Vote on “St Kitts’ Declaration Inflames International Whaling Commission.
St Kitts and Nevis 18 June 2006
For the first time in nearly thirty years, Japan and its allies have narrowly secured a simple majority of votes at the International Whaling Commission (33:32 with 1 abstention). They used it to pass a declaration attacking the moratorium on commercial whaling, NGO participation in whale protection and to make baseless scientific claims.
The vitriolic declaration blasts international NGOs as having ‘self interest campaigns” , supports the myth that whales jeopardize fish stocks and attempts to punch a hole in the commercial whaling moratorium by claiming it is no longer necessary.
After the vote, conservation countries lined up to roundly condemn the declaration, challenge its legal validity and disassociate themselves from every paragraph.
“This is a poisonous declaration that will further divide and inflame the IWC. None of this bodes well for the whales”, said Patricia Forkan, President of Humane Society International.
The one vote that could have prevented the passage of this declaration was cast by Denmark. HSI believes Danish citizens will be outraged when they discover their government’s betrayal of the whales.
Quotes from the debate:
In an impassioned statement delivered by the Brazilian Comisssioner, Maria Teresa Mesquita Pessoa, was the first to register her condemnation. She said the Brazilian Government did not accept anything written in the declaration.
The Australian Commissioner, Dr Conall O’Connell, said the declaration “is clearly not meant to be uncontroversial and is intended to divide us”.
The New Zealand Commissioner, Sir Geoffrey Palmer said the declaration is designed to create conflict and discord and deemed it a “suicide mission”.