REFLECTING ON 2023, AND LOOKING AHEAD TO THE NEW YEAR
With the Holiday Season about to begin and as we welcome in a new year, it’s an opportune time to reflect on the journey we have taken together in 2023, and to consider what awaits us during the months ahead.
It was a challenging time for our industry, both economically and geopolitically. For a variety of reasons demand for diamonds slipped, certainly in comparison to the boom years of 2021 and 2022. Political tensions, between East and West and North and South, impacted on the economic climate, reverberating across the business world, and more specifically on the diamond sector.
As the diamond industry representative, the WDC found itself in the spotlight frequently during 2023 – politically neutral but committed to protecting the interests of our members, participants in our supply chain, and our millions of stakeholders in diamond producing, manufacturing and consumer countries. Our underlying belief is that we must do all that is necessary to defend the integrity of our supply chain, ensuring that natural diamonds meet their potential as an agent for sustainable economic and social development, wherever they are mined, recovered, processed or traded. We worked hard to do this within the framework of the Kimberley Process, delivering tangible results, like leading the task force that completed preparations for the creation and opening of the Permanent KP Secretariat, and within other fora, like the G7.
2023 was also a time during which the role played by the WDC was seen and understood to be more relevant than ever, resulting in a 62 percent growth in membership, the most significant increase since our organization was reconstituted in 2014. This strengthens our voice as we go forward, and our ability to represent our industry. On that note, let me personally thank all our members for their trust and commitment.
I am extremely grateful to have gone through this journey with a dedicated team of colleagues from the WDC, who gave of their time and resources selflessly, on behalf of our industry during such an intensive and challenging year. 2024 promises to be no different, so we have our work cut out for us.
As families gather to celebrate the Holiday Season, we all deserve a brief respite to charge our batteries, so that we may return in the new year, invigorated for the important work that lies ahead. The future is promising, but it is up to us to shape it.
Wishing you all the best for the holidays, and a happy, healthy and peaceful new year.