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University of Iowa News Release

Jan. 13, 2006

Former U.S. Ambassador, Diplomat Speaks About 'Conflict Diamonds' Jan. 23

J.D. Bindenagel, vice president for community, government and international affairs at DePaul University, will present "Stopping Conflict Diamonds: Can the Kimberley Process Succeed?" during the next Iowa City Foreign Relations Council (ICFRC) luncheon and lecture at noon Monday, Jan. 23 at Rockwood Fellowship Hall, Congregational Church, 30 N. Clinton St. in Iowa City.

Conflict diamonds, also known as "blood" diamonds, are rough diamonds used by rebel movements or their allies to finance armed conflict aimed at undermining legitimate governments. The Kimberley Process is an international certification scheme that regulates the trade in rough diamonds. Its aim is to prevent the trade in conflict diamonds, while helping to protect the legitimate trade in rough diamonds.

During his talk, Bindenagel will discuss how he prevented proceeds from the sales of illicit rough "conflict" diamonds from financing revolts against legitimate African governments when he served as a special U.S. negotiator for "Conflict Diamonds." He also served as deputy chief of mission at the U.S. Embassy in Berlin, East Germany, at the time of the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989 and helped negotiate the reunification of Germany.

Bindenagel is a former ambassador and 28-year veteran of the U.S. diplomatic corps. As a U.S. Army veteran, he served the U.S. State Department from 1975 to 2003. During his service, he was director for Central European Affairs in the Bureau of European and Canadian Affairs in Washington, D.C., from 1992 to 1994 and U.S. charge' d'affaires and deputy chief of mission at Bonn, Germany, from 1994 to 1997. Prior to joining DePaul, he was vice president for programming at the Chicago Council on Foreign Relations.

Send reservation forms (available at http://www.uiowa.edu/~icfrc/current_event.htm) with a check to: ICFRC, 140 International Center, Iowa City, Iowa, 52242-1802. Reservations for this luncheon/lecture must be received in the office by noon, Friday, Jan. 20. Reservations are $7 for members and $8.50 for non-members. The Cottage will cater the luncheon.

This program is made possible with the support of Hands Jewelers Since 1854 and Mike Margolin, and is sponsored by International Programs and ICFRC. For those unable to attend the program, WSUI (AM-910) will broadcast it on Tuesday, Jan. 24, following the noon news.

For more information on this program, the ICFRC or special accommodations to attend this lecture, contact Tom Baldridge at 319-335-0351.

ICFRC is a non-profit association of community and university people interested in learning more about U.S. foreign policy, world affairs and current global issues impacting world societies. The group provides members with the opportunity to hear more than 35 experts per year who visit the UI campus and the Iowa City/Cedar Rapids area.

ICFRC is part of International Programs, which consist of a number of offices, centers, degree programs, academic programs, research projects and services. Organized under the associate provost and dean of International Programs, these units serve to further internationalize the campus and community and promote global scholarship, research and teaching.

STORY SOURCE: University of Iowa News Services, 300 Plaza Centre One, Suite 371, Iowa City, Iowa 52242-2500.

CONTACTS: Media: Lois Gray, 319-335-2026, lois-gray@uiowa.edu; Program: Tom Baldridge, 319-335-0351, thomas-baldridge@uiowa.edu; Writer: Kelli Andresen