IWC Day 5 â€“ the final hurdles: No one wants the IWC and what is that whale meat doing there?
A small sandy brown dog is soundly asleep in its nest of ivy as we make our way past, onwards to the last day of IWC 60. There is frost on the ground elsewhere and he (or she) is perhaps a little warmer wrapped in the leaves. The brown river still flows swiftly and the snowy
Outside the main meeting hall, the Japanese commissioner can be seen studying the table of literature provided by NGOs. He selects a few items and then heads to his seat.
Others are doing likewise gluiding across the room nodding to others and seeking their flags. The phrase â€˜last day, thank goodnessâ€™ and similar can be heard from many lips. Many delegates are already towing their luggage around.
The Chair starts by saying that we now approach the day that many of you have been waiting for about 30 days â€¦. There is some nodding from the people still here who also attended the scientific committee way back at the beginning of the month.
The Secretary of the Commission, Dr Nicky Grandy, now takes us through the report of the Finance and Admin Committee. Here issues such as translations costs and the IWC website are discussed.
The issue of the recognition of French and Spanish as working languages is detailed. There seems to have been no consensus on this issue earlier and it was referred to a private commissionersâ€™ meeting.
There is some discussion of food security.
Cameroon and others are worried about costs too.
We move on â€“ others issues come and go, including the possible relocation of the IWC Secretariat presently based in
We move on to the costs of separating the Scientific Committee from the Commission meeting (so this would not be a one month block of meetings with very little time for the commission to study the Committeeâ€™s report). This matter remains to be resolved.
Other matters wander byâ€¦ then we come to the location of the next meeting â€“
â€œPlease be kind, we are friends, not foodâ€¦ we like youâ€¦ why do you treat us this way?â€?
The Portuguese Commissioner now takes us gently to the Casino in
[The scribe assumes that the meeting rooms will meet the usual standards â€“ absolutely no windows, flock wallpaper, chandeliers and a style that could be anywhere in the world. ]
We move to a list of next yearâ€™s meetings, the
Awkwardly it now transpires that no one has offered to host the IWC meeting after
The Secretary says the IWC does not have enough money to run a meeting unless someone offers to host it. [Pause â€“ tumbleweed blows throughâ€¦. ].[Did you miss the tumbleweed?]
[Still no one offers.]
The membership of the IWC Advisory Committee now comes up
The Chair moves to close the meeting but the
[Is it getting hot in here again.]
Iceland responds mildly that trade is not within IWC Competence. We can discuss this bilaterally with any parties.
No one else asks for the floor.
The Chair starts to close. He thanks Nicky and Greg. There is applause. He thanks Cheri who will now be working with him on the future of the IWC. He says goodbye to the Commissioner for
New Zealand thanks the Chairman for his leadership â€“ this is a courageous enterprise. Changing the culture of this organization is a difficult process â€“ it can be one step forward and then one step back.
India expresses its sincere thanks to
Chile says that
More applause and then we are done.
Delegates scurry across the floor to shake hands or hug (there is a surprising amount of hugging going on)â€“ more photos are taken and within 2-3 minutes the very efficient Secretariat have taken away all the flags and name plates before they get nicked.
A working group on the future of the IWC breaks out a little later in another room behind firmly closed door.
A little later, sometime after the meeting has finished, we are sitting in the lobby when the protestors who have previously been kept far away rush up the front door and blockage it - 'Save the Whale' they are shouting.
Finally More Thank yous but this time from the WDCS team in
As usual, as we close here from the 60th IWC meeting in
We would like to thank the hard-working
We would like to thank valiant
Thanks to those that stepped up to support the climate change workshop.
Similarly, to all who worked hard in the Scientific Committee â€“ especially those still here 4 weeks later â€“ muchos gracias.
The people of
We salute our sister NGOs, especially this year WSPA, WWF, the Danish Society for the Protection of Marine Mammals, Ocean Care and HSI (Kitty we missed you greatly) for their hard work here and beyond.
We thank the IWC secretariat for their courtesy and help.
We wish the street dogs that amused us, kept us company and sometimes even let us cross the roads with them, good health and a mild winter.
To our many readers, thank you for your support and messages of encouragement and to Finns for Whales, the â€˜emergency biscuitâ€™ was most welcome.
The â€˜dog blogâ€™ scribe thanks his editor for her patience and finally we dedicate all these words and anything good that we did here to Lisa.