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The IWC Plenary closes with acknowledgement of difficult differences
and commitment to mutual respect

 

The final day of the Plenary began with thanks to the Government of Kenya, hosts of the next meeting of the IWC Scientific Committee in Spring 2019.

The Commission resumed discussions on the Government of Japan's Way Forward package of proposals on the future direction of the IWC.  A revised version of the proposal had been circulated for consideration overnight. Consensus could not be reached and a vote was requested by the proponents.  The package of proposals included an amendment to the legally binding Schedule of the Commission and therefore required a three quarters majority.  The result of the vote was 27 in support, 41 against and 2 abstentions and so the proposals were not adopted. The difficult differences between the positions of some governments were acknowledged and the importance of respect for all positions underlined.

The Government of Slovenia offered to host the next meeting of the Commission in 2020.  Having hosted both the Commission and the Scientific Committee meetings in recent years, the Government of Slovenia explained that, whilst not wanting to deprive any other countries of the opportunity to host, in the absence of other offers they were seeking to ensure that a host was identified by the end of this meeting.  The Government of Slovenia was thanked for its generosity to the Commission once again.

Officers of the Commission were elected and it was confirmed that current Vice Chair, Andrej Bibic of Slovenia, would take the role of Chair, and Amadou Diallo of Guinea would take the role of Vice Chair.  These roles are undertaken for a two year period, until the end of the next Commission meeting in 2020. 

The Chair highlighted that the full Chair's Report, recording the discussions and decisions of the meeting, would be available in two months time.

The Government of Brazil was thanked for their efficient hosting and warm hospitality in Florianopolis.