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Volume 486: debated on Monday 19 January 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs when his Department last met representatives from the International Whaling Commission to discuss international whaling practices. (240966)

Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) officials form part of the Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs-led UK delegation to the Annual Meeting of the International Whaling Commission, most recently held in Santiago, June 2008.

The FCO also contributed to the Government's recent communication to the International Whaling Commission, in response to the establishment by that body of a Small Working Group to consider issues in respect of its future. In that communication, the Government set out what we consider to be practical and necessary solutions to each of the 33 issues identified for the working group to consider.

The UK has also published ‘The International Whaling Commission—The Way Forward’

distributed to contracting governments, to assist in this process.

The Small Working Group met in Cambridge, 8-10 December 2008. An FCO official formed part of the UK delegation. The Small Working Group will meet again in Rome in March 2009.