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Identifier
Created
Classification
Origin
06BRIDGETOWN1174
2006-07-07 20:08:00
CONFIDENTIAL
Embassy Bridgetown
Cable title:  

INTERNATIONAL WHALING COMMISSION: KITTITIANS

Tags:   AORC  EAID  EFIS  PGOV  PREL  SENV  JA  SC  XL 
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PP RUEHHM RUEHPB
DE RUEHWN #1174/01 1882008
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P 072008Z JUL 06
FM AMEMBASSY BRIDGETOWN
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 2874
INFO RUCNCOM/EC CARICOM COLLECTIVE
RUEHZN/ENVIRONMENT SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY COLLECTIVE
RUEHKO/AMEMBASSY TOKYO 0090
RUMIAAA/HQ USSOUTHCOM J2 MIAMI FL
RUMIAAA/HQ USSOUTHCOM J5 MIAMI FL
RUEHCV/USDAO CARACAS VE
						C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 BRIDGETOWN 001174 

SIPDIS

SIPDIS

STATE FOR OES/OA JOHN FIELD
SOUTHCOM ALSO FOR POLAD

E.O. 12958: DECL: 07/03/2016
TAGS: AORC EAID EFIS PGOV PREL SENV JA SC XL
SUBJECT: INTERNATIONAL WHALING COMMISSION: KITTITIANS
BEHAVING BADLY

REF: A. BRIDGETOWN 1133

B. BRIDGETOWN 785

Classified By: DCM Mary Ellen T. Gilroy for reasons 1.4 (b) and (d).

C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 BRIDGETOWN 001174

SIPDIS

SIPDIS

STATE FOR OES/OA JOHN FIELD
SOUTHCOM ALSO FOR POLAD

E.O. 12958: DECL: 07/03/2016
TAGS: AORC EAID EFIS PGOV PREL SENV JA SC XL
SUBJECT: INTERNATIONAL WHALING COMMISSION: KITTITIANS
BEHAVING BADLY

REF: A. BRIDGETOWN 1133

B. BRIDGETOWN 785

Classified By: DCM Mary Ellen T. Gilroy for reasons 1.4 (b) and (d).


1. (C) Summary: The International Whaling Commission (IWC)
wrapped up its annual meeting in St. Kitts on June 21, amid
expressions of dissatisfaction and disgruntlement from
delegates representing anti-whaling nations and environmental
groups. At the heart of the distress was a referendum that
passed by a narrow margin of 33 to 32 calling upon the IWC to
end the international ban on commercial whaling. The
referendum will not overturn the whaling ban but does
represent a shift in the IWC that will make anti-whaling
efforts more difficult to maintain. All was not lost for the
anti-whaling side, however, as IWC members failed to pass a
Japanese-inspired proposal to institute secret ballots. The
host nation, St. Kitts and Nevis, managed to startle
attendees with accusatory behavior during the meeting and an
unsubstantiated request for US$750,000 to offset hosting
costs. End Summary.


2. (U) International environmental groups and Caribbean NGOs
expressed disappointment and frustration at the decision of
the IWC to call for the return to managed commercial whaling.
The international ban on whaling cannot be repealed without
support from seventy-five percent of the nations on the
commission, but this shift in fundamental ideology marks the
beginnings of an uphill battle for anti-whaling lobbyists.
The Barbados National Trust criticized its neighboring
Organization of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) nations
(Antigua and Barbuda, Dominica, Grenada, St. Kitts and Nevis,
St. Lucia, and St. Vincent and the Grenadines) for drafting
the pro-whaling resolution, and several environmental groups

called for a tourism boycott of the countries supporting the
measure (ref A).


3. (U) In addition to the much-publicized blow to the whaling
ban, U.S. delegates to the meeting reported to Ambassador
Kramer and Poloff on June 21 other incidents that
characterized this IWC meeting, the first to be held in a
developing nation. The host country, St. Kitts and Nevis,
among others, put forth a proposal to initiate secret ballots
at IWC meetings, something Japan has long been lobbying for
in order to protect some of its more cautious allies.
Fortunately, for the sake of transparency, the vote on the
secret ballot resulted in a tie and the motion failed because

SIPDIS
a delegate who could have cast the deciding vote in favor was
out of the room at the time. (Note: Israel cast the tying
vote against the secret ballot, effectively blocking the
resolution. End note.)


4. (U) Displaying particularly disconcerting audacity, the
St. Kitts organizers asked for US$750,000 in additional
funding for overages incurred in holding the meeting. When
the U.S. and other developed countries balked at this
surcharge and the precedent it would set for future meetings,
the Kittitians parried with a request for only US$350,000,
offering to "split the difference" and share the expense. In
response, the "deep pocket" countries requested an accounting
of the monies and details of where the host nation incurred
overages. The Kittitians said the information was
"unavailable," so the IWC members denied the request.


5. (U) Finally, in an unexpected and unnecessary display, the
St. Kitts delegate managed to offend and discomfort almost
everyone present during one session by demanding to know just
what punishment the Netherlands was going to hand down to the
Greenpeace vessel responsible for a collision earlier in the
year with a Japanese whaling ship. Both Japan and the
Netherlands had investigated the matter and agreed that no
prosecution was warranted. Inexplicably, the St. Kitts IWC
delegate proceeded to badger and berate the Dutch delegate on
this essentially dead issue to the chagrin of many, including
the Japanese.


6. (C) Comment: The Caribbean script for introducing the
resolution against the whaling ban and lobbying for it seems
to have come directly from Japan, which has been courting
these small island states with check-book diplomacy and
funding government junkets to Japan under the guise of
fact-finding and tourism-promotion (ref B). Despite all of
Japan's coaching, the host country organizers and St. Kitts'

BRIDGETOWN 00001174 002 OF 002


IWC delegation showed a surprising lack of decorum. Small
island Caribbean governments, which often criticize the U.S.
and other large nations for failing to pay appropriate
attention and respect to them and their concerns, frequently
seem unwilling or unable to behave in a way that deserves
respect. The actions of host nation St. Kitts and Nevis, and
other Eastern Caribbean states, during the IWC, demonstrated
a shameless disregard for standards of behavior at a
multilateral forum. End comment.
KRAMER