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Mr. Vaz: I refer the hon. Member to my right hon. Friend the Foreign Secretary's evidence to the Foreign Affairs Committee's Inquiry on Weapons of Mass Destruction; and to the Government's response to the Committee's recommendations, which was presented to Parliament on 24 October.
Dr. Julian Lewis: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what recent discussions he has held with the United States Secretary of State about National Missile Defense. 
Mr. Vaz: The Government want Europe to have a strong voice in international affairs and are committed to pursuing this through the intergovernmental mechanisms of the European Union's Common Foreign and Security Policy (CFSP). The Prime Minister launched the European Defence Initiative to strengthen the CFSP and the European contribution to NATO. The EU's CFSP is an increasingly important means of achieving the UK's national foreign policy objectives. The Government, and most member states, favour maintaining the intergovernmental approach to CFSP.
Dr. Julian Lewis: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what discussions he has had with the Secretary of State for International Development on how to assist the South African Government to combat the spread of AIDS. 
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Mr. Hain: The HIV/AIDS crisis in Africa is a major development policy priority for the UK Government and there is an on-going dialogue between FCO, DFID and other Government Departments on HIV/AIDS policy both at the international level and within the African region.
At the international level, recent examples include coordination with DFID for the UN Security Council Resolution on HIV/AIDS and ongoing UN discussions on HIV/AIDS. Health, including HIV/AIDS, is an important part of DFID's second White Paper due out this autumn, the FCO has worked closely with DFID on this.
In November 1999, while in South Africa, the Prime Minister announced a package of assistance, worth £22.7 million, to Southern Africa to support the battle against HIV/AIDS. The package includes a development cooperation agreement with the South African Ministry of Health focusing on reproductive health service programmes in selected provinces, as well as HIV/AIDS information awareness and education programmes for young people.
Dr. Julian Lewis: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what recent discussions he has had, and on what dates, with (a) the Chancellor of the Exchequer and (b) the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland about the timing of a future referendum on British participation in the single European currency. 
Dr. Julian Lewis: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will list the political factors affecting his assessment of the desirability of the United Kingdom replacing the pound with the euro. 
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Mr. Vaz: We have made it clear to the Government of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia that we will expect it to meet its international obligations in a spirit of partnership with the international community. This includes cooperation with the International Criminal Tribunal for former Yugoslavia.
Mr. Hain: Up until their withdrawal from Iraq in December 1998, UN weapons inspectors consistently reported to the United Nations Security Council that serious gaps remained in Iraq's declarations on chemical and biological weapons and ballistic missiles. We are deeply concerned that weapons inspectors have been unable to operate in Iraq for approaching two years. Hence the importance we attach to the United Nations Monitoring, Verification and Inspection Commission (UNMOVIC) and the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) gaining access to Iraq at the earliest opportunity.
Dr. Julian Lewis: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what assessment he has made of current Russian compliance with the provisions of the 1972 Biological Weapons Convention. 
Mr. Hain: The United Kingdom makes global assessments on compliance with all arms control regimes, including the Biological and Toxin Weapons Convention (BTWC), which draw upon intelligence sources. We do not comment on intelligence matters.
Russia is a state party and depositary Government of the BTWC and is currently participating in the negotiations in Geneva on a compliance protocol to strengthen the convention. We very much hope that these negotiations will be successful, as such a protocol would improve transparency of the activities which could be abused for the development of biological weapons and provide internationally agreed mechanisms with which to pursue compliance concerns.
Mr. Hain: During the past three months Lord Levy has been to Israel, the Palestinian Authority, Jordan and Egypt. In Israel he met Prime Minister Barak, President Katsav and other ministers. In the Palestinian Authority he met President Arafat and other senior Palestinian figures. In Jordan he met King Abdullah and various other ministers. In Egypt he met Foreign Minister Moussa and various other senior officials. He also accompanied the Foreign Secretary during his recent visit to the region.
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Mr. Hain: To date the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court has been signed by 115 states and ratified by 22. The court will be established once 60 states ratify. A Preparatory Commission completed two important subsidiary documents to the statute at its last session in June.
Dr. Julian Lewis: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what his policy is towards the proposal of the German Foreign Minister for co-sovereignty between states within the European Union. 
Mr. Bercow: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will make a statement on the relationship between Articles 3 and 13 of the draft European Charter of Fundamental Rights. 
Mr. Vaz: Article 13 (freedom of the arts and sciences) is a general statement of the principles in ECHR Article 10, as far as it applies to arts and sciences. The latter article allows limitations. The freedom of research in Article 13 must be interpreted consistently with Article 3 and subject to the limitations permitted under Article 10 ECHR.
Mr. Bercow: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs how much money he estimates will need to be set aside for implementation of the draft Charter of Fundamental Rights for (a) legal aid for cases brought under it and (b) legal costs for Her Majesty's Government to defend against claims. 
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respecting access to services of general economic interest. The article reflects Article 16 of the Treaty establishing the European Community and does not create any new right.
Mr. Bercow: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will make a statement on his policy towards inclusion of Article 12.2 in the Charter of Fundamental Rights. 
Mr. Bercow: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if, pursuant to Article 23 of the draft Charter of Fundamental Rights, he proposes to adopt measures for specific advantage in favour of the under-represented sex in the work force; and in which case men are the under-represented. 
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