York to face criminal charges that he diverted $18.5 million in company profits to a personal investment in an alleged conflict diamond mine Congolese. Gary Mole, the onetime owner of now-defunct Glacial Energy Holdings, pleaded not guilty to avoiding $740,000 in New York state taxes from 2005 to 2009. At different times, Mole classified the corporate cash as his own, listed the Générales des Mines au Congo mine as a consultant and backdated the “consulting agreement” with the mine, also known as Gemico, according to court papers.
The UAE has been formally announced as the Kimberley Process vice-chair, meaning it will assume the lead in 2016. UAE will become the 14th country to take on the annual role since the body’s foundation in 2003, and is the first Arab country to become the KP vice-chair. “[We plan] to work together on the growth and reach of the Kimberley Process while consolidating the achievements of the past 12 years – bringing to an end the flow of conflict diamonds globally,” said Ahmed bin Sulayem, the executive chairman of the Dubai Multi Commodities Centre (DMCC).
In an open letter responding to the Time Magazine article "Blood Diamonds", the Diamond Empowerment Fund (DEF) says the article, claiming that despite the industry's efforts to ban conflict diamonds the mining industry is still "tainted by conflict and misery", paints in inaccurate picture of the situation in producing countries such as the DRC and CAR.