On an ongoing basis, the united leadership of the diamond industry is more inclined than ever before to continue formulating and implementing improved ethical business standards, said Edward Asscher, President of the World Diamond Council, in his address late last week to the World Diamond Conference in New Delhi, India.
Mr. Asscher was one of a group of industry leaders from India and across the globe to address the gathering, which featured opening speeches by the Indian Prime Minister, Narendra Modi, and the visiting Russian President, Vladimir Putin.
Members of the World Diamond Council (WDC), gathering in Delhi, India, for an informal meeting, have issued a statement emphasizing their strong and unequivocal support of the WDC's mission and its leadership position in the struggle against conflict diamonds.
"In response to the various reports in the media about the WDC, we wish to reiterate that we value the role the WDC plays in the Kimberley Process (KP) and, by extension, the meaningful role of the KP in the global diamond industry and trade. We therefore call attention to the WDC's mission statement and reconfirm and pledge our continuous and full support to the WDC and its objectives," the statement notes.
The strengthening of the Kimberley Process Certification Scheme stood atop the agenda of the delegation of the World Diamond Council, which joined representatives of governments from more than 50 countries and civil society NGOs at the four-day Kimberley Process Plenary Meeting, which concluded in Guangzhou, China, on November 14.
WDC President Edward Asscher headed the delegation of 12 diamond and jewelry industry representatives from around the world attending the 2014 KP Plenary Meeting.
“We should always remember that millions of people are depending on the well-being of the diamond industry for their livelihoods. From the miners and their families in the producing countries, through to the polishing and trading centers, the jewelry manufacturers and the retailers, we all need to face the future and contribute together to make the diamond world a better, safer and more transparent industry. We can only do so if we work together,” said Edward Asscher, President of the World Diamond Council.
The World Diamond Council (WDC) has made contact with the African Diamond Producers Association (ADPA), offering its support in dealing with the impact on the mining sector of the Ebola crisis in West Africa.
ADPA is a union of African diamond mining countries, working as to advance the common interests of the continent’s diamond producers. The organization has 18 member countries, of which 11 are permanent members and seven are observers.
The World Diamond Council (WDC) has concluded its 2014 Annual General Meeting in Antwerp, Belgium, during which the WDC members considered and discussed a range of issues associated with the role played by industry within the Kimberley Process (KP), and related matters, including banking policies when confronted with inconsistent implementation of KP standards by companies and countries.
Also considered were the supply chain risks impacting on KP compliance.
The World Diamond Council (WDC) has named Patricia Syvrud, founder and president of Joia Consulting, LLC, as its first Executive Director, effective October 31, 2014.
Syvrud will report to the Executive Committee of the WDC Board of Directors and will assist the President of the WDC. She will be responsible for representing the WDC in the Kimberley Process, as well as providing overall leadership and strategic direction to the organization.
Members of the World Diamond Council will assemble in Antwerp, October 28 to October 30, for the organization’s 2014 Annual General Meeting. Among the guests will be Philippe Mellier, De Beers CEO, who will address a special all-day session on October 29, which will focus on issues associated with the Kimberley Process, 14 years after its establishment, and the associated role of the WDC in relation to the risks facing the KP.
The World Diamond Council has initiated an international search for an Executive Director to head the organization, under the authority of the WDC President and Executive Committee. It will be the first time that the industry organization dedicated to the elimination of the trade in the conflict diamonds will head by a salaried administrator.
The World Diamond Council has issued a warning that, despite the Administrative Decision of the Kimberley Process of May 23, 2013, which ordered the temporary suspension of trading in diamonds from the Central African Republic (CAR), production of diamonds in that country is continuing and there is evidence of diamonds from the CAR reaching the markets.
Speaking this morning at the Intersessional Meeting of the Kimberley Process In Shanghai, Edward Asscher, President of the World Diamond Council, stressed that the mandate of the KP should remain focused on eliminating the trade in diamonds from areas of conflict.
The following is the full text of Mr. Asscher’s address:
Vice Minister Wei Chuanzhong, Chair of the Kimberley Process;
Edward Asscher, President of the World Diamond Council, and Vice Minister Wei Chuanzhong, Chair of the Kimberley Process, signed a Memorandum of Understanding in Antwerp on Friday, May 23, formalizing the agreement for 2014 between the two organizations, according to which WDC finances and operates the Administrative Support Mechanism (ASM) on behalf of the Kimberley Process.
The Board of Directors of the World Diamond Council has elected a new President, Vice President and Treasurer of the organization. Edward Asscher, a fifth generation diamantaire who heads the Royal Asscher Diamond Company of the Netherlands, was elected WDC President. Andrew Bone, head of Government & Industry Relations of the De Beers Group was elected WDC Vice President, and Ronnie VanderLinden, representative of the U.S. Coalition and president of the Diamond Manufacturers and Importers Association of America (DMIA), was elected WDC Treasurer.
The vote for WDC officers took place during the first formal meeting of organization’s 20-person Board of Directors, which was elected on April 28 by a vote of the organization’s full membership. According to the WDC statutes, the new President will serve a single two-year term, following which he will be succeeded by the sitting Vice President.
The membership of the World Diamond Council has elected a new Board of Directors, in the first such poll conducted under the organization’s amended bylaws, which were approved in November 2013.
The new WDC Board comprises 20 members, equally distributed among five diamond industry sectors, and reflects the geographical diversity of the supply chain.
Pursuant to Article 7 of the 2013 Consolidated Amendments of the Bylaws of the World Diamond Council, the WDC President appointed the Chair and Members of the Nominating Committee.
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A Special Meeting of the World Diamond Council Members will be held virtually, by electronic means, on April 28, 2014. The purpose of the virtual Special Meeting is to elect a new Board of Directors for the World Diamond Council.
To download the official notification, PLEASE CLICK HERE.
The World Diamond Council has begun the implementation of the reform of the organization, according to the roadmap provided by its newly amended bylaws, which were approved by a vote of the full membership last November. The reforms are designed to ensure that WDC remains reflective of the composition of the international diamond and jewelry sectors, to ensure a transparent decision-making process and to provide financial stability over the long term.