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International Whaling Commission: Poland

Volume 458: debated on Wednesday 28 March 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what discussions he has had with the Polish Foreign Minister on Poland's possible membership of the International Whaling Commission; and if he will make a statement. (129541)

The Secretary of State and the Foreign Secretary have recently jointly written to Poland and 11 other EU and accession states encouraging them to join the International Whaling Commission (IWC).

In support of the UK's position, I raised the issue of IWC membership at a recent meeting of EU Environment Ministers in Luxembourg. I also sent copies of our recent publication ‘Protecting Whales—A Global Responsibility’ to 57 countries, including Poland, encouraging them to join the effort to protect these species.

DEFRA officials also ensure that Foreign and Commonwealth Office posts in the relevant capitals are briefed, and engage in discussion with their counterparts on whaling at every appropriate opportunity. This ensures that these countries are in no doubt of the importance that the UK attaches to whale conservation. This is particularly important as we approach the next IWC meeting, to be held in Anchorage, Alaska in May.