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! Multilateral assistance as a percentage of total ODA assistance |Percentage --------------------------------- 1988-89 |41 1989-90 |37 1990-91 |36 1991-92 |45 1992-93 |46
Mr. Worthington : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what he estimates to be the scale of the present food shortage in Ethiopia and Eritrea ; what are the problems that he expects to arise in the coming months ; and what assessment he has made of the adequacy of the international response to the problem.
Mr. Lennox-Boyd : Further to my answer of 10 May, col. 79, the World Food Programme reports that 1994 food aid pledges to Ethiopia stand at 900,000 tonnes. For Eritrea, the WFP and the FAO estimate 1994 food aid needs at 255,000 tonnes, of which 180,000 tonnes have been pledged. The main priorities in the coming months are to fulfil pledges promptly and to ensure adequate and timely distribution of food aid to areas in need.
Mr. Worthington : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what percentage of Britain's bilateral aid budget is spent on humanitarian relief ; and how this percentage figure has changed over the past five years.
Bilateral humanitarian assistance<1> as a percentage of total ODA bilateral assistance |Percentage --------------------------------- 1988-89 |8 1989-90 |5 1990-91 |6 1991-92 |14 1992-93 |13 <1>ODA uses certain multilateral agencies as a means of delivering assistance to individual countries. This expenditure has been included in the figures above in order to provide a complete picture of ODA's bilateral humanitarian assistance effort.
Mr. Worthington : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs which countries in central and eastern Europe now qualify as developing countries recognised by the OECD's development assistance committee.
Column 392Assistance Committee's list of aid recipients. Those which appear in that part of the list detailing countries whose aid receipts count as official development assistance are : Tajikistan, Armenia, Kyrgystan, Georgia, Uzbekistan, Azerbaijan, Turkmenistan, Kazakhstan, Albania and the states of ex-Yugoslavia. Full details are given in the Development Assistance Committee chairman's report for 1993, entitled "Development Co-operation : Aid in Transition", a copy of which is held in the Library of the House.
Mr. Worthington : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what percentage of gross national product in rank order is contributed in and by each member of the OECD's development assistance committee.
Net Official Development Assistance as a Percentage of Gross National Product in 1992, all DAC Donor Countries |Percentage ----------------------------------------------- Norway |1.16 Sweden |1.03 Denmark |1.02 Netherlands |0.86 France |0.63 Finland |0.62 Canada |0.46 Switzerland |0.46 Germany |0.39 Belgium |0.39 Portugal |0.36 Australia |0.35 Italy |0.34 United Kingdom |0.31 Japan |0.30 Austria |0.30 Spain |0.26 Luxembourg |0.26 New Zealand |0.26 United States of America |0.20 Ireland |0.16
Mr. Worthington : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs whether Britain counts debt forgiveness for non- Overseas Development Administration export credits in ODA totals ; and whether care for asylum seekers is counted in his figures for overseas development assistance.
Mr. Lennox-Boyd : Debt forgiveness in relation to officially supported export credits is included in the United Kingdom's total official development assistance figures in accordance with the OECD Development Assistance Committee's guidelines. In the financial year 1992-93, the total debt forgiven for agreements under the Toronto and Trinidad terms in respect of officially supported export credits was £51.1 million.
Assistance to asylum seekers is not included in the United Kingdom's total official development assistance.
Mr. Worthington : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what plans there are to transfer responsibility for programmable food aid to the European Community Humanitarian Office ; and what is Her Majesty's Government's policy on this matter.
Mr. Lennox-Boyd : There have been reports for some time that the Commission was considering transferring responsibility for all Community food aid to the European Community Humanitarian Office. However, we know of no firm plans to do so. Were the Commission to take this step, which is within its management prerogative, our attitude would be based on our assessment of the impact the move might have on the overall effectiveness of Community food aid.
Mr. Worthington : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs how much was spent on aid to central and eastern Europe this year ; and how much has been spent in each of the past five years, with the overall percentage change in spending over the period.
Mr. Lennox-Boyd : Figures for the current financial year and for 1993-94 are not yet available. Bilateral spending in central and eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union in previous years was as follows :
£ thousands |CEE |FSU ----------------------------- 1989-90 |63,888|31 1990-91 |14,673|2 1991-92 |27,025|26,845 1992-93 |32,719|15,832
The CEE figure for 1989-90 includes an exceptional United Kingdom contribution of US$100 million, £61.71 million, to the currency stabilisation fund for Poland. If this is excluded, spending in the CEE increased over the period 1989-90 to 1992-93 by 1,402 per cent. When the FSU is included, the percentage increase is 2,097 per cent. The figures exclude United Kingdom contributions made through multilateral agencies.
Mr. Worthington : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what is the role of the World Health Organisation in the development of areas such as north-west Somalia ; and what assessment he has made of how the organisation is fulfilling that role in north-west Somalia.
Mr. Lennox Boyd : The World Health Organisation informs us that, in addition to providing emergency assistance to north-west Somalia, it is establishing longer-term support to enable improvements to the existing health care system, better disease control and continuing provision of vaccines and drugs. Reports to date suggest that the WHO has made some limited progress in difficult circumstances.
Mr. Worthington : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what policy the European Union has on giving aid to Albania ; and when he expects that such assistance will reach Albania.
Mr. Lennox-Boyd : The European Community programme of assistance to Albania started in 1991, initially in the form of humanitarian and food aid. It was extended in 1992 to include longer-term technical assistance under the PHARE programme and balance of payments support. The allocations for humanitarian and food aid have been fully disbursed together with the first tranche of balance of payments support. A further tranche of balance of payments support is expected to be agreed shortly. Approximately half the technical assistance so far committed under the PHARE programme has been disbursed.
Mr. Llew Smith : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will make a statement on the role the Crown Agents have in the procurement cycle in relationship to private military, security or police companies.
Mr. Lennox-Boyd : The institute's board has prepared the outlines of a relaunch plan. This will be examined in further detail at the board's executive committee meeting on 21 June at which the Secretary of State's representative will be present.
Mr. Worthington : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what representations or proposals he has from the Commonwealth Institute, Scotland about its future ; and what response he has given.
Mr. Lennox-Boyd : The chairman of the Commonwealth Institute, Scotland has submitted a plan for keeping the body in being after 1996. This will be examined at the institute's executive committee meeting on 21 June, at which the Secretary of State will be represented.
Mr. Worthington : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what are the procedures and time scales involved in dealing with a South African application to rejoin the Commonwealth.
Mr. Lennox-Boyd : The Commonwealth Secretary-General announced on 31 May 1994 that, following consultations with member Governments, he had accepted South Africa's application to rejoin the Commonwealth and its renewed membership would be effective on 1 June 1994. Proposals will be put before the House in due course to give effect to South Africa's resumption of Commonwealth membership as it relates to Great Britain and Northern Ireland.
Ms Lynne : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs on what occasions since April 1992 Ministers from his Department have (a) requested parliamentary counsel to assist in preparing amendments to private Members' Bills on behalf of other private Members and (b) authorised officials to instruct parliamentary counsel to prepare amendments which were subsequently passed to private Members.
Mr. Heathcoat-Amory : Parliamentary counsel drafts not on behalf of private members but on the instructions of Departments acting on the authority of Ministers. With the authority of Ministers, amendments were drafted by parliamentary counsel on the instructions of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office and subsequently passed to the private Member sponsoring the Antarctic Bill.
Mr. Ieuan Wyn Jones : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he supports the appointment of special rapporteurs for Rwanda and Burundi ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Lennox-Boyd : We supported the creation by the Commission on Human Rights of the post of special rapporteur on Rwanda and welcome the appointment of Mr. Rene Degni Segui. No member of the United Nations has called for the appointment of special rapporteur on Burundi, where the United Nations is focusing on preventive action.
Mr. Worthington : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what are the obstacles to the implementation of the United Nations Security Council's decision to deploy 5,500 troops in Rwanda ; and how it is proposed to clear these obstacles.
The secretariat is working on these issues, and the
Secretary-General is due to report to the Security Council on progress in the near future.
Mr. Douglas Hogg : The Security Council has discussed Rwanda in informal sessions several times since the adoption of Security Council resolution 918. The council will meet again in due course to consider the Secretary-General's report called for in SCR 918.
Mrs. Dunwoody : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will list for each of the last five years, the cost to public funds of consultancy work provided by (a) KPMG Peat Marwick, (b) Touche Ross, (c) Price Waterhouse, (d) Ernst and Young, (e) CSL, (f) Prime, (g) Basis, (h) Theodore Goddard, (i) Dibb Lupton Broomhead, (j) Capita and (k) Shreeveport to his Department ; and if he will list any other firms which have provided consultancy work and the costs to public funds for each of the last five years.
Mr. Goodlad : The table shows the identified costs of consultancy work by the named companies used by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office diplomatic and aid wings in each of the last five financial years.
Information on all other consultancies could be provided only at disproportionate cost.
The amounts spent on the named consultants by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office Aid and Diplomatic Wings are as follows :
For Year |KPMG |Touche Ross |Price Waterhouse|Ernst & Young |Theodore Goddard|Capita |CSL Group Ltd. |£ |£ |£ |£ |£ |£ |£ --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- 1989-90 |5,200 |164,800 |607,800 |nil |2,500 |- |nil 1990-91 |357,800 |132,200 |679,800 |1,110,100 |44,800 |- |7,800 1991-92 |2,073,900 |564,600 |391,700 |1,771,500 |59,500 |- |nil 1992-93 |404,100 |8,000 |693,600 |237,000 |35,100 |12,000 |11,000 1993-94 |702,800 |402,300 |1,331,200 |2,417,500 |35,000 |186,100 |91,200
No money has been spent in the last five years on consultancies by the following companies :
Dibb Lupton Broomhead
Mr. Miller : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs which EC countries plan to offer sanctuary to non- Yemeni nationals resident in the Yemen who are forced to flee due to the civil war but whose travel documents do not confer a right of settlement elsewhere.
Mr. Miller : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what plans the Foreign and Commonwealth Office has to assist impartial non-Yemeni nationals caught up in the civil war in the Yemen to whom the facility of embassy help is not available.
Mr. Douglas Hogg : Nationals from 23 other countries were evacuated with British citizens on flights arranged by the FCO which left Sana'a on 9 and 12 May. The British embassy in Sana'a continues to offer consular advice to British citizens and to unrepresented European Union and Commonwealth nationals who inquire.
Mr. Cox : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what discussions he has had, and with whom, concerning the rights of Kurdish people living under the control of the Turkish Government.
Mr. Goodlad : My right hon. Friend the Foreign Secretary discussed human rights and the problems of the Kurdish region of south-east Turkey with the Turkish Prime Minister and Foreign Minister in Ankara in January and in Istanbul last week.
Mr. Cohen : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what was the exact time and date on which his Department were made aware of the contents of the statement made by Mr. Mak Foon Than Drax in Hong Kong in August 1983 ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Cohen : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will list the names of all those who attended a meeting at 10.30 am in the chambers of the Attorney General of Hong Kong on 17 January 1985 ; and in what capacity each person was present.
Mr. Goodlad : The meeting held on 17 January 1985 took place in the office of the Financial Secretary and was attended by the late Sir John Bremridge, Financial Secretary : Michael Thomas, Attorney General ; Mr. Chooi Mun-Sou ; and an official from the Attorney General's office.
Mr. Cohen : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what is the total time spent on bail awaiting trial by Mr. George Tan in Hong Kong since 1983 ; and when the Governor estimates that the trial of Mr. Tan might reach a conclusion.
Mr. Goodlad : George Tan was first arrested by the Independent Commission Against Corruption in April 1983. He has been on bail since then, except for a brief period when he was in custody. His trial is expected to reach a conclusion in 1995.
Mr. Worthington : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs how much his Department has given to each of the United Nations' specialist organisations in each of the past five years.
FCO (including ODA) contributions to United Nations specialised agencies (£ sterling) |1989 |1990 |1991 |1992 |1993 ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- United Nations Industrial Development Organisation (UNIDO) |2,075,631 |2,519,459 |2,468,841 |2,781,607 |3,322,588 Food and Agricultural Organisation (FAO) |8,610,850 |9,625,688 |10,095,585|10,466,825|12,130,211 World Health Organisation (WHO) |6,438,977 |13,278,191|10,965,162|11,648,673|11,233,493 International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) |3,213,140 |2,625,344 |2,381,364 |2,714,364 |1,425,000 United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) |78,121 |156,468 |99,100 |136,159 |101,324 International Atomic Energy Authority (IAEA) |458,680 |470,363 |241,598 |375,542 |595,466 World Meteorological Organisation (WMO) |0 |29,218 |206,857 |152,369 |91,493
Mr. Llew Smith : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what specific measures Her Majesty's Government (a) have taken and (b) plan to take to combat the activities of Iranian terrorists in the United Kingdom.
Mr. Douglas Hogg : We are very concerned about continuing reports of Iranian involvement in terrorism. We watch Iran's actions very closely but do not comment on specific measures taken to combat this problem.
Column 398rights group report on the extra-territorial interference by Iran with Iranian citizens in exile, a copy of which has been sent to him.
Mr. Douglas Hogg : We found the parliamentary human rights group's report on Iran a timely and useful contribution to the debate on Iran's human rights record. We remain seriously concerned at reports alleging Iranian responsibility for the assassination of dissidents in exile.
Mr. Llew Smith : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what investigations he has initiated into the recent allegations that the Iranian Government have given support to the IRA.
Column 399intelligence and the IRA. We shall continue to watch Iran's actions very closely to satisfy ourselves that there are no further exchanges.
Mr. Llew Smith : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs when he plans to publish his departmental guidance on the implementation of the code of practice on access to Government information, as promised at paragraph 3(ii) of the code issued on 4 April ; and what has been the cause of the delay in publishing the departmental guidance.
Mr. Lennox-Boyd : Guidance on the implementation of the code of practice on access to Government information has been issued in both the diplomatic and aid wings. It includes a leaflet and application form available to members of the public on how to apply to the Foreign and Commonwealth Office under the code and guidance circulars to staff explaining the code and how to respond to inquiries received under it. Copies of these documents have been deposited in the Library. The aid wing will be issuing a leaflet for public use later this month. Additionally, the FCO's code of practice inquiry unit refers, as necessary, to the central guidance on interpretation.
Mr. Worthington : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what attempts are being made in the European Union to assess the impact of the common agricultural policy upon developing countries and to alleviate any damaging effects.
Mr. Heathcoat-Amory : The common agricultural policy was reformed in May 1992, partly because dumping of surplus produce on world markets under the European Community's agricultural policies was clearly affecting developing countries.
The United Kingdom is pressing for reductions in EC price support and for better targeting of remaining support towards environmental and social objectives without detrimental effect on developing countries.
Mr. Llew Smith : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what joint initiatives Her Majesty's Government have proposed at the United Nations to combat international terrorism.
Mr. Douglas Hogg : We and our European partners have expressed our continuing concern in the United Nations General Assembly and the United Nations Commission on Human Rights about the problem of international terrorism. The resolution adopted at the United Nations Commission on Human Rights specifically urged the Government of Iran to refrain from activities against members of the Iranian opposition abroad and to co-operate whole- heartedly with the authorities of other countries in investigating and punishing offences reported by them.
Column 400Foreign Affairs Council the measures required to combat the activities of terrorist groups from outside EU member states operating within the European Community member states.
Mr. Hogg : There are no plans to raise this subject at the next meeting of the Foreign Affairs Council but we do have regular contacts with our European Union partners about how best to tackle the problems of terrorism.
Mr. Llew Smith : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will make representations to the Indonesian Government over the death of the trades union activist Ms Titi Sugiasti in Bandung, West Java in April.
Mr. Goodlad : I understand that the Indonesian police, who are investigating the case referred to by the hon. Member, have not yet drawn any conclusions from their inquiries. The British embassy in Indonesia will continue to monitor developments.
Mr. Keith Hill : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what is his policy towards the United States-sponsored resolution in the United Nations calling for an immediate halt to the export of all anti-personnel mines ; and if he will set out his reasons.
Mr. Heathcoat-Amory : The United Kingdom supported this resolution ; however, in doing so, we stated our view that anti-personnel land mines directed at military targets are legitimate defensive weapons. If they are used in accordance with protocol II of the United Nations weaponry convention, and particularly if they are fitted with self-destructing or self-neutralising mechanisms, they do not pose the same dangers to civilian populations. We think that it would be wrong if possession of self- destructing or self-neutralising anti-personnel mines were restricted to countries with the capacity to manufacture them ; and therefore we do not consider that such mines fall within the scope of this resolution.
Mr. Goodlad : European Union representatives in Peking last month expressed to the Chinese authorities the concern of all European Union Governments about the arrest of Wei Jingsheng and requested his immediate release.