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Whales

Volume 460: debated on Thursday 24 May 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what discussions he has had with counterparts in the Government of (a) Laos and (b) São Tomé and Príncipe on (i) whaling and (ii) membership of the International Whaling Commission; and if he will make a statement. (138590)

Representatives of the UK Government visited the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Lao People’s Democratic Republic in early May to inform the Ministry of the UK’s position on whaling. We received no indication from Lao of any intention to join the IWC or of their voting position if they were to do so. We have had no such discussion with São Tomé and Príncipe.

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what information he has received on which countries may join the International Whaling Commission in support of Japan before the annual meeting begins on 28 May; and if he will make a statement. (138591)

I am disappointed if any new countries join the International Whaling Commission (IWC) to support the resumption of commercial whaling. However, since the last annual meeting, no new members have adhered to the International Convention for the Regulation of Whaling and stated their support for Japan’s pro-whaling position.

Our posts abroad continue to lobby all countries who express any interest in joining the IWC to support the UK’s position.