The council had called for a reform to the KP at the end of last year, saying more had to be done to evolve the efficiency of decision-making to maintain credibility and bring meaningful change to achieve conflict resolution. It also called for the establishment of a permanent secretariat to preserve institutional memory.
WDC acting president Stephane Fischler and executive director Marie-Chantal Kaninda traveled to the DRC to meet with anyone impacted by the KP or who would need to implement the process, with discussions identifying where progress was being made and where there was room for improvement.
They met with the chair of the Working Group on Artisanal and Alluvial Production, the minister of mines Martin Kabwelulu, members of the Center for Evaluation, Expertise and Certification, the Diamond Development Initiative (DDI), DRC civil society members and mining companies, cooperatives and exporters.
They also held separate meetings with the ambassadors from the European Union and Canada and visited the embassies of countries involved in the KP, the Department for International Development, World Bank and UN Women.
The meetings primarily focused on the support from the DRC in regard to KP reform and establishment of the permanent secretariat, as well as the process of formalisation, registration and traceability of the artisanal miners in the DRC.
The WDC said the discussions had been positive and highlighted improvements needed and ongoing challenges. All local players had also praised the successful formalisation drive by the DDI that had resulted in 200,000 artisanal miners being registered so far with the support of the Ministry of Mines.
"A new mining code has been enacted in the country and greatly improved provisions in favor of artisanal mining. The main challenge being tackled now is improving working conditions for the artisans within traceability standards as proposed by the DDI and involving the miners' communities in further discussions on the future of diamond mining in the DRC," the council said.
Kaninda said the DRC government and mining agencies recognised the importance of working to formalise the artisanal miners and expressed commitment to improving traceability.
"Our discussions were extremely valuable and we look forward to continue building these relationships and participating in similar meetings with stakeholders in Angola later this summer."