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State of the UN
United Nations: Forget Syria, Let's Save the Whales

The United Nation’s International Court of Justice has ruled against Japanese whaling in the Antarctic, in a case brought by Australia and supported by New Zealand. The BBC reports:

Supporters of the ban say they are “delighted.” Japan said it would comply with the judgement, but was “deeply disappointed.” […]

Announcing the judgement on Monday, the International Court of Justice (ICJ) said that Japan had killed around 3,600 minke whales since 2005 under its Antarctic whaling program, known as JARPA II.

While JARPA II could broadly be characterized as “scientific research,” the scientific output from the program was limited, and Japan had not sufficiently justified the whaling quotas it had set, the ICJ said.

The Antarctic minke whales can finally live without fear of harpoons or nets. They’re fortunate. Far too few human beings in this world enjoy a comparable sense of security.

The Court took the case on account of the 3,600 whales killed since 2005. The 150,000 people killed in Syria over the past three years haven’t yet caught the honorable judges’ attention.

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  • Andrew Allison

    To paraphrase Oscar Wilde, the impotent in pursuit of the irrelevant.

  • gabrielsyme

    The sarcasm is unwarranted. It’s best that the UN act in areas where it a) has competence and b) will have a real effect. This is actually a good example of the UN doing something useful, as opposed to pontificating uselessly.

    • Jim__L

      Good point. Although one could be excused for holding out non-zero hope that the UN could be a useful forum here, hope being a virtue and all.

  • JC

    Its likely to be a Pyrrhic victory as the world finally begins to understand why the Minke whales are sometimes called “the Cockroach of the Oceans”.. it is not in any danger of depletion.

    What now becomes interesting is Northern Hemisphere whaling where Minke and other whales are fewer but harvested by European nations.. we wouldn’t want the world to think whaling restrictions only apply to Japs.. would we?


  • qet

    The UN did not have to kill any whales to save others. Any solution in Syria would require killing some people to save others. This is an unbridgeable moral chasm in our time.

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