Previous Section Index Home Page

Official Visits

Mr. Matthew Taylor: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will list the visits outside Britain made by his Department's Permanent Secretary on official business since 1 January 1999, indicating the date and purpose of the visit in each case. [130492]

Mr. Robin Cook: The information is as follows:

19 Jul 2000 : Column: 185W

Sir John Kerr, permanent under Secretary at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office has made the following official visits since 1 January 1999

For the Franco-British Colloque in Versailles14-16 January 1999
For talks in Lagos and Abuja with senior Nigerian officials10-13 February 1999
For talks with the Korean Government in Seoul9-11 March 1999
To attend Club of Three conference in Paris, and for talks at the Quai D'Orsay5-6 March 1999
To attend the Konigswinter Conference in Cologne18-20 March 1999
Japan and China
Talks with senior Japanese and Chinese officials in Tokyo and Beijing23-27 May 1999
To attend a meeting of other EU Secretaries-General in Vienna10-12 June 1999
For talks with senior German officials in Bonn16-17 May 1999
Hungary and Slovakia
For talks with the Governments in Budapest and Bratislava12-14 September 1999
Norway and Sweden
For talks with senior officials in Oslo and Stockholm16-20 September 1999
Romania and Ukraine
To deliver the opening address at a Wilton park Conference in Romania, and for talks with the Governments in Bucharest and Kiev26-29 September 1999
South Africa
To attend the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting in Durban9-16 November 1999
For talks with the Iranian Government in Tehran27-29 November 1999
To attend a meeting of EU Secretaries--General in Venice17-19 December 1999
To attend the European Council meeting in Helsinki9-11 December 1999
For talks with the Irish Government in Dublin18-20 February 2000
For talks with the Turkish Government in Ankara18-21 March 2000
Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan
To Tashkent, Almaty and Astana for talks with the Uzbek and Kazakh Governments28 March-1 April 2000
For talks with the Libyan Government in Tripoli15-16 April 2000
For talks with senior Russian officials in Moscow29-31 May 2000
South America
To Santiago, Sao Paulo, Brasilia and Rio de Janeiro for talks with senior officials1-6 May 2000
To deliver the opening address of the Wilton Park Conference in Slovenia, and for talks with the Government in Ljubljana7-9 May 2000
To attend the European Council at Feira18-20 June 2000
South East Asia
For talks with the Government in Bangkok, Jakarta, Kuala Lumpur and Singapore3-8 July 2000

19 Jul 2000 : Column: 187W

19 Jul 2000 : Column: 187W

UN Resolution 520

Mr. Colman: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will make a statement on UN Resolution 520. [131171]

Mr. Hain: We welcome the withdrawal of Israeli troops from Lebanon, in compliance with UNSCRs 425 and 426, as demanded by UNSCR 520. We look forward to the Lebanese Government taking measures to assert its authority throughout its territory. We support UNSCR 520's call for the sovereignty, territorial integrity, unity and political independence of Lebanon to be respected. We also support the Resolution's reaffirmation of support for the rights of the civilian population of Lebanon.

Departmental Initiatives

Dr. Lynne Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will list each departmental initiative since May 1997 requiring bids for funding together with the total resources available, the number of successful bids and the proportion this represents of total bids received; and what data he collects on the average expenditure of organisations bidding for funding through each initiative. [131086]

Mr. Hain: I refer my hon. Friend to the answer given by my right hon. Friend the Chief Secretary to the Treasury on 17 July 2000, Official Report, column 93W.


Mr. Bercow: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what estimate he has made of the (a) costs and (b) benefits to Israel of acceding to its agreement with the European Communities, 2000/384/EC

19 Jul 2000 : Column: 188W

(L147, volume 43, 21.6.2000); what benefits are denied to accedants of such an agreement which are granted to EU member states; and if he will make a statement. [130782]

Mr. Vaz: It is primarily for Israel or any other third country to estimate the costs and benefits to their country of entering into agreements with the EU. The EU-Israel Association Agreement is a reciprocal agreement which confers specific benefits on both parties. It is in no way comparable to EU membership.

EU Enlargement

Mr. Mackinlay: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what advice has been given to the countries most recently given EU candidacy status about the need to have on their statute book a process providing for (a) restoration of property rights and (b) a compensation regime which is subject to both arbitration and judicial review, in relation to property arbitrarily seized during the period of totalitarian rule, after 1945. [130662]

Mr. Vaz [holding answer 18 July 2000]: The EU monitors applicants' progress in meeting the political and economic criteria for membership of the EU, including issues related to the restitution of property, in the Commission's annual progress reports and the EU's regular dialogue with the applicant countries concerned. However, property restitution is a bilateral issue for the states concerned and does not fall within the scope of the accession negotiations.

We have not bilaterally offered advice to those countries recently given EU candidacy status but we have taken a particular interest in the situation in Poland, which affects a number of British nationals of Polish origin. We have continually made clear to the Polish authorities the

19 Jul 2000 : Column: 189W

need for a speedy resolution of the problem. At the end of last year the Polish Government presented its proposals to Parliament, which is still discussing them.

Human Rights

Mr. Russell Brown: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs when his Department will publish its Annual report on Human Rights. [131789]

Mr. Hain: The Foreign and Commonwealth Office annual report on human rights will be published as a Command Paper at 2.30pm on 20 July. Copies will be placed in the Libraries of both Houses and distributed throughout Parliament in the usual way. The report will be placed on the FCO websites and and will be available through The Stationery Office.

UNITA (Sanctions)

Mr. Jim Cunningham: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will make a statement on the UN Secretary-General's recent appointment of experts to look into breaches of UN sanctions against UNITA. [131486]

Mr. Hain: The UK has given full support to the ground-breaking work of Ambassador Robert Fowler, Chairman of the Angola Sanctions Committee, to ensure that UN sanctions against UNITA are made to bite. We financially supported the Angola Expert Panel to the tune of 200,000 US Dollars. The Panel investigated reports of sanctions breaking and reported to the UN Security Council on 15 March. The Security Council welcomed the Panel's report in UN Security Council resolution 1295, adopted on 18 April 2000.

The report gave a detailed analysis of the problem of sanctions breaking. It reports the alleged involvement of a number of individuals. For example, it states that the central figure in UNITA's external procurement and diamond trade operations is Marcelo Moises Dachala, known as "Karrica", based in Ougadougou and that Imad Kabir

Security Council resolution 1295 (2000) requested the UN Secretary-General to establish a monitoring mechanism to collect further information and investigate relevant leads relating to allegations of violations of UN sanctions against UNITA and report to the Security Council by 18 October 2000. That mechanism has now been established. On 11 July the Secretary-General appointed five experts to serve on it.

We greatly welcome the fact that Ms Christine Gordon, a British national and independent writer, consultant and researcher, has been appointed to the monitoring mechanism, and wish her well in her important task.

Sanctions breaking must be stopped. The Expert Panel's report, the adoption of Security Council resolution 1295 (2000) and the establishment of the monitoring mechanism show that the international community will no longer tolerate sanctions breaking.

19 Jul 2000 : Column: 190W

Next Section Index Home Page