MESSAGE FROM THE WDC PRESIDENT
Welcome to the first edition of the WDC News Update, a periodic newsletter launched by the World Diamond Council to highlight the work that we and our members do to safeguard the integrity of both the diamond and the diamond value chain.
For 19 years, the WDC has led the diamond and jewelry industries’ efforts to end the trade in conflict diamonds, and as such has served as their official representative in the Kimberley Process (KP), which is the United Nations-endorsed coalition of government, industry and civil society that in 2003 launched the Kimberley Process Certification Scheme (KPCS).
In many respects, these were developments that changed the face of the diamond and jewelry sectors, introducing the element of supply-chain integrity. The KPCS focuses solely on the rough diamond trade, but WDC’s System of Warranties (SOW), which was first developed in 2002, prior to the launch of the certification system, extends its reach through the polished diamond value chain, right up to the jewelry retailer. The WDC Board of Directors has also approved an expansion of the SOW, which now includes a commitment by professional buyers and sellers of diamonds to apply universally accepted principles of human and labor rights, anti-corruption and anti-money laundering (AML).
With the support of a skeleton staff of paid professionals, almost all the work done by the WDC, within the KP and elsewhere, is carried out voluntarily by representatives of our member organizations, who give of their time and expertise voluntarily on behalf of the industry around the world. Given the fact that we judge the success of what we do by the absence of negative news coverage, their considerable efforts often go unreported. The concept of no news is good news definitely applies here.
But we are interested in highlighting the work that is being done, as well as in expanding our membership base, so that an ever-greater number of diamond and jewelry companies and organizations become involved in WDC’s critical mission. Hence, we have a launched an outreach program, of which this newsletter is just one component.
On roughly a bimonthly basis, the newsletter will look at the work of the WDC within in the KP, and that of its members in advancing the mission of a socially responsible diamond industry. It will reflect our conviction that our role is not only defensive, but that we also can play a part in creating better lives and livelihoods for all who are associated with our industry, and especially communities in the developing economies where diamonds are mined and processed. The first edition focuses largely on the KP’s 2019 Intersessional Meeting, which took place in Mumbai, India, from June 17 to 21.
I trust that you will be enlightened by what we offer. Your comments are always appreciated.