A distinguished colleague, Sidney Holt, has pointed out that journalists, countries and even NGOs may be trying to find something to celebrate in the IWC Chairman and Vice-Chairmans’s Proposal, even if it’s the crumbs of something positive.
And that something positive seems to be that the ‘deal’ is designed to restrict whaling to only three countries.
Well as the knowledgeable gentlemen noted, and I think WDCS has also previously stated, it’s legally impossible to restrict whaling to the current whalers (ICRW 1946, Article V.2(c )" Regulations shall not involve restrictions on the nationality (of authorised whaling operations) or allocate specific quotas to any group of factory ships or land-stations.")
Not only is it illegal and therefore challengeable whatever the proponents of the ‘deal’ would like to believe, it’s also unethical.
It’s a form of global imperialism to restrict whaling in this way to three rich countries (Iceland’s economic situation notwithstanding) when poorer countries abided by the moratorium.
It’s also the absolutely wrong message to be sending to the world that intransigence and political and scientific spin will win through in the end in major environmental agreements. ‘If you abide by the rules we shall punish you. If you break the rules then we shall reward you.’ If we let that approach win we are no better than some of those we oppose in this debate.
We must win this battle through integrity and argument, by science and commitment. The ends do not always justify the means, but the means must honour the end result.
If we want to see a world where commercial whaling is truly ended, lets not grab at unethical and illegal measures to opportunistically achieve it.
My thanks to the distinguished gentleman for reminding us NGOs that we should not reduce ourselves to the levels of some of our opponents in this debate.
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