The World Diamond Council (WDC) will hold its 14th Annual General Meeting (AGM) in Mumbai over October 22 and 23, with a focus on reform of the Kimberley Process and WDC System of Warranties in support of a commitment to sustainable development by the diamond industry.
The meeting will be hosted by The Gem and Jewellery Export Promotion Council (GJEPC). This year’s event will welcome several new member organisations that strengthen the collective voice of the Council, particularly in Belgium, China and Africa.
The agenda is expected to continue to focus on a push for reform, both externally in the Kimberley Process (KP) where the WDC serves as the industry’s observer, and from within through changes to the industry’s System of Warranties (SoW). The SoW extends the assurances provided by the Kimberley Process Certification Scheme (KPCS) by requiring all diamond suppliers and diamond jewelry manufacturers to pass on a conflict free warranty statement each time diamond goods (rough or polished) change hands.
“I would like to thank the GJEPC for hosting this year’s meeting and express our gratitude for the important voice they bring to our efforts to strengthen the global integrity of the global diamond supply chain,” said WDC President Stephane Fischler, adding, “I am motivated by the progress we have made so far in this second year of a three-year review cycle for the KPCS. I want to encourage our members to continue that spirit of improvement, using this year’s event to listen to one another and find common ground so that we can show the world we are one voice committed to positive change.”
GJEPC Chairman Pramod Agarwal commented, “This is the first time that the GJEPC is hosting this important event and we are honoured to have our industry colleagues from the world with us during such an auspicious time just before the Kimberley Process Plenary in Brussels next month.”
He added, “As an expression of the Indian gem and jewellery industry’s ongoing commitment for ensuring a favourable environment for trade of gems and jewellery in the world market, today we fully endorse the KP reforms process which is underway, as it will create a more organised and transparent system.”
He went on to say, “The GJEPC is a long-time member of the World Diamond Council and believes that adopting a stronger system of warranties for industry with a contemporary view on conflict diamonds, is amongst the most important considerations impacting the future of our industry. We look forward to actively participate in the discussions and resolutions this week as we work together toward meaningful change.”
The WDC is also encouraging KPCS reform focused in the areas of:
- Broadening the scope of the KP to increase the likelihood of safe and secure working conditions, fair labor practices and sustainable development in diamond communities.
- Establishing a permanent secretariat to strengthen long-term implementation of the Kimberly Process Certification Scheme.
- Strengthening the KPCS minimum standards by strengthening the peer review mechanism.
The Board of Directors meeting on October 22 will include new WDC members, as invitees of the President and new committee members. This includes The Shanghai Diamond Exchange, Diamond Counselor International, Arslanian Group and Fischler Diamonds NV, with others pending. Membership by these organizations strengthens the voice of industry in key global diamond centres including Belgium, China and Africa.