JA Welcomes Kimberley Process Reforms

Jewelers of America welcomes the recent progress on Kimberley Process reforms, the organization said in a statement.

The Kimberley Process Plenary was held from Nov. 27-30, in Washington, D.C.

“Jewelers of America is encouraged by incremental steps taken to improve the Kimberley Process,” Matthew A. Runci, president and CEO, said in a statement. “Our hope is that the incoming Kimberley Process Chair, South Africa, will continue on this path, working to advance the development agenda that was put forth by the United States this year.”

Among the progress JA was pleased with:

  • Guidelines that will address serious non-compliance with KP minimum requirements
  • Establishment of an Administrative Support Mechanism, a role that will be taken on by the World Diamond Council, beginning Jan. 1, 2013
  • Panama, Kazakhstan, and Cambodia joining the KP
  • The fact that all participating countries successfully submitted required statistics for the first time since the Kimberley Process began
  • A measure strengthening the Kimberley Process Peer Review process
  • Continued efforts to integrate the development of artisanal and small-scale diamond mining in the implementation of the Kimberley Process

The association also acknowledges Zimbabwe’s achievement in meeting the KPCS minimum requirements, which now means that mines in the Marange region, which the Process embargoed for two years, no longer require additional monitoring. However, the group also notes that the U.S. Department of Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) continues to enforce legal sanctions that prohibit U.S. companies from dealing, both directly and through third parties, with diamonds from the region.

The group also said it was disappointed that the KP did not expand the current definition of conflict diamonds to include systematic violence and diamond-related conflicts.

It added that the KP must evolve to meet new challenges.

“Jewelers of America recognizes that if the Kimberley Process cannot evolve to address changing expectations and requirements of consumers, jewelers will need to turn elsewhere in order to preserve consumer confidence,” Runci adds.