Robust WDC Discussions on New Conflict Diamond DefinitionMay 29, 23
(IDEX Online) - The World Diamond Council (WDC) has held "open and robust discussions" towards updating its definition of conflict diamonds.
Feriel Zerouki, who has taken over from Edward Asscher as WDC president, said she was positive about progress made at the four-day 2023 Intersessional Meeting of the Kimberley Process, in Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe.
"We believe that an expansion on the definition of conflict diamonds is essential and the KP has been given the mandate to expand it," she said in her closing address.
"The spirit in which the definition discussions have been conducted to date gives room for encouragement.
"As we've witnessed this week, through open and robust discussions, we have secured the necessary psychological safety to share views and positions in support of the reform."
She said a sub-team on was working on the issue of what constitutes a "conflict diamond".
The current definition, unchanged in 20 years is: "Rough diamonds used by rebel movements or their allies to finance conflict aimed at undermining legitimate governments, as described in relevant resolutions by the UN Security Council and UN General Assembly."
Pressure had been mounting since the invasion of Ukraine to amend the definition to include Russian diamonds.
Last June Ukraine, the EU, the US and other KP member countries to tried an failed to initiate discussions on broadening the definition.
Russia, Belarus, Central African Republic (CAR) and Kyrgyzstan opposed the move, claiming it was political, and beyond the KP's remit. But the 2022 KP Plenary subsequently approved a review into its definition.
Feriel Zerouki addresses the Intersessional Meeting of the Kimberley Process, in Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe.