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“Berlin (Trojan Horse) Initiative” & Int Whaling

“Berlin (Trojan Horse) Initiative”

The “Berlin Initiative” might look like a positive, feel-good development for the International Whaling Commission, but ultimately will be the final blow to the already polarized and dysfunctional IWC, destroying its raison d’etre, Japan’s Commissioner to the IWC said today.

Minoru Morimoto said adoption of the “Berlin Initiative” is “a veiled attempt to change the fundamental purpose of the whaling treaty, and to do so by a simple majority vote. Hidden beneath the mask of conservation is a devious strategy to end all sustainable use of whale resources for food.

“Inviting the ‘Berlin Initiative’ into the gates of the IWC is like inviting the Trojan horse into Troy,” Mr Morimoto said. “Indeed there is some irony in that the discover of the famous City of Troy itself came from the very nation that’s proposing this resolution – Germany.”

The “Berlin Initiative” is also analogous to the destructive and more modern version – the Trojan computer virus, he added. “It looks okay, but once let in, the virus destroys your system.”

Mr Morimoto said: “Adoption of this resolution in its current form would undermine commitments to complete the Revised Management Scheme (RMS), which has been the primary focus of IWC’s work for the past 10 years.”

The purpose of the International Convention for the Regulation of Whaling (ICRW) is “to provide for the proper conservation of whale stocks and thus make possible the orderly development of the whaling industry”, however, it’s clear this initiative is intended to transform the purpose of the IWC to one of providing total protection of all whales irrespective of the conservation status, he said.

The resolution is contrary to the ICRW, all customary international law relating to the interpretation of treaties and the principle of sustainable use adopted at the 1992 Rio Summit and confirmed in other international Conventions and declarations subsequently.

Those members supporting the “Berlin Initiative” should recognize the destructive nature of this proposal and the consequences of its adoption, Mr Morimoto said. “Many species of whale are abundant – more than one million minke whales and two million sperm whales. Those promoting this initiative need to understand that sustainable use of whale resources for food is conservation.”

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