Resolution 2009-2

Decisions Document Number
Long Title
Consensus resolution on the extension of Small Working Group on the Future of the IWC until the 62nd Annual Meeting of the Commission

Accepting that:
(1) the IWC is at a crossroads beset by fundamental disagreements as to its nature and purpose;
(2) the future course of the IWC needs to be defined by broad agreement;
Recalling that:
(1) by consensus IWC 60 decided to form a Small Working Group on the Future of the IWC-
(Annex B of IWC/60/24);

(2) the Small Working Group had not been able to reach its ambitious goal of agreeing on a package or
packages on the future of the IWC for the Commission’s review by IWC61 but had recommended that
‘the efforts underway should be continued for a further year and decisions taken at IWC 62”.

Accordingly, by consensus the Commission resolves to:
(1) intensify its efforts to conclude a package or packages by IWC62 (2010) at the latest;
(2) reconfirm the principles that nothing is agreed until everything is agreed and that any package
must be seen as fair and balanced;

(3) build upon the concept of a two-phase process and the progress reported in IWC/61/6;
(4) reconfirm that discussion of the core issues will be conducted without prejudice to the
principles held by IWC members;

(5) reconstitute the Small Working Group for a further year under its original terms of reference;

(6) modify the modus operandi as outlined below:
(a) The process will follow the principles outlined at IWC 61:
(i) recognise the advantages of miniaturisation and an effective communication system ;
(ii) involve delegations that are empowered to engage in constructive discussions aimed at
reaching agreement by consensus; and

(iii) allow the IWC Chair, at their discretion, to schedule a closed open-ended negotiating
session or sessions when the circumstances are deemed to be ripe;

(b) The IWC Chair, in consultation with the Advisory Committee, shall appoint a Support Group
containing equitable geographic and socio-economic representation, and range of views to assist
him/her in providing direction to the process and to assist in the preparation of material for
submission to the Small Working Group;
(c) The Small Working Group shall operate on the same basis as the Commission with respect to
being open to observers;

(d) The Chair of the IWC shall develop, in consultation with the Support Group, a communication
plan to ensure that Contracting Governments and civil society receive, full and timely information on
the progress of the process;

(e) The Chair of the IWC, in consultation with the Support Group, may appoint independent outside
experts and/or facilitators in order to assist the Small Working Group process.

(f) The Small Working Group will submit its final report to the Commission at least five weeks prior
to IWC 62;

(7) continue to work on remaining ‘category (a) and (b)’ issues in accordance with Annexes E
and F of IWC/61/6, to be completed no later than the end of the interim 5-year period.