KP Chair addresses 35th World Diamond Congress

KP Chair addresses 35th World Diamond Congress

Calls for industry representatives to arrive at a unified new definition of conflict diamonds

At the 35th World Diamond Congress, being attended by industry leaders in Mumbai’s Taj Lands End hotel, Gilllian Milovanovic, current KP Chairperson Ambassador called on the diamond industry to support proposed changes in the KP, empahsising that change is important. In particular, she identified that ‘we need to discuss and eventually adopt a new definition of "conflict diamond," one that will encompass agreed situations of conflict in which diamonds are directly involved.’

She called on the gathering to support, what she termed as ‘an evolution of the KP that keeps us moving in a positive direction’, and ensures that KP Certification Scheme assurances correspond to the evolving expectations of consumers.

She encouraged the audience to express their concerns over the issue, which seemed natural, and provide and opportunity for better solutions through discussions. She stated that ‘We in the KP are not in the "take it or leave it" business and that a decision agreed upon by all industry participants would be effective.

She also identified some elements of the US proposal drawn towards KP's reform of the definition - to focus on the current challenges of conflict prevention, including -PP certificates must continue to ensure that the rough diamonds are free from conflict; certification should not address human rights, financial transparency, and economic development, which are better advanced through the exchange of best practices; - Additional certification standards beyond the current definition should apply only to armed conflict/violence that is demonstrably related to rough diamonds and independently verified. It should not apply to isolated, individual incidents, or to circumstances or situations in which an armed conflict exists unrelated to the diamond sector; and - KP safeguards could be implemented site-by-site, consistent with systems for other conflict minerals, such as the International Conference of the Great Lakes Region certification system. The U.S. proposal to change the definition contains these elements, as well as others.

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