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Australian Anti-Whaling Proposal Criticized

Australian Anti-Whaling Proposal Criticized

A last-ditch proposal by the Government of Australia to the International Whaling Commission (IWC) will undermine efforts to reform the organization and is likely to bring about its demise, representatives of a group of nations supporting the legitimate sustainable use and conservation of cetaceans said today.

After two years of careful negotiations, a draft plan aimed at resolving a long-standing impasse that has prevented the IWC from undertaking its role in the conservation and management of the world’s whale stocks was released on Tuesday by the IWC Chairman Cristian Maquieira. The Government of Australia has been an active participant in discussions and negotiations in the formulation of this plan. In fact, Australia’s views have been clearly articulated in the text of the draft plan.

At its meeting, the sustainable use group said that Australia’s rejection of the draft plan and the member nation’s self-serving demands will derail the consensus-building atmosphere being observed by other IWC members.

It is clear that Australia’s proposal will be unacceptable to members of the Commission and may take the IWC back to where opposing positions were firmly entrenched and which all agreed were unacceptable.

It is disappointing that the Government of Australia is prepared to risk destroying the intensive efforts to return the IWC as an effective international decision-making forum for the conservation and management of whales in favor of a proposal that reflects only their narrow domestic election purposes.

ENDS

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