Friday, 23 May, 2014

AWDC sets the tone at KP seminar in Washington

Public AffairsEvents

On Wednesday, 21 May, a High-level Seminar on Good Practices in the Diamond Sector took place in Washington, at the Belgian Embassy.  The seminar focused on the lessons learned from the Kimberley Process (KP) and the way forward. AWDC endorsed the Process as the best preventative system for conflict diamonds and advocated for its evolution according to its founding principles. In 2013, 28 000 KP certificates were issued in Antwerp, which constituted half of the world's certificates.

The high number and wide-range of seminar participants such as a representative of the current KP Chair, Ambassadors from producing countries, the US State Department, NGO’s and industry stakeholders attested to the importance attached to the Kimberley Process. The seminar provided an opportunity for an exchange of views reflecting the founding principles of the Process, namely inclusiveness, a multi stakeholder approach and a bottom-up process.In an animated debate, many parties echoed the necessity to hold inclusive discussions, with actors across the whole value chain, governments and civil society, concerning the evolution of the KP. Some stakeholders observed that in order to reap positive results, intensifying regional cooperation is key to an even stronger KP. A significant number of participants articulated that the KP is a process and hence an evolution is necessary, provided that it occurs gradually, allowing the affected stakeholders to adapt.

The issue of the integrity of the KP was also addressed. While supporting the KP as being the most suitable resource governance system, some stakeholders felt that the Process is losing its credibility, as it does not currently allow for room to discuss other issues such as money laundering etc.

It its through such initiatives as this seminar, bringing together governments, industry and civil society, the international community can work towards improving the KP and maintaining it as a relevant mechanism. A continuous development, by creating a true level playing, will enhance the level of expertise and compliance. It is the duty of all stakeholders involved to facilitate the ability of communities and countries to benefit from their diamond production through a fair, transparent and internationally recognized trading system. The KP has already demonstrated significant accomplishments in a short amount of time and its credibility must be preserved by monitoring challenges and addressing shortcomings.

You can find photos of the seminar here