Press Release: On Tuesday, April 30, 2013, a multi-stakeholder group comprised of some 50 representatives from industry, civil society and government met at the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) in Paris to discuss responsible supply chains for precious stones. The meeting was hosted by the Fafo Institute for Applied International Studies, Jewelers of America, Signet Jewelers Ltd., the U.K. Foreign and Commonwealth Office and the U.S. Department of State.
The day-long meeting was structured as an open discussion. Some participants stressed the need for ongoing and continuous improvement in responsible sourcing practices due to evolving risks that the trade in precious stones may be associated with conflict and human rights abuses. Participants discussed existing company, industry, and multilateral initiatives that support responsible sourcing and opportunities for harmonization, noting that international guidelines such as the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights and the OECD Due Diligence Guidance for Responsible Supply Chains of Minerals from Conflict-Affected and High-Risk Regions provide frameworks to support responsible business conduct, including in the precious stones sector. Participants also confirmed that efforts to advance responsible sourcing for precious stones should complement and not undermine or replace existing initiatives, such as the Kimberley Process Certification Scheme and the recent UN initiative for colored gemstones.
At the conclusion of the meeting, industry, civil society and government representatives expressed interest in further examining existing and potential due diligence processes in support of responsible sourcing of precious stones, including the artisanal and small-scale mining sectors. As with the April meeting, future discussions on this topic will remain open to all interested parties.
For more information and to express interest in joining future teleconferences and meetings on this topic, see contacts below:
David Bouffard, Signet Jewelers Ltd., dbouffard-at-jewels.com
Emily Armistead, Global Witness, earmistead-at-globalwitness.org
Ronnie Vanderlinden, Diamond Manufacturers and Importers Association of America,
Alan Martin, Partnership Africa Canada, amartin-at-pacweb.org
David Bonaparte, Jewelers of America, dbonaparte-at-jewelers.org