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International Whaling Commission

Volume 458: debated on Monday 12 March 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what steps her Department has taken to encourage EU countries that are not members of the International Whaling Commission and potential accession states to join the International Whaling Commission. (125540)

Since the last meeting of the International Whaling Commission (IWC) in June 2006, Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) posts in Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Estonia, Greece, Latvia, Lithuania, Macedonia, Montenegro and Serbia have made representations to host Governments, encouraging them to join the IWC and vote in favour of maintaining the world-wide moratorium on commercial whaling.

My right hon. Friend the Minister for Europe raised the matter with the Foreign Minister of Andorra in October 2006.

The FCO has distributed copies of the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs publication ‘Protecting Whales - A Global Responsibility’ to 57 countries, including all potential EU candidates.

Croatia and Cyprus have now joined the IWC. Estonia, Greece, Latvia and Romania have committed themselves to joining as soon as domestic legislative procedures allow.

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what recent discussions the Minister for Europe has had with the Foreign Ministers of (a) Montenegro and (b) Liechtenstein on their countries' possible membership of the International Whaling Commission; and if she will make a statement. (125968)

My right hon. Friend the Minister for Europe has had no such discussions.

Our embassy in Berne raised the subject of the International Whaling Commission (IWC) membership with the Government of Liechtenstein in September 2006. The response was that Liechtenstein's limited administrative capacity made IWC membership unfeasible.

Our ambassador in Podgorica raised the subject of IWC membership with the Government of Montenegro on 27 February. The Montenegrin Government are considering the matter.