Subscribe Search

Search form

Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - A whale of an aid deal

A whale of an aid deal

A whale of an aid deal

On June 12 the Japanese and Cambodian governments signed an agreement outlining a

new Japanese aid program worth US$59 million. The agreement came days after Cambodia

became one of the newest members of the International Whaling Commission (IWC), just

ahead of its annual round of voting.

At the IWC meeting on June 18, Cambodia voted in favor of the St Kitts and Nevis

Declaration supporting a return to commercial whaling. The declaration states that

"whales consume huge quantities of fish stock, making the issue a matter of

food security for coastal nations."

The declaration was narrowly passed, with 33 member countries voting in favor, 32

against, and one abstention. This majority was not significant enough to overturn

the current global ban on commercial whaling: that would require a 75 percent majority.

However, it signals a power shift within the IWC.

Animal rights groups have drawn attention to generous Japanese aid packages to small

countries with no history of whaling, such as the Marshall Islands, Guatemala and

Cambodia. All three recently joined the IWC, along with land-locked and aid-dependent

Mali and Mongolia.

"The fact that such a large sum of money was recently given to Cambodia, that

Cambodia recently became a member of the IWC, and that Cambodia voted in favor of

the Japanese for every vote taken at this year's IWC meeting, cannot be considered

mere coincidence," said a spokesperson for the US-based Animal Welfare Institute,

Serda Ozbenian.

Japanese Embassy spokesperson Junichi Hoshikura told the Post that the funding will

go towards infrastructure projects in Mondulkiri and Kampong Cham, improvements to

National Route 1 to Bavet, and scholarships providing for Cambodians to study human

resource development in Japan.

The new Cambodian Whaling Commissioner, Nao Thouk, who attended the IWC meeting,

could not be reached for comment.

RECOMMENDED STORIES

  • Thy Sovantha threatens new suit

    Social media celebrity and card-carrying CPP member Thy Sovantha yesterday said she will file a lawsuit against wildlife NGO head Suwanna Gauntlett alleging discrimination after the latter allegedly denied her access to an ecotourism program the group is launching today in Koh Kong province. The

  • Police raid Siem Reap party, arrest 10 foreigners over ‘pornographic’ images

    A group of 10 foreign tourists appeared in court today after being arrested for producing “pornographic” photos in Siem Reap town on Thursday, while dozens more were detained temporarily and let go after being lectured on their behaviour, according to authorities. A report posted to the

  • Hun Sen’s in-law removed from RCAF after cockfighting rings raided

    Thai Phany, the nephew-in-law of Prime Minister Hun Sen who is accused of running two large cockfighting rings, has been removed as a general in the Royal Cambodian Armed Forces. Phany, formerly a one-star brigadier general, was removed by royal decree on December 19, according to

  • Government approves plan to relocate Phnom Penh’s airport

    The government has signed off on a proposal to build a new airport to serve Phnom Penh and has earmarked land in Kandal province for the $1.5 billion project. A new international airport to replace the existing Phnom Penh International Airport will be constructed on partially