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.
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.
Edward Asscher, President of the World Diamond Council, addressed the Presidents’ Meeting of the World Federation of the Diamond Bourses (WDDB) and the International Diamond Manufacturers Association (IDMA) at the Dubai Multi-Commodities Center (DMCC) in Dubai on February 24, 2022.
Speaking on June 24, 2022, during the closing session of the 2022 Kimberley Process Intersessional in the town of Kasane, Botswana, WDC President Edward Asscher noted a positive shift in the readiness of members to reforming the KP.
Highlighting the proven ability of natural diamond resources to serve as a driver for the development of sustainable economies and societies, World Diamond Council President Edward Asscher warned that this potential is threatened if the Kimberley Process doesn’t evolve to address the challenges of today. He was speaking during the opening day of the KP Intersessional, which is taking place in the town of Kasane in Botswana.