Tuesday, 12 July 2011
Jersey’s International Image and the IWC.
Jersey is hosting the International Whaling Commission (IWC) sixty third annual meeting. Delegates and NGO’s from over eighty countries are attending, sounds pretty prestigious doesn’t it? It would be if any other country had offered to host it!
There have been persistent rumors of corruption surrounding the IWC. Specifically some small nations are believed to have their fees paid “in cash” by other members, particularly Japan. Unsurprisingly these small nations frequently vote with Japan and the whalers. This year the UK have proposed measures to, shall we say, clean or tidy things up. This could stop the practice of paying the fees in cash at the conference(s). The UK, and others, clearly believes there is a problem surrounding the IWC, money, ethics and votes………Jersey welcomes the IWC. Incidentally Jersey is not a member of the IWC and has no vote.
So whom did Jersey’s government send to this environmentally sensitive meeting to give the welcoming address? The environment Minister? The newly appointed International Relations representative? The Chief Minister perhaps? No they sent Senator Alan Maclean the Economic Development Minister! Good old Jersey seizing any old opportunity to make a couple of quid, no matter where it comes from. Although there is merit in Jersey promoting itself as a conference centre, was it wise to link up with a body surrounded by allegations of corruption and vote rigging?
Why did Jersey not invite the “Sea Shepherds” as Monaco did in 1997? Did Jersey have any idea what it was getting into inviting the IWC? Were they simply blinded by the opportunity to promote our conference industry?
Sea Shepherd Captain Paul Watson thinks Jersey could have got it wrong. Hosting this conference could further damage Jersey’s already battered reputation, that the recently departed Lieutenant Governor told us could take decades to restore.
Team Voice has no knowledge of the workings of the IWC. The opinions of Captain Paul Watson are his own.