World Diamond Council (WDC) President Andrey Polyakov, who is also the Vice President of ALROSA, welcomed the commencement of the discussions related to the new three year review cycle of the Kimberley Process Certification Scheme (KPCS) at the KP Intersessional Meeting which began in Perth yesterday.
Speaking at the Opening Session, Polyakov said, “This review will determine not only the future of the Kimberley process, but also the future of the entire diamond industry for years to come.”
Polyakov stressed that the effectiveness of the Kimberley Process had once again been proved last year as the organisation made further headway in protecting the market from conflict diamonds.
A day before the Intersessional, WDC also held an Observers Forum meet for the second year in a row which brought together WDC members, African Diamond Producers Association and civil society partners (CSC, DDI) to discuss their common goals and joint efforts to promote further evolution of the KPCS and improve its efficiency.
He reported to the KP session that the “Observers Forum achieved a common understanding on the following issues: Strengthening KP internal controls, Policy on Conflict of Interest and Establishment of a KP permanent secretariat”. He also added that the WDC continues its efforts to improve the System of Warranties, designed to extend the confirmation of non-conflict origin down through the diamond pipeline.
Referring to “the regulation and accounting of small-scale artisanal mining” as a “main challenge”, Polyakov said that though the DDI and development agencies have so far initiated remarkable progress, the support of other major organizations, in particular African Institutional Stakeholders, was needed to jointly study and address this issue.
“African countries need to get maximum benefit from artisanal mining to develop the economies and improve the living conditions of their people. But they will not be able to achieve this without complying with all business and social responsibility standards,” he concluded.
The WDC president also said that he hoped that by the end of this year the organisation would be able to present an updated System of Warranty for consideration of KP delegates.
He also called on the delegates to carefully consider the proposals to establish the KP permanent secretariat and the multi-donor fund that were placed before the KP last year, saying that these “could significantly improve the KP activities if they were rightly implemented”.
News Source : gjepc.org
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