World Diamond Council (WDC) president Stephane Fischler has urged the Kimberley Process (KP) to implement changes before the end of its three-year review.
“The organization must grasp an historic opportunity to correct shortfalls in the system designed to prevent conflict diamonds from entering the chain of distribution,” Fischler said in a special meeting on conflict diamonds at the United Nations General Assembly last week.
The review process enables the KP to asses its operations, evaluate current needs, and improve the way it tackles issues.
While the KP has successfully minimized trade in diamonds that were financing rebel forces, it has not yet addressed other types of conflict, including systemic violence carried out by state and private security forces, Fischler noted.
The KP can fix this by adopting “urgently required” reforms before the review process is over, said the WDC, which represents the trade at the KP. Those reforms include improving KP standards and modalities, such as its peer-review system; giving both the governments and the UN a higher level of representation within the KP; improving the gathering and flow of essential data; and creating a permanent secretariat led by full-time professionals.
The KP should also expand the definition of a conflict diamond before the end of the year, Fischler said. The WDC backed a proposal by Canada to that effect in November.
Instituting these changes would enable the KP to make a difference in some of the most challenged diamond-producing nations around the world, Fischler told Rapaport News at the time.
Among those attending the meeting were Hilde Hardeman, of the European Commission, who was the 2018 KP chair, and India’s Alok Chaturvedi, who is heading the KP this year.
Image: Stephane Fischler. (WDC)