Upcoming KP Plenary Meeting could be a “watershed moment” says World Diamond Council President
The upcoming Kimberly Process Plenary Meeting to be held in New Delhi from November 18 to 22 could be a “watershed moment” for the organisation which works to ensure diamonds are ethically sourced, according to the World Diamond Council’s President.
The definition of what constitutes an unethically sourced diamond could soon be widened to move beyond its current “conflict diamonds” definition, WDC President Stephane Fischler wrote in a blog post on the WDC website. The upcoming KP Plenary meeting, which will represent a three year review of the organisation’s work, will hear a number of proposals on new definitions for the term and could therefore drastically change now diamonds are evaluated.
“Recognizing the outdated definition, the WDC, along with civil society and a number of government representatives, are insisting that it be amended to include instances of unacceptable violence in the supply chain during peacetime as well,” said Fischler.
At least three proposals will be heard at the upcoming meeting, said Fischler. One has been formulated by the WDC with the Civil Society Coalition, tabled by the Government of Canada. The other two have been formulated by Botswana and the Russian Federation. The meeting in New Delhi will decide which, if any, will be approved. Although industry representatives will be present at the meeting, only governments can vote on important decisions such as this.
“The new WDC System of Warranties (SoW), which applies to all rough and polished diamonds handled by the trade, requires a commitment by companies to adhere to WDC Guidelines,” said Fischler. “These go beyond the KP’s currently limited ‘conflict diamonds’ definition, expressly referencing international conventions relating to human and labor rights, anti-corruption and anti-money laundering (AML).”
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