U.S. Department of State
Press Statement by James P. Rubin, Spokesman
October 21, 1998
Under Secretary of State Stuart E. Eizenstat today commended the insurance companies, survivor organizations and governments that have agreed to work with the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) on the International Commission on Holocaust-era insurance claims. The Under Secretary, who is the Clinton Administration's senior representative for Holocaust-related matters, said the following:
"We share fully the goals of the National Association of Insurance Commissioners, the World Jewish Congress, the Conference on Jewish Material Claims, and the insurance companies that have joined this process. We have been impressed with the cooperative spirit with which all the participants on the International Commission have approached this critical issue. This Commission, launched by the NAIC, represents a coordinated effort among several groups to resolve Holocaust-era claims promptly and equitably through a voluntary process."
The International Commission (IC) is having its first meeting today in New York City. The composition of the International Commission is balanced: six European and six American representatives, headed by a Chairman acceptable to all Commission members. Decisions will be made by consensus.
The IC has a provision for observers from the European Commission, the Jewish community and the State Department. Under Secretary Eizenstat, who will be the State Department observer on the IC, designated J.D. Bindenagel to represent him, as appropriate. Mr. Bindenagel, a career Foreign Service Officer, is the Senior Coordinator of the State Department and Director for the Washington Conference on Holocaust-Era Assets.
The Washington Conference on Holocaust-Era Assets, co-sponsored by the U.S. Department of State and the Holocaust Memorial Museum, will take place from November 30 to December 3, 1998, at the Department of State. Over 40 nations and non-governmental organizations will be present. The Conference will build on the work of the London Nazi Gold Conference and focus on Nazi-confiscated art and insurance. The Conference will seek to illuminate the historical record and identify voluntary steps that governments and companies can take to redress past injustices, including those regarding insurance.
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