WDC determined to drive progress in the KP

Nov 08, 2023

Addressing the Opening Session of the 2023 KP Plenary at Victoria Falls in Zimbabwe on October 6, World Diamond Council President Feriel Zerouki emphasized the WDC’s determination to drive forward the ambition of the KP, which serves to foster peace, security and benefit all diamond stakeholders sustainably.

While opposing world views on current humanitarian and geopolitical events threaten to tear down the social fabric of society, she said, “let us unite in our prayers for peace, so that the next generations, our children and theirs, may look forward to a safer, peaceful and more equitable world for all.”

Recalling former WDC President Edward Asscher’s cautioning about the emergence of a two-tier diamond industry, Zerouki declared: “I stand before you today, not only with the same warning, but also to highlight that, as industry, we are experiencing the start of this shift,” she said.

That no one be left behind is a cardinal principle for the WDC, she stressed, both within the context of the Kimberley Process and outside of it. “We cannot talk about equality if we do not address equity,” Zerouki stated.

A case in point was WDC’s response to a welcomed invitation by the G7 countries to engage in providing insights into their upcoming import restrictions on all diamonds, and recommendations how industry could best support their implementation in a manner that is effective and inclusive, she said.

The result was the G7 Diamond Protocol, which is an industry proposal facilitated by WDC. Zerouki noted that it is “accessible for all, including artisanal miners, small and medium players in the informal and formal sector, as well as large players in the formal sector that have technological and other pragmatic solutions at their disposal, that could also be used for these purposes.”

“It is innovative, it is effective and, most importantly, it is equitable,” The WDC President added. Addressing the fourth Review and Reform Cycle of the Kimberley Process currently underway, she observed the considerable progress that has been made.

“In the discussions on the expansion of the definition of conflict diamonds, the active engagement by all shows our shared commitment to the mandate that we have been given by the United Nations General Assembly resolution,” she said.

“We are also pleased with the progress made toward the KP Permanent Secretariat,” said Zerouki. Formalizing the KP in this way has been a long process. The WDC President commended the dedication of the task force members and Participants of the KP, who are all looking forward to a 2024 launch in the Republic of Botswana.

Thanking the Republic of Zimbabwe, the outgoing Chair and the KP for hosting the Plenary, the WDC president concluded her address with a call for mutual cooperation. “Trust that in every meeting and every dialogue, we come from a place to strengthen, protect and secure the future of the KP in a challenging world that is changing faster than ever,” she said.

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