Clean Diamond Trade Act (H.R. 2722)

PLEASE CONTACT THE FOLLOWING REPRESENTATIVES AND AMBASSARDOR IMMEDIATELY AND URGE THEM TO SUPPORT THE Clean Diamond Trade Act (H.R. 2722)

 

 

Legislative Update:

We are in the last days of Congress and in the final hours which will determine if we can pass a Clean Diamonds bill that will actually prevent conflict diamonds from being sold in the US. Legislation aimed at ending the trade in conflict diamonds is in danger of failing for a second year despite evidence proving that groups like Al Qaeda and the Revolutionary United Front in Sierra Leone were financing their operations through the illicit trade (In case you missed it, see Washington Post Article from Friday, Nov 2, 2001.) The Clean Diamond Trade Act (H.R. 2722) is currently stalled in the Trade subcommittee of the Ways and Means Committee. The bill is in danger of failing due to opposition from the Bush Administration. The subcommittee held a hearing on October 10, and a mark up for revisions and edits to the text will probably occur between now and Thanksgiving. I have included a sample letter below.

 

***By next Wed.,Nov 21, we need you, the heads of your organizations and your constituents to voice your concern over this issue, by making faxes to at least one or all of the following 4 offices, who currently need the most pressure: ***

 


1) Amb. Robert Zoellick,

US Trade Representative

600 17th Street, NW

Washington, D.C. 20508

Ph: (202)-395-6890

Fx: (202)-395-4549

 

2) Amb. Alan Larson,

Undersecretary of State for Economic and Business Affairs

The State Department

2201 C Street, NW

Washington, D.C. 20520

Ph: (202)-647-7575

Fx: (202)-647-9763

 

3.) Rep. Bill Thomas

Chairman, House Ways and Means Committee

U.S. House of Representatives

2208 Rayburn House Office Bldg

Washington, D.C. 20515

Ph: (202)-225-2915

Fx: (202)-225-8798

 

4.) Andy Card

White House Chief of Staff

The White House

1600 Pennsylvania Ave, NW

Washington, D.C. 20500

Ph: (202)-456-6798

Fx: (202)-456-1907


 

Urgent Action:

 

It is essential that this bill contain the strongest possible measures In order to ensure that conflict diamond are eliminated and are never again used to fund groups like Al Qaeda and the RUF and that it be passed in this session of Congress, as we may not get another chance. The people of Sierra Leone, Angola, Liberia and the victims of the September 11 attacks deserve no less. I you have questions, or need more information, please feel free to call or e-mail me. Thanks to all of you for your efforts.

Best,

Rory Anderson

World Vision

Ph: (202)-608-1863

e-mail: randers@worldvision.org

 

SAMPLE LETTER:

 

Ambassador/Mr./The Honorable _______

United States House of Representatives

Washington DC 20515

 

Dear Amb/Rep./Mr.:

 

I am/My organization is am writing to you regarding the issue of conflict diamonds that have now been linked to violent groups like Al Qaeda and the Revolutionary United Front

 

As you know the Clean Diamonds Trade Act (HR 2722) is currently before the Trade Subcommittee of the House Ways and means Committee. The bill is supported by the US and international diamond industry, a coalition of Over 150 human rights, humanitarian and faith groups, as well as a broad bi-partisan group of members of Congress in both the House and the Senate.

 

I am/We are very concerned that this legislation will not be passed before Congress adjourns this year, allowing Al Qaeda and the RUF to get their hands on millions of dollars of diamonds and engage in more atrocities.

 

I am/We are appealing to you to ensure that the strongest possible bill addressing the issue of conflict diamonds is passed in this session. Such a bill sould include implementing at a minimum:

 

essential elements of a global certification system

the use of tamper-proof packaging

mandatory and auditable chain-of-warranties with tough criminal penalties for violations of the law

standardized and public records

robust international auditing

 

I urge you to help end the trade in conflict diamonds and look forward to hearing from you on this issue.

 

Sincerely,

 

 

[Your name/organization]