WDC Holds Dialogue with US State Department Officials on Responsible Diamond Sourcing

World Diamond Council

Marie-Chantal Kaninda, Executive Director of the World Diamond Council (WDC), recently addressed State Department officials and civil society members of the United States of America (USA) on the topic of responsible diamond sourcing and the Kimberley Process.

Kaninda’s presentation was the first ever by WDC to the US State Department. It is part of WDC’s strategy “to raise awareness for, and encourage participation in, efforts to combat conflict diamonds” WDC pointed out.

“The presentation is part of a series hosted by the U.S. State Department Office of Threat Finance Countermeasures (EB/TFS/TFC), which advances policies that seek to minimise the funding available to groups that pose a threat to domestic, international and regional security,” WDC elaborated. “This includes groups that exploit the illicit trade in conflict diamonds and minerals to fund their operations against legitimate governments.”

Kaninda’s presentation gave an overview of the history of responsible diamond sourcing through the WDC, the Kimberley Process (KP) and the Kimberley Process Certification Scheme (KPCS). She highlighted the contributions to education, healthcare, employment and economic development made possible through responsible sourcing. She also looked ahead to the future, discussing areas where change and improvement is needed to continue to make a positive difference. “These areas included the scope of conflict diamonds, KPCS minimum standards, and long-term implementation of KPCS directives via a Permanent Secretariat,” WDC said.

Kaninda concluded by stressing that industry, government and civil society are stronger together. While urging the U.S. State Department officials to participate in the WDC, she also asked for their support on meaningful changes “by exercising their voting rights as KP members”.

Finally, she appealed to audiences as diamond consumers to continue to insist on ethically sourced products.

Acting President of the WDC, Stephane Fischler, said, “Ms. Kaninda’s presentation is an important opportunity for us to continue to spread the diamond industry message of accountability, action and meaningful outcomes. We must all come together with one common purpose and fulfil the duty of care owed to diamond producing communities to protect their right to a secure, healthy and prosperous livelihood. We also hold our responsibility to consumers in the highest regard, those who buy our products with an expectation that the diamonds are ethically and responsibly sourced. By encouraging others to join our cause, we can ensure that the chain of trust remains unbroken.”

News Source : gjepc.org

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