At the close of the 2017 KP Plenary session, while thanking the participants for embracing the spirit of collaboration and open dialogue around Kimberly Process Reform, World Diamond Council (WDC) expressed sadness at IMPACT’s decision to leave the Civil Society Coalition (CSC) and therefore the KP family, says a press release from WDC.
At the Plenary Session, the WDC, the industry representatives of the KP focused on preventing conflict diamonds from entering the legitimate global supply chain and protecting the value of diamonds.
Stephane Fischler, Acting President of the WDC said: “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 agreed on the way forward for us both as the Kimberley Process and as the diamond industry. Many important proposals have now been agreed to, and we salute the positive and constructive spirit present during this Plenary that has contributed to secure these outcomes.”
Fischler also spoke about the need for the diamond community to unite, to collaborate, and to act. During the Plenary session, participants had engaging discussions about expanding the meaning and scope of conflict diamonds. The WDC remained firm that all KP Participants must do what is necessary to expand the scope in order to secure better governance, and the security and development of stakeholders, so as to ensure consumer confidence in diamonds.
A consensus was reached on the creation of an Ad Hoc Review and Reform Committee, an important commitment according to the WDC.
The need for a permanent secretariat, a crucial mechanism for strengthening the long-term implementation of the Kimberly Process Certification Scheme preferably in a neutral country was also discussed during the Plenary. A desire to improve the implementation of KP-approved decisions, more effectively restore KPCS implementation, and better support development projects in participant countries were also expressed by participants. Also discussed was KPCS reform with the goal of making it a lasting reality, strengthening the KPCS minimum standards by making the peer review mechanism stronger.
Fischler noted: “We have all agreed change is urgent and vital to meet consumer expectations and we look forward to the decisions made this week to be translated into meaningful progress. Disappointment is part of any process, but maintaining our commitment to progress is our duty. That is why we at WDC are saddened by IMPACT’s announcement today on their decision to leave the Civil Society Coalition (CSC), and therefore the KP family. Since IMPACT is one of many member organizations of the CSC, an important Observer group within the Kimberley Process tripartite structure, we are disappointed to hear that they will not be participating in the important upcoming reform discussions within the framework of the KP. We will miss their individual contributions; however, we welcome the fact that IMPACT will continue engaging with industry on our common goal to protect the integrity of the diamond value chain.”
In his closing remarks, Fischler thanked the Chair of the KP for facilitating this year’s KP Plenary session; the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade for organizing and hosting the event; the Chinese Participants for their work on the Compendium on Rules and Procedures; all the chairs of working groups for their leadership commitment; and wished best wishes to the European Union and India as the KP Chairs for 2018 and 2019 respectively.
Fischler concluded: “While we are industry, more importantly, we also represent the voice of our consumers. The KP is the backbone of the industry. We are proud of what has been achieved and are looking forward to working closely with governments to strengthen the protection and support for those most at risk. This is essential to maintain and grow consumer confidence in the industry and allow us all to build a stronger story together. We realize that as the WDC we are an Observer, not a Participant. We don’t have a vote, but we do have a voice, and we intend to continue to use it. We look forward to the second of three years in this cycle of the KPCS review and you can count on the active participation and support of the WDC.”