(Rapaport…April 27, 2001) Matthew A Runci, president and CEO for Jewelers of America (JA), issued a statement welcoming Senator Judd Gregg’s (R-New Hampshire) “Conflict Diamonds Act of 2001.” The bill, which was introduced on April 26, will prohibit the importation of diamonds from conflict areas into the United States. The statement is as follows:
“Senator Judd Gregg has made a major contribution to the campaign against the illegal and immoral trade in conflict diamonds by introducing the Conflict Diamonds Act of 2001 (S787). The Senator has been committed to this cause for a long time. Like other involved parties, he believes that rebels and bandits in a few African countries must not be allowed to finance their activities by polluting our industry with illicit stones.
“His bill will create a potent mechanism for assuring that diamonds imported by the United States are free of taint. It will also foster a global regulatory system to protect the international supply chain.
“The Gregg bill deserves the vigorous support of all segments of the diamond industry, here and abroad. We are asking the more than 10,000 members of Jewelers of America, as well as related associations, to work hard for prompt passage of the Conflict Diamonds Act of 2001.
“Senator Gregg’s bill builds on the proposals of the World Diamond Council (WDC), created by the industry last year for the express purpose of eliminating conflict diamonds. Thanks to his efforts, congress now has before it a bill that is efficient, enforceable and consistent with efforts by the United Nations and other international organizations that are also striving to eliminate conflict diamonds.”