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Business|Diamonds|Resources
business|diamonds|resources

New WDC president delivers encouraging address about KP issues

23rd May 2023

By: Marleny Arnoldi

Deputy Editor Online

     

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In an address to delegates of the Kimberley Process (KP) 2023 Intersessional Meeting, newly elected World Diamond Council (WDC) president Feriel Zerouki highlighted some key inhibiting factors to the KP progressing and expanding globally.

One of these related to the diverse background and opinions of the KP members, including participants and observers, which should actually be considered as a source of strength rather than a deficiency, she said.

She acknowledged that all members were committed to faithfully representing the countries and organisations in their interest, as well as national and business interests individually; however, she pointed out that all stakeholders stand behind one objective – the success of the KP.

Zerouki encouraged members of the KP to recognise each other’s positive intentions.

“One of the features I have observed during my time with the KP – indeed, something that quite likely occurs with any international body – is a tendency to organise into camps, where the underlying trend is that history, politics, economics and geography dictate the group to which you should belong,” she said.

She added that while this was understandable, it also ran the risk of engendering an attitude of ‘us’ and ‘them’, which potentially entrenched the belief that the other side did not fully understand where you were coming from.

It can also lead to an assumption that interests are inherently divergent and that common ground is difficult to find.

This could, of course, have a devastating impact on progress, as it became the victim of this separation, Zerouki explained.

She further expressed her belief that it was possible for the KP to build consensus around two principles; the first being that natural diamond resources needed to provide fair and equitable benefit to the people and countries from which they originated; and the second being that the success of the natural diamond economy was dependent on the product maintaining its status as an aspirational purchase from a consumer perspective.

“These principles are not independent of one another. If the one is not met, it is unlikely the other will be,” Zerouki stated.

Meanwhile, Zerouki said the WDC remained committed to a positive outcome from the KP’s current review and reform cycle, which she added was turning out well.

“Ultimately, the success of the review and reform cycle will be judged by the degree to which we are able to progress a more germane definition of conflict diamonds, as this has been a long-lasting issue of the KP,” she noted.

Edited by Chanel de Bruyn
Creamer Media Senior Deputy Editor Online

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