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WDC and RJC Enter Into a Cross-Membership Partnership

This is to increase knowledge-sharing and impact on lives and livelihoods throughout the jewellery supply chain.

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(PRESS RELEASE) The -World Diamond Council (WDC) and Responsible Jewellery Council (RJC) have entered into a cross-membership partnership and signed mutual codes of conduct. The two leading diamond and jewellery industry organisations are dedicated to the adoption of responsible business practices across the supply chain, and this partnership will help increase knowledge-sharing, pilot new initiatives, and increase the positive impact they both make on the lives and livelihoods of individuals and communities associated with jewellery, watches and the precious materials from which they are made.

The increased cooperation between the organisations will see an RJC official joining the WDC Kimberley Process Task Force to take part in critical discussions about the Kimberley Process Certification Scheme (KPCS). This includes the expansion of the definition of conflict diamonds and principles for responsible diamond sourcing, and also the worldwide adoption of WDC’s revised System of Warranties (SoW). For its part, a WDC official will join the RJC SDG Task Force, which is an action platform for the jewellery and watch industry committed to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Both appointments will take place with immediate effect.

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Over the course of the partnership, both WDC and RJC will report to their members on progress with the SoW and SDGs, and support members of the industry in applying the relevant programmes and principles into their own business systems with the help of case studies, hands-on workshops and a continued dialogue with policy makers and investors.

“Cooperation at this level is critical to raising the level of knowledge about responsible sourcing, driving action and having a positive impact on all businesses, small and large, at every level of the diamond supply chain,” said Elodie Daguzan, WDC’s executive director. “Through this partnership we can do more to increase understanding of the KPCS and present a united industry front dedicated to broadening its scope through the expansion of the definition of conflict diamonds. Cooperation will also fast-track the adoption of WDC’s revised System of Warranties, creating a standard industry baseline for KPCS-compliance and commitment to fundamental human and labour rights, and anti-money laundering and anti-corruption principles. I am excited to be working closer with the team at RJC to unite the power of all our members and accelerate positive change in our industry.”

“Uniting the positive forces of RJC and WDC is a major milestone in our industry, and I am inspired by what we can achieve together, partnering to promote the fulfilment of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals in the industry,” said Iris Van der Veken, RJC executive director. “Being actively involved in the WDC Kimberley Process Task Force is an excellent opportunity to bring about more rapid change in our industry, globally. We need to stay focused and increase our efforts during the Decade of Action to achieve a jewellery supply chain that is responsible and conscious of its impact on people and the planet. We have a great opportunity to build back better.”

Commenting on the agreement, Edward Asscher, WDC president, said: “Partnering with RJC creates exciting opportunities for our industry. Since 2000, WDC’s entire purpose has been to preserve the integrity of the natural diamond, and that of the industry that mines, manufactures and sells it. This agreement not only means increased understanding of the role played by the Kimberley Process and the critical governance that it provides, but it also strengthens our industry’s reputation, as a business sector dedicated to improving the lives of all our members, stakeholders, communities and countries.”

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Commenting David Bouffard, RJC chair, said: “We welcome this partnership with WDC. For over 15 years, RJC has taken a leading role on sustainable development and helping increase the integrity of the global jewellery supply chain. We believe in shared values and we are encouraged by the opportunity to share our knowledge and expertise in standard-setting with WDC members.”

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