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EU Defence Expenditure

Mr. Cox: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what is the current annual level of defence expenditure of each member state of the European Union. [100834]

Mr. Spellar: I will write to my hon. Friend and a copy of my letter will be placed in the Library of the House.


RUC Special Branch

Mr. McNamara: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland how many officers attached to RUC

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Special Branch in September joined the Special Branch in (a) each of the last 10 years, (b) the previous 15 years and (c) the previous 20 years. [101883]

Mr. Ingram [holding answer 15 December 1999]: This information is not readily available and could be provided only at a disproportionate cost.

European Convention on Human Rights

Mr. McNamara: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what additional training (a) the police and (b) the Prison Service in Northern Ireland have been given since the incorporation of the European Convention on Human Rights into United Kingdom domestic legislation. [103612]

Mr. Ingram [holding answer 10 January 2000]: A committee chaired by a senior detective has been established within the RUC to examine all aspects of human rights, including training. There has already been close liaison with developments at National Police Training level and contact with the Northern Ireland Human Rights Commission. Planning is at an advanced stage for every officer and member of civilian staff to receive training prior to the full implementation of the Human Rights Act 1998.

With regard to the Northern Ireland Prison Service, its strategy is to promote human rights awareness through training and development policies and strategies. The preservation of an individual's human rights throughout their time in prison custody is a running theme in much of the current training programme. Specifically in relation to the Human Rights Act, Prison Service senior managers and members of staff have already attended a range of training courses and seminars on human rights issues. Steps are also being taken to identify the wider extent of individual training requirements and to deliver appropriate training.


World Cup 2006

Mr. Alasdair Morgan: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport if he will list the official engagements carried out by Ministers in support of the England World Cup 2006 bid, indicating the cost to his Department of the support given. [103863]

Kate Hoey: The Government have offered their full support to the Football Association's bid to host the FIFA World Cup in 2006, and various Ministers have hosted a number of receptions on behalf of the bid team. All the receptions hosted by Ministers from his Department were at the expense of the FA bid team.

My predecessor also undertook a number of overseas visits relating to the bid where his expenses were paid for by the Department for Culture, Media and Sport. These are as follows:

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DateVenuePurposeTotal cost £
10-11 June 1997ParisTournoi de France1,910
10-11 October 1997RomeEngland v Italy Qualifier2,203
25-31 October 1997USA\Trinidad\Costa RicaWorld Cup Campaign for 2006 with FA20,434
4-5 December 1997MarseillesWorld Cup Draw1,211
5-18 February 1998Tokyo\Seoul\BangkokWinter Olympics\Campaign for 200621,553
21-23 March 1998TunisiaWorld Cup Campaign for 2006 with FA0.00
26-29 March 1998Paraguay\ArgentinaWorld Cup Campaign for 2006 with FA8,786
19-22 April 1998QatarWorld Cup Campaign for 2006 with FA9,150
10-11 June 1998FranceWorld Cup Campaign for 2006 with FA379
10-11 July 1998ParisReception at French Embassy by FIFA1,218
27-29 August 1998Monte CarloSalle Def Etoiles--SCMC UEFA Gala dinner564
1-2 September 1998SwitzerlandMeeting with President Samaranch and Sepp Blatter964
5-6 October 1998SpainWorld Cup Campaign for 2006 with FA1,301
23 October 1998FranceCouncil of Europe Hearing of Bosman Ruling421
1-5 November 1998Cameroon\MaliWorld Cup Campaign for 2006 with FA6,283
12-13 November 1998MaltaWorld Cup Campaign for 2006 with FA45
17 March 1999Brussels2006 Bid Meeting537
22 April-1 May 1999Nigeria\Botswana\JohannesburgWorld Cup Campaign for 2006 with FA8,922
7-8 May 1999Malta2006 plus UK\Malta Sports Week1,035
25 May-27 June 1999BarcelonaChampionships League Cup Final plus 2006294
14-17 June 1999QatarWorld Cup Campaign for 2006 with FA4,530
6-13 July 1999Washington, USA2006 with Anti Doping Discussions11,040

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Although most of the receptions and visits were specifically related to the 2006 bid, some also encompassed the promotion of British sport as a whole, and fulfilled the duties of the Minister for Sport in this area.



Mr. Gerrard: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what reports he has received on the immigration policy operated by the Gibraltar Government in relation to same sex couples; and if he will make a statement. [104107]

Mr. Vaz: Under the 1969 Gibraltar Constitution, the Government of Gibraltar pursue an immigration policy separate from that of the UK, subject to the constraints of EC law.

It is not the policy of the Gibraltar Government to exempt non-EU partners of residents, same sex or otherwise, from the criteria and considerations applicable to applications for residence visas for non-EU nationals generally.

Embassies (Running Costs)

Mr. Wyatt: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs how much of the annual running costs of UK embassies in (a) the European Union and (b) the USA relate to (1) diplomacy, (2) business, (3) visas and (4) other activities, in the last year for which figures are available. [104086]

Mr. Hain: In 1997-98 the Foreign and Commonwealth Office's running costs were split between (1) diplomacy, (2) commercial work, (3) visas and (4) other activities in the following way:


DiplomacyCommercial workVisasOther activities
European Union
The Hague3022047
Washington DC635131

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In subsequent years breakdown of embassy activity is by FCO Objectives, in line with Resource Accounting and Budgeting.


Mr. Gapes: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what assessment he has made of human rights concerns in Zimbabwe; and what action Her Majesty's Government are taking to address these. [104573]

Mr. Hain: Respect for human rights in Zimbabwe has improved since the low point of the Matabeleland atrocities in the 1980s. Zimbabwe has an active civil society and independent press (albeit harassed at times). However, there have been some serious lapses in the last two years which have coincided with the decline in the economic situation. The arrest and torture of the two Standard journalists in January shocked Zimbabweans as well as the international community.

Freedom of assembly is enshrined in the Constitution. The Government have previously used emergency powers to ban strike action, although a Parliamentary Legal Committee subsequently declared the ban to be unconstitutional.

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Zimbabwe is a party to all the international human rights conventions, except the convention against torture. Torture, mainly beatings, is regularly used by the police (understaffed and lacking in training) to secure criminal convictions. There is an independent judiciary.

Where there is evidence of human rights abuses, we raise our concerns with the Zimbabwe authorities. In addition, we actively promote freedom of expression by training journalists in the UK. Earlier this year we held a conference on media freedom in Harare. We support a number of NGOs working with the Zimbabwe police to enhance their respect for human rights. We also support good governance projects, and provide equipment and research material to NGOs working to improve people's access to law. We are encouraging the Zimbabweans to accede to the convention against torture.

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