Friday, April 27, 2007

New York Whale Symposium outcome

We published yesterday the Chair's Summary of the Pew-sponsored Symposium on the State of Whale Conservation which we organized at United Nations Headquarters in New York two weeks ago.

I think the Chair's Summary contains a lot of constructive ideas (including new and fresh ones) to move forward and break the cul-de-sac in which the International Whaling Commission (IWC) has found itself for a number of years.

The use of the Chatham House Rule whereby individual statements from the floor are not attributed certainly helped everyone move away from the usual rhetoric. [I had noticed last year at the Annual Meeting of the IWC in St Kitts & Nevis that the vast majority of the delegations weren't really speaking to each others, but to their respective domestic audiences via the live webcast feed].

In less than a month, I will attend the Annual Meeting of the IWC in Anchorage, Alaska, where we shall present the outcome of the New York Symposium. For the first time, according to the Annotated Provisional Agenda there will be a formal discussion on "The IWC in the Future" (Agenda Item 7). We trust that the outcome of the New York Symposium will bring some balance and fresh air in this important discussion.

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