After joining the international whaling commission (IWC), Kiribati has been urged to support whaling conservation. The move has come at a significant time for whales, as the number of countries for and against is finely balanced. One new country joining on either side could mean the difference between no whaling and a full-blown whale hunt. For the first time in recent history there is a real threat that the number of pro-whaling countries could out number those against. At a IWC meeting in Italy, a New Zealand resolution was adopted by a 29-22 vote that methods of slaughtering whales did not guarantee death without pain and called for research into humane alternatives. New Zealand also sought to create a South Pacific whale sanctuary but did not win the required majority.