The 2022 Kimberley Process Meeting ended successfully in the early hours of November 5, after a compromise proposal offered by the World Diamond Council managed to break an impasse that could have prevented the gathering dispersing without issuing a Final Communiqué.
With the KP about to mark the 20th anniversary of the launch of the Kimberley Process Certification Scheme (KPCS) in January 2003, it is important that the international forum not rest on the laurels of its early successes, the WDC President told the Opening Session of the 2022 KP Plenary in Gaborone, Botswana, on November 1, 2022.
The 2022 KP Plenary was expected to approve a new Ad Hoc Committee to oversee the next Review and Reform Cycle, which is undertaken every five years. The conflict diamonds definition, which has remained unchanged since 2003 and applies only to rough diamonds financing civil war, will be at key item on its agenda, Edward Asscher said.
If the Kimberley Process (KP) does not adopt the reforms necessary to ensure that its rough certification scheme remains relevant in a changed world, natural diamonds could lose relevance with the new generations of socially conscious diamond consumers, said WDC President Edward Asscher, in his address yesterday to the Opening Session of the KP Plenary in Gaborone, Botswana.
The coming two months will be intensive for our organization, with the Kimberley Process (KP) gathering for its Plenary Meeting in Gaborone, Botswana, from October 31 through November 4, and then the WDC convening its Annual General Meeting in Antwerp, Belgium, on November 17. The events will culminate what certainly has been a challenging a year, both economic and political, most of it playing out in the shadow of the conflict in Ukraine, which has caused unimaginable suffering and pain.
For more than a decade, Zimbabwe’s Marange diamond fields were a cautionary tale about power politics, poor government and corporate governance, violent suppression and systemic corruption.Today, however, the alluvial deposits also offer the possibility of redemption and hope.
As a mechanism designed to prevent the infiltration of conflict diamonds into the legitimate supply chain, the Kimberly Process Certification Scheme (KPCS) differs from most regulatory systems that are applied internationally. This is because it has not implemented uniformly in each and every country, but rather according to rules that have been ratified separately by legislation or decree, usually at the national or federal level, or the regional level, as is the case in the European Union.
The Kimberley Process (KP) itself does not have legal authority, as does for example bodies like the United Nations or World Trade Organization, both of which have the ability to dictate certain terms to their members. This notable shortcoming is a primary justification for the KP’s often-criticized consensus decision-making system. The simple logic is that the best to way to ensure that all parties remain on board with a resolution is to have them agree to it in the first place.
The KPCS essentially is an agreed to framework and set of guidelines, that are individually applied and operated in each member country, and a method for reporting approved exports of rough diamonds, which can be checked and verified when they arrive at their port of destination.
The architects of the KPCS understood the KP’s limitations, but also realized that the effectiveness of the KPCS, both functionally and from the perspective of how it is perceived by others, would depend on its minimum standards being met in every one of the countries and regions that were part of the process. They thus devised a system by which the members of the tripartite body, including all government Participants, but also the Observers from industry and civil society, would periodically and systematically review and critique the implementation of the certification scheme in the individual nations. It is knoqn as the KPCS Peer Review system.
I have been part of the diamond industry for five years now and I consider myself to be extremely lucky. I didn’t set out to work here, in fact I never even imagined that I would join it one day.
I am Rahul Jauhari, a fourth generation diamantaire. My family began its journey in the industry almost 80 years ago, when my great grandfather started a trading company in the city that was then known as Calcutta, and today is called Kolkatta.
We may well be approaching a tipping point. If there ever was a time to take control over your destiny, rather than being carried along by the tide, it is now. With a global economic recession looming and geopolitical instability, I urge colleagues among our industry’s younger generation to help us preserve the integrity of natural diamonds, as an ethical product that is the economic driver for economies and societies across the globe.