International actors in the diamond sector are in Antwerp this week for a four-day international conference bringing together representatives of 81 countries. A major focus of the June 18-22 Kimberley Process Intercessional Meeting is broadening the mission of the Kimberley Process, which is to end the global trade in conflict diamonds, and to protect legitimate trade in diamonds.
The process was established in 2003. It aims to ensure that the diamond trade does not finance the activities of violent rebel movements. Since its establishment, the proportion of conflict diamonds in the global trade in diamonds has reportedly dropped from 15% to 1%.
This week’s conference at the Radisson in Antwerp is an occasion to present a collection of diamond jewelry made from entirely traceable raw materials.
Another highlight of the meeting is the official presentation of the “Phoenix”, an invention of the Antwerp Scientific Research Centre for Diamonds, WTOCD, which almost entirely automatizes the polishing process.
A forum on alluvial mining (extracting diamonds from river banks and beds) is also on the agenda.