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FOREIGN AND COMMONWEALTH AFFAIRS

Civil Service Staff

Mr. Rhodri Morgan: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what proportion of Civil Service staff of grade 5 and above within his Department (a) have spent their entire civil service career within his Department, (b) have had secondments to (i) the private sector and (ii) other departments and (c) have come from other departments. [26031]

Mr. Tony Lloyd [holding answer 28 January 1998]: About 10 per cent. of staff equivalent to Grade 5 and above, joined the FCO from other Government departments and at least a third have had (or are on) secondments, loans or attachments outside the FCO. In the past, about three quarters of these have been to other Government departments or Governments overseas, but we have been expanding our Interchange programme and the number of loans to the private sector has increased. More precise information could be provided only at disproportionate cost.

BBC Monitoring Service

Mr. Browne: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he proposes to set an external financing limit for the BBC Monitoring Service in 1997-98. [26839]

Mr. Fatchett: The external financing limit for 1997-98 for the BBC Monitoring Service will be set at £1,183,000. The creation of the EFL reflects the change in the funding arrangements of the BBC World Service Monitoring Service from grant in aid subscription based funding, which I announced on 5 November 1997, Official Report, column 201.

Ministerial Meetings

Mr. Mullin: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what action was taken following the meeting between the Under Secretary of State, the right hon. Member for Manchester, Gorton (Mr. Kaufman) and the hon. Member for Sunderland, South on 5 November. [26404]

Mr. Tony Lloyd: On 5 January 1998, the UK joined with other EU Partners in making a demarche to the Jamaican Government about their decision to withdraw from the first Optional Protocol to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR).

Kenya

Mr. Rowe: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what reports he has received, and what assessment his Department has made, of human rights violations in Kenya. [26704]

Mr. Tony Lloyd: We receive reports from a variety of sources about human rights in Kenya. We are particularly concerned about the persistent problem of police brutality and the evidence of torture and extra-judicial killings. The Kenyan Government are bound under international obligations to end such practices. We will play a full part in ensuring that pressure for such progress is maintained.

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We have been deeply concerned by recent violence in parts of Kenya's Rift Valley, which appears to have both ethnic and political origins. Our High Commission in Nairobi issued a public statement on 28 January, in concert with other diplomatic missions, expressing concern over the slow and ineffective response by the Kenyan security forces. The statement also urged the Government of Kenya to take prompt, effective action to put an end to the violence and to bring its perpetrators to justice.

Mr. Rowe: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what recent representations he has made to the Kenyan authorities in respect of reported human rights violations; and if he will make a statement. [26701]

Mr. Tony Lloyd: We maintain a vigorous dialogue with the Kenyan Government on human rights issues through our High Commission in Nairobi and at Ministerial level when the occasion arises. My right hon. Friend the Foreign Secretary raised human rights issues with the then Kenyan Foreign Minister during the Commonwealth Heads of Government meeting in Edinburgh. The subject was also raised during my right hon. Friend the Prime Minister's meeting with President Moi on 4 January and my telephone conversation with the new Kenyan Foreign Minister on 28 January.

Mr. Faber: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what representations he has made to the Government of Kenya in respect of recent reports of violence. [26975]

Mr. Tony Lloyd: Our High Commission in Nairobi issued a public statement on 28 January in concert with other diplomatic missions, expressing concern over the slow and ineffective response by the Kenyan security forces to recent ethnic clashes in various parts of Rift Valley Province. The statement also urged the Government of Kenya to take prompt, effective action to put an end to the violence and to bring its perpetrators to justice. I reiterated our concern over recent events during a telephone conversation with the Kenyan Foreign Minister on 28 January.

Human Rights

Mr. Rowe: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs how the Government's ethical approach to international relations will be applied to the combating of reported human rights violations in (a) Kenya and (b) Algeria. [26703]

Mr. Tony Lloyd: We have made our concerns about civil and political rights abundantly clear to the Kenyan authorities. Human rights remains an important issue in our bilateral dialogue with the Government of Kenya. Concerns over police brutality have, for example, led to decisions under the revised criteria for licensing arms exports to reject applications for various categories of riot control equipment for the Kenyan police.

On Algeria we, along with EU partners, have made clear our concern for the protection of the Algerian people from terrorist attacks. During the EU Troika mission to Algiers on 19-20 January, we made clear the concerns of the British and European people and pressed the Algerians

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to accept a visit by UN Special Rapporteurs. We will reiterate our concerns to the Algerian authorities in our regular contact with them.

Mr. Rowe: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what negotiations and meetings he has had with other EU members regarding human rights violations in Kenya and Algeria. [26705]

Mr. Tony Lloyd: On Kenya, our High Commission in Nairobi are in regular contact with EU partners on the question of human rights violations. The subject is also discussed in the relevant EU Working Groups.

Human rights and other issues concerning Algeria are also discussed regularly with EU partners. The most recent discussions were held at Foreign Minister level at the General Affairs Council in Brussels on 26 January when my hon. Friend, the Minister of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, Derek Fatchett, reported on the EU ministerial Troika visit that he led to Algiers on 19-20 January.

Department for International Development

Mr. Rowe: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what steps he has taken to co-ordinate policy objectives with the Department for International Development. [26344]

Mr. Tony Lloyd: The White Paper on international development, which was presented to Parliament in November 1997, sets out the Government's agreed objectives. Ministers and officials of the Department for International Development and this Department have regular meetings to discuss policy and operational matters.

EU Councils

Dr. Stoate: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will list the forthcoming business in the Councils of the European Union for February; and if he will list major European Union events for the next six months. [26532]

Mr. Doug Henderson: The following Councils are scheduled:

Monthly forecast of business for February 1998

DateVenue
12 February 1998BrusselsResearch Council
16 February 1998BrusselsEcofin Council
16-17 February 1998BrusselsAgriculture Council
23-24 February 1998BrusselsGeneral Affairs Council
26 February 1998BrusselsTelecom Council

The following subjects are likely to be discussed:





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2 Feb 1998 : Column: 538



DateVenueEvent
February 1998
3BrusselsPolitical Committee
9-11Costa RicaEU/San Jose Group
11-12BrusselsSelect Committee on Trade and Industry visit
12BrusselsResearch Council
12-13PanamaEU/Rio Group
12-13LondonPolitical Committee
13-15CambridgeInternal Market (Informal)
16BrusselsEcofin Council
16-17BrusselsAgriculture Council
16-20StrasbourgEuropean Parliament Plenary
23-24BrusselsGeneral Affairs Council
26BrusselsTelecom Council
March 1998
3BrusselsPolitical Committee
9BrusselsEcofin Council (t.b.c.)
9-10ManchesterUK Presidency Conference
9-13StrasbourgEuropean Parliament Plenary
12-13LondonJoint Social and Education (Informal)
14-15EdinburghForeign Ministers' Informal
15-17MacclesfieldSeminar for Cultural and Audiovisual Ministers
16-17BrusselsAgriculture Council
17BrusselsTransport Council
19BrusselsPolitical Committee
19BrusselsJustice and Home Affairs Council
20-22YorkEcofin Informal
23BrusselsEnvironment Council
24BrusselsFisheries Council
30BrusselsInternal Market Council
30-31BrusselsGeneral Affairs Council
30-31StrasbourgEuropean Parliament Plenary
31-1 AprilMoscowG8 Energy Ministerial
April 1998
1-3StrasbourgEuropean Parliament Plenary
2-4LondonASEM II
6LuxembourgSocial Affairs Council
6-8BirminghamAudiovisual Conference
7BrusselsPolitical Committee
16BrusselsPolitical Committee
20-21LuxembourgAgriculture Council
21LuxembourgEcofin Council
23LuxembourgConsumer Affairs Council
24-26ChesterEnvironment and Transport (Informal)
27-28LuxembourgGeneral Affairs Council
29-30BrusselsEuropean Parliament
30LuxembourgHealth Council
May 1998
1-3BrusselsEcofin and Special EMU Council
5BrusselsPolitical Committee (t.b.c.)
7BrusselsIndustry Council
10-12NewcastleAgriculture (Informal)
11BrusselsEnergy Council
11BrusselsEuro-Med Energy Ministerial
12BrusselsPolitical Committee
11-15StrasbourgEuropean Parliament Plenary
14LondonEU/Canada
14-16Londonconference on Culture and Employment
15-17BirminghamG7/8 Summit
18LondonEU/US Summit
18BrusselsDevelopment Council
18BrusselsInternal Market
19BrusselsTelecommunications Council
25-26BrusselsGeneral Affairs Council
25-26BrusselsAgriculture Council
27-28BrusselsEuropean Parliament Plenary
28BrusselsCulture and Audiovisual Council
28-29BrusselsJustice and Home Affairs Council
June 1998
2LuxembourgPolitical Committee
4LuxembourgEducation and Social Affairs Committee
8LuxembourgFisheries Council
8-9LuxembourgGeneral Affairs Council (t.b.c.)
15-16CardiffEuropean Council
15-19LuxembourgEuropean Parliament Plenary
16-17LuxembourgEnvironment Council
17LuxembourgJoint Environment and Transport Council
18LuxembourgTransport Council
22LuxembourgResearch Council
22-23LuxembourgAgriculture Council
29-30LuxembourgGeneral Affairs Council (t.b.c.)
July 1998
6BrusselsEcofin Council
6-7LuxembourgPolitical Committee
8-10LuxembourgEmployment/Social Affairs/Women (Informal)
13LuxembourgPolitical Committee
13-14LuxembourgGeneral Affairs Council
17-19LuxembourgEnvironment Council (Informal)
20-21LuxembourgAgriculture Council
23LuxembourgPolitical Committee
27LuxembourgBudget Council

2 Feb 1998 : Column: 539


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