OECD Meeting Holds "Deep Dive into Diamonds"

London Diamond Bourse President Alan Cohen, accompanied by WFDB President Ernie Blom and Secretary-General Rony Unterman, attended the OECD meeting on behalf of the WFDB, and presents the following report.

The 13th Forum on Responsible Mineral Supply Chains of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) in Paris featured what was described as a "deep dive" into developments in upstream and downstream diamond supply chains.

There was a very strong emphasis on responsible sourcing and that this is a shared responsibility.

The session was split into three sections as follows:

New commitments

  • Introduction of the revised Code of Practice of the Responsible Jewellery Council (RJC)
  • Introduction of the World Diamond Council's (WDC)  revised System of Warranties
  • Praise from a large part of the non-governmental organizations (NGOs) over the human rights assessments – with reservations on how these could be monitored and verified
  • Calls by the NGOs for the system of consensual voting in the Kimberley Process (KP) to be changed

 Importance of alignment and convergence of initiatives

  • Redefinition of the KP's statement on conflict diamonds
  • Calls to support alignment and convergence of these new commitments to foster integrity and transparency throughout the supply chain
  • Finding ways to fully integrate the OECD due diligence guidelines
  • Calls for responsible sourcing and finding ways to protect the diamond pipeline from systemic violence

3: Going concrete – what are the priorities?

  • Diamond Development Initiative (DDI) involvement in artisanal mining
  • De Beers' GemFair initiative in Sierra Leone will be expanded – building systems that allow artisanal mined diamonds to enter the market
  • Help to try and create an echo system that allows growth and stability outside the mine site.
  • Problems setting up secure and sustainable projects

After the OECD session, there was a meeting the following day of The Ad-Hoc Committee on Reform and Review (AHCRR) of the Kimberley Process.

Finally, the African Diamond Producers Association (ADPA) said it will produce a paper for discussion at the KP Intercessional Meeting in Mumbai in June.