July 20, 2001
JA Urges Jewelers to Support New Legislation
Jewelers of America sent a letter to its members this week urging them to support The Clean Diamonds Act (S. 1084), a new conflict diamond bill introduced in June by Senators Richard Durbin (D-IL), Russell Feingold (D-WI) and Mike DeWine (R-OH) (see "Conflict Diamond Breakthrough"). Until recently, JA supported The Conflict Diamond Act of 2001 introduced by Sen. Judd Gregg (R-NH). JA says the new bill is supported by the World Diamond Council, key members of Congress in both Houses and the leading human rights organizations that have been active on the issue (see "Industry, Human Rights Groups, Congress Unite on Conflict Bill").
"Our goal is to be able to assure American consumers that every diamond in our stores comes from a legitimate source. This legislation is an important step toward that goal," the JA letter says. JA urged members to contact their senators and representatives to urge them to support the legislation. In addition, the letter reminded jewelers that until the U.S. passes legislation and a global system of controls is in place, it's not possible to tell consumers with 100% assurance that the diamonds they purchase are conflict-free.
In other conflict news, a U.N. delegation monitoring international sanctions against the Angolan rebel group UNITA is in Angola this week for two days of meetings with government ministers, Reuters reports. Current sanctions against UNITA are said to be working, but the group continues to attack civilians and communities throughout the country.
- by Julia M. Duncan