The third annual Diamond Conference got under way on Tuesday in Gaborone, Botswana. This year’s conference will focus on the importance of sustainability for the diamond industry and for diamond producing countries. It will explore how the industry can align its efforts on delivering sustainable development throughout the value chain by applying the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) framework, and will showcase some of the progress to date.
With a keynote address by Botswana President Seretse Khama Ian Khama, the conference also featured Botswana Minister for Mineral Resources, Green Technology and Energy Security Sadique Kebonang, who noted, “Botswana is a leading example of a country that has used its diamond revenues to support economic and social development over the past 50 years. We have embraced a sustainable development approach that is aligned with the SDGs and we call on the support and involvement of all our partners in the diamond industry as we work towards realising our goals.”
Organised by De Beers, in partnership with Botswana’s Ministry of Mineral Resources, Green Technology and Energy Security, and in collaboration with the United Nations Office for Partnerships (UNOP), the conference also heard insights from UNOP Senior Officer-in-Charge William Kennedy and De Beers CEO Bruce Cleaver and a number of government, civil society and industry leaders.
Jacinta Barrins, UN Resident Coordinator and UNDP Resident Representative in Botswana, said, “The support of the private sector in advancing the implementation of the SDGs will be critical to complementing the efforts of governments and other stakeholders. We will only achieve our ambitious targets by working together and harnessing our shared resources.”
Bruce Cleaver observed, “The interdependence between businesses and the communities in which we operate is something the Sustainable Development Goals bring into sharp focus for us all. De Beers is committed to creating shared and lasting value for our producer country partners by turning finite resources into enduring opportunity. We have adopted the SDGs as our guiding framework and we look forward to working with our partners and industry colleagues to continue to build momentum in this area.”
In addition to hosting the Diamond Conference, De Beers, in partnership with the Botswana Government, will also host the Entrepreneurship Catalyst Conference on Wednesday which is focused on the acceleration of youth entrepreneurs, and the W Summit on Thursday, focused on the advancement of women business leaders. Both conferences will also be held in Gaborone.