WDC focused on furthering Kimberley Process

10th November 2023 By: Tasneem Bulbulia - Senior Contributing Editor Online

Industry organisation the World Diamond Council (WDC) is “determined” to drive forward the ambition of the Kimberley Process (KP), which aims to foster peace and security and benefit all diamond stakeholders sustainably, president Feriel Zerouki said, addressing the opening session of the 2023 KP Plenary earlier this month, in Zimbabwe.

She warned about the emergence of a two-tier diamond industry, adding that leaving no one behind is a cardinal principle for the WDC, both within the context of the KP and outside of it.

“We cannot talk about equality if we do not address equity,” Zerouki emphasised.  

One example noted was the WDC’s response to an invitation by the Group of 7 (G7) countries to engage in providing insights into their upcoming import restrictions on all diamonds and recommendations on how industry could best support their implementation in a manner that is effective and inclusive.

The result was the G7 Diamond Protocol, which is an industry proposal facilitated by the WDC.

“[It is] accessible for all, including artisanal miners, small and medium players in the informal and formal sector, as well as large players in the formal sector that have technological and other pragmatic solutions at their disposal, that could also be used for these purposes.

“It is innovative, it is effective and, most importantly, it is equitable,” Zerouki averred.

Addressing the fourth Review and Reform Cycle of the KP that is currently under way, she posited that considerable progress had been made.

“In the discussions on the expansion of the definition of conflict diamonds, the active engagement by all shows our shared commitment to the mandate that we have been given by the United Nations General Assembly resolution,” Zerouki said.

“We are also pleased with the progress made toward the KP Permanent Secretariat. Formalising the KP in this way has been a long process,” she added.

Zerouki also commended the dedication of the task force members and participants of the KP, with the launch set for 2024 in Botswana.