WDC Presents to U.S. State Dept on Responsible Sourcing

World Diamond Council (WDC) executive director Marie-Chantal Kaninda addressed U.S. State Department officials and civil society members on responsible diamond sourcing and the Kimberley Process.

It was the first time that the WDC presented to the U.S. State Department and supports the WDC’s strategy to raise awareness for, and encourage participation in, efforts to combat conflict diamonds, the Council said in a statement.

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 minimize the funding available to groups that pose a threat to domestic, international and regional security. This includes groups that exploit the illicit trade in conflict diamonds and minerals to fund their operations against legitimate governments.

Kaninda shared the history of responsible diamond sourcing via the WDC, the Kimberley Process (KP) and the Kimberley Process Certification Scheme (KPCS). She spoke of the current 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.

She said that industry, government and civil society are stronger together. She urged participation in the WDC and asked U.S. State Department officials to support meaningful changes by exercising their voting rights as KP members.

Stephane Fischler, Acting President of the WDC, said, “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 fulfill 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.”