A delegation from Angola paid a visit to Antwerp this week as part of the country’s ongoing efforts to restructure and reform the functioning and reputation of its diamond industry, traveling to the diamond capital for consultations regarding implementation of the Kimberley Process (KP) regulations. The visit follows that of President João Lourenço to Antwerp last June, and the Belgian mission to Angola last November, spearheaded by Belgium’s Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs and European Affairs, Didier Reynders.
United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) on March 1 adopted a resolution calling for a strengthening of the Kimberley Process (KP) to more effectively sever the link between the illicit transaction of rough diamonds and armed conflict, thereby contributing to the maintenance of international peace and, in particular, security and sustainable development in artisanal diamond-mining regions. The World Diamond Council has welcomed the adoption of a resolution, which was proposed by the European Union (EU) and ratified by consensus by the members of the 193-member UNGA body.
With 2019 being the final year of the Kimberley Process’ (KP) three-year review, the organization must grasp an historic opportunity to correct shortfalls in the system designed to prevent conflict diamonds from entering the chain of distribution, World Diamond Council (WDC) President Stephane Fischler will tell a special meeting on the role of diamonds in fueling conflict, which is being conducted today in New York as part the United Nations General Assembly’s 73rd Session.
The Kimberley Process (KP) is set to adopt a draft resolution that opens up the potential to expand its mandate beyond the narrow confines of eliminating 'conflict diamonds' as currently defined. The draft resolution is entitled "The role of diamonds in fuelling conflict: breaking the link between the illicit transaction of rough diamonds and armed conflict as a contribution to prevention and settlement of conflicts," which it will include in the provisional agenda of its next session, committing the KP to discuss a report on the implementation of the Kimberley Process.
Monday afternoon in Brussels at the opening of the Kimberley Process (KP) Plenary session, World Diamond Council (WDC) President Stephane Fischler urged the delegation to support the strengthening the KP by expanding the definition of conflict diamonds (Read full speech). The expanded definition proposed by the Canadian government includes diamonds associated with widespread and systematic violence.
The Central African Republic (CAR) has made an appeal to members of the Kimberley Process (KP), whose Plenary meeting commences in Brussels today, to engage with the country to increase its rough-diamond exports. The CAR government has asked the KP family to approve the compliance of nine additional mining zones in the Western part of the country - in addition to the five areas already approved in 2015 - and to formallize the decision taken at the KP Intersessional last June to reduce the approval period for rough-diamond exports to seven days.
This week, a group of nine government officials from four African diamond-producing countries (Cameroon, Congo Braza, Cote D'Ivoire, Guinea) embarked on a ten-day training course in Antwerp, furthering their knowledge of rough-diamond evaluation and valuation. The course, called the "KP Technical Assistance Valuation Program", originates from the commitment of the Diamond Development Initiative (DDI), which coordinates requests for Technical Assistance on behalf of the Administrative Support Mechanism (ASM) in the framework of the KP.
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.
The World Diamond Council (WDC) kicked off its 2018 Annual General Meeting (AGM) in Mumbai on October 22, with its focus being on reform of the Kimberley Process and WDC System of Warranties in support of a commitment to sustainable development by the diamond industry. The meeting is hosted by The Gem and Jewellery Export Promotion Council (GJEPC), and this year’s event welcomed several new member organizations that strengthen the collective voice of the Council, particularly in Belgium, China and Africa. The agenda will continue to focus on a push for reform, both externally in the Kimberl
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.
Stephane Fischler, President of the World Diamond Council, spoke with Mines to Market. Some key takeaways [for the complete interview, click 'Read the full article']:
MtM: What is your idea of the ideal environment for the diamond industry to evolve in today’s scenario?
Fischler: The ideal scenario for the diamond industry, as for any industry, is a combination of positive tension on the 'supply and demand' side and growing consumer desire for the product. That is the theory.
Global rough diamond production in 2017 grew to levels not seen since 2008, and achieved its highest overall value since the Kimberley Process started gathering statistics in 2004 - and most likely the highest value ever for a single year of production. The volume of diamond output in 2017 surged by 19% to 150.9 million carats (126.4m cts in 2016), with the average price increasing 8% to $105 per carat.
From June 19 to 22, Antwerp was the host city for the Kimberley Process (KP) Intersessional meeting. This year, the European Union occupied the KP Chair, under the lead of Hilde Hardeman (pictured). The global diamond community - consisting of diamond-producing and trading countries, the diamond industry and civil society - gathered together to assess the current state of affairs and look forward to the future of the KP.
The Kimberley Process Intersessional being held in Antwerp got into full swing this morning, and while the proceedings were calm and orderly - not always a given when the 54 participants (representing 81 countries) get together for their annual meetings - there were some noteworthy highlights.
The Kimberley Process Intersessional meeting kicked off today in Antwerp, as the diamond capital welcomed the international diamond community for the prestigious four-day conference. A total of 54 participants representing 81 countries (the European Union and its 28 Member States count as a single participant) are attending the KP Intersessional meeting, representing over 99% of the global trade in rough diamonds.
The World Diamond Council (WDC) System of Warranties (SoW) has entered a public review period following the completion of an industry review. The SoW review and reform process is part of the WDC Strategic Plan and is intended to help industry participants better implement and demonstrate commitment to responsible business conduct when buying or selling rough and polished diamonds.
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.
Members of the Civil Society Coalition (CSC), currently consisting of several NGOs which together form one of the three pillars of the Kimberley Process, met in Antwerp last week to reflect on its role in the Kimberley Process and on broader diamond governance.
"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.
As the calendar turned on the new year, the European Union took over the chairmanship of the Kimberley Process, aimed to ensure sustainable and conflict-free trade in diamonds. Under the leadership of High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy and Vice-President of the European Commission Federica Mogherini, the EU will head this international initiative to stem the trade in conflict diamonds during 2018. The EU emphasized that its tenure would be guided by the principles of sustainability, inclusiveness, responsibility and dialogue.
At the close of the KP Plenary session in Brisbane last week, the World Diamond Council (WDC) - the KP industry representatives focused on preventing conflict diamonds from entering the legitimate global supply chain and protecting the value of diamonds - extended praise and gratitude to Participants at the gathering, for embracing the spirit of collaboration and open dialogue around KP reform. “This week we spoke openly and transparently about areas of the KP in need of the most urgent reform, and I am pleased that we have come together and
“We want to change the narrative surrounding the diamond industry,” says Diamond Empowerment Fund executive director Nancy Orem Lyman.
As the Kimberley Process 2017 Plenary is set to start in Brisbane on Saturday, December 9, The Diamond Loupe sat down with the Acting President of the World Diamond Council (WDC) and President of the Antwerp World Diamond Centre Stéphane Fischler to discuss the industry oganization's recommendations and what they are expecting from this Plenary.
The World Diamond Council (WDC), an industry group focused on preventing conflict diamonds from entering the legitimate global supply chain and protecting the value of natural diamonds, today called for an open discussion around Kimberley Process reform at the KP Plenary meeting to be held in Brisbane, Australia December 9-14, 2017.
The Diamond Development Initiative (DDI) has undertaken a sensitization initiative for border communities in the Mano River Union (MRU) region - which comprises the countries of Liberia, Sierra Leone, Guinea and Côte d'Ivoire - to raise awareness of the Kimberley Process requirements and strengthen local capacity to monitor the flow of diamonds.
The African Diamond Conference (ADC), a joint initiative of Belgium's Federal Public Service (FPS) Foreign Affairs and the Antwerp World Diamond Centre (AWDC), took place yesterday at the Egmont Palace in Brussels. With nearly 400 in attendance, the ADC featured a broad range of speakers from across the entire diamond pipeline - from mine to finger - as well as diamond industry stakeholders.
In response to Global Witness’ recent report, “An Inside Job”, the Antwerp World Diamond Centre (AWDC) stated today it denounces the NGO’s accusations that European sanctions may have violated by the sale of Zimbabwean diamonds, originating from the Chinese-owned Anjin mining company, in Antwerp between December 2013 and September 2014.
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 Kimberley Process has published its 2016 figures for the global diamond trade, covering rough diamond production and value, imports and exports, as well as KP Certificate counts. The most notable takeaway is that while overall the volume of rough diamond production in 2016 increased 5% to 134.1 million carats from 127.4 million carats, the value of that output slid 11% to $12.4 billion from $13.88 billion the previous year. From a trading standpoint (imports & exports), however, the KP reports a significant upturn following the 'crisis' year of 2015.
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.
For the last two weeks, representatives of four African diamond-producing countries (Ivory Coast, Sierra Leone, Guinea and Liberia) have been participating in the "KP Technical Assistance Valuation Program" put together by the Diamond Development Initiative (DDI) and Antwerp World Diamond Centre (AWDC). We spoke with organizers and participants about the rough diamond valuation course itself and what it means for the participants and their respective governments.
On Monday June 12, the Antwerp World Diamond Centre (AWDC) welcomed eight participants for a two-week course in rough diamond valuation: the "KP Technical Assistance Valuation Program". The course originates from the commitment of the Diamond Development Initiative (DDI), which coordinates requests for Technical Assistance on behalf of the Administrative Support Mechanism (ASM) in the framework of the KP. The participants work for KP authorities in four countries: Ivory Coast, Sierra Leone, Guinea and Liberia.
After several years of talks and visits, Venezuela and South Africa finally signed an agreement on the organization of joint ventures in the business of mining, particularly diamonds, in Orinoco Mining Arc, south Venezuela, writes AVN. South African Deputy Minister of Mineral Resources, Godfrey Oliphant, and his Venezuelan counterpart, Víctor Cano, inked the agreement, with a focus on environmentally friendly technology. Earlier, Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro informed that the work area covers 10,000 hectares, estimated to hold about 40 million carats of diamonds.
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.
Australia’s term as Chair of the Kimberley Process kicked off today at the KP Intersessional Meeting in Perth, which runs from May 1 – 4. The focus of this year’s meeting is the start of the Kimberley Process Certification Scheme (KPCS) review cycle in order to strengthen the Kimberley Process.
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.