WDC’s 2020 AGM focused on the latest KP developments and industry’s efforts on responsible sourcing,covering human rights, labor rights, the environment, anti-corruption money laundering, supporting grassroots development in the mining and production areas, and differentiating between natural and synthetic diamonds.
The new format of the AGM allowed for an abbreviated 90-minute session, comprised of a keynote address by David Prager, Executive Vice President Corporate Affairs at the De Beers Group, on the industry’s role to meet the expectations of the changing consumer, and a panel discussion led by Edahn Golan, a noted industry analyst, with Mr. Prager and Mr. Asscher, the WDC President. It was followed by the more formal AGM agenda, with reports by the WDC President, WDC Executive Director Elodie Daguzan, and WDC Treasurer Ronnie Vanderlinden.
The theme of 2020 AGM
The dominant theme of the 2020 AGM was the industry’s obligation to maintain and grow consumer confidence in the sector. It focused on the critical role that institutional organizations like the KP and the WDC, through its System of Warranties.
WDC’s President Edward Asscher spoke about the act of gifting a natural diamond as a symbol of love and appreciation for those who are closest to you. This is due to the emotional connection of consumers to diamonds, and it is a connection that is underpinned by trust.” He said further, “Diamonds are still considered symbols of loving relationships but now consumers all over the world are asking for more. The key words today are sustainability, ethically sourced diamonds, and proof of respect for human rights. The WDC is key to setting those conditions, together with the KP member governments and the NGOs.”
This sentiment was underscored in his keynote address by Mr. Prager. Recent developments, he said, “…have reinforced the importance of brands not only to take a stand but for brands to take action. It can be demonstrated today that being a brand is more than just selling a product that consumers want. It is also about understanding what matters to those consumers and how your brands align with their values in a meaningful way.”