CaribWorldNews, MADERIA, Portugal, Fri. June 26, 2009: A Caribbean diplomat has been elected as the vice chairman of the International Whaling Commission.
Anthony Liverpool, who for the past five years has been Antigua & Barbuda`s non-resident Ambassador to Japan and his country`s top representative to the 85-member IWC that was created in 1946 to manage the world`s whale stocks, was this week elected to the post.
`I see the election as an enormous challenge and I am committed to the process which seeks to ensure that the Commission has a secure future,` Liverpool said after his unanimous election at the 61st IWC annual meeting in Madeira, Portugal. `The Commission is facing a serious challenge to find a compromise between the deeply entrenched positions of those who oppose whaling and the countries which are for sustainable use of the world`s marine resources. We in the Caribbean favor the sustainable use. But there must be a compromise so that the organization can go forward.`
Liverpool, a soft spoken communications specialist with a Master`s degree in NGO management awarded by the London School of Economics, is the first person from the Caribbean to be elected to the number two spot in the IWC`s hierarchy. He will serve for three years.
`It`s certainly an honor for the Caribbean to have a person of Liverpool`s character and ability as Vice Chairman of the Commission,` said Joji Morishita, a senior Japanese representative to the Commission. `He brings to the job considerable knowledge of the Commission and is dedicated to its success.
The new IWC Chairman is a Chilean diplomat, Cristian Maquieira, who like Liverpool was elected unopposed. He succeeds William Hogarth, the outgoing Chairman who headed the U.S. delegation for several years.
`I look forward to working alongside the new Chairman as the process of securing the future goes forward,` said Liverpool. `The election to my position as Vice Chairman and also the election of Chile to the chairmanship came out of a long process of negotiations because it was felt that Chile and Antigua & Barbuda, given the current stalemate within the organization were the only two countries which would allow the body to get consensus on the issues. As much as I am aware that the challenge ahead is going to be a difficult one, I felt that in the interest of seeking consensus and seeking a compromise I would accept the position and step up to the plate to make an attempt to see if we can bring some resolution to what is happening in the organization.`
The IWC is scheduled to meet in Morocco next year when both sides to the ongoing debate about the use of whales will decide the next step in the drive towards normalization of the Commission`s work.
Now that he is the Vice Chairman, Liverpool is stepping down as the chairman of the IWCs Finance and Administration Committee, a position he held for the past three years.
An IWC official said that Liverpool`s `non-confrontational style and his quiet efficiency were the key elements in his successful election to the position. With Chile and Antigua & Barbuda in the two top posts I am sure we are going to be working even harder to get things done.`