Iceland's membership of International Whaling Commission threatens whales conservation
Amsterdam/Auckland, On the first day of the fifth Special Meeting of the International Whaling Commission (IWC), Iceland was voted in by a single vote as a full member –even though, Iceland does not accept the current IWC moratorium on commercial whaling. Iceland's ratification papers to the convention include a reservation to the moratorium, which has been in effect since 1986.
"The decision to allow Iceland to rejoin the IWC without their agreement to uphold the moratorium will seriously undermine the ability of the Commission to make binding decisions on it members and sets a highly damaging precedent. What is to stop other countries leaving the IWC and rejoining with objections to decisions they don't like?'' said Sarah Duthie, Greenpeace whale campaigner.
“The whaling nations are now reaping the rewards of the Government of Japan’s vote buying strategy. Of the nineteen votes cast in favour of Iceland’s rejoining with a reservation nine were from countries whose position in the IWC is directly linked to their receipt of fisheries grant aid from Japan,” added Page (1).
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(1) These countries are
Antigua and Barbuda, Benin, Dominica, Grenada, Guinea,
Palau, St. Kitts and Nevis, St. Lucia, and the Solomon
Islands. For more information on Japan's vote buying
activities, read the Greenpeace report, "Buying A Return To
Commercial Whaling", a Greenpeace briefing, April 2002.
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