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Rev. Martin Smyth: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what discussions he plans to have with hon. Members over the future of the EU/China human rights dialogue. 
Mr. Battle: The Government take an active role in the EU in determining the direction and strategy for the EU/China Human Rights Dialogue. The UK proposed a review into strengthening the dialogue procedures at a joint COHOM/COASI meeting on 9 February. This was
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supplemented by the GAC conclusions of 20 March which, at the Foreign Secretary's initiative, included a call for the setting of objectives. The Presidency envisage concluding the review by the GAC meeting on 4 December. The Foreign Affairs Committee is conducting an inquiry into the bilateral relationship with China, to which the Foreign Secretary gave evidence.
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Dr. Julian Lewis: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will make a statement on his policy concerning the balance of responsibilities between the United Kingdom Government and the European Union and proposals to change the method of voting in Brussels on (a) the approval of the rules of procedure of the Court of Auditors, (b) the appointment of the Court of Auditors, (c) the rules of procedure of the European Court of First Instance, (d) the rules of procedure of the European Court of Justice, (e) the appointment of the Deputy Secretary-General of the Council, (f) the appointment of the Secretary-General, (g) the Association of Overseas Countries and Territories and (h) the powers of the Court of Justice in Title IV. 
Mr. Mitchell: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs how many times, and on what issues, Her Majesty's Government have used their veto in the EU in each of the last 10 years; and how many times vetoes were used in total in each of those years. 
Mr. Vaz: The Council Secretariat does not hold figures on the number of times proposals for legislation are vetoed, and the figures sought could be obtained only at disproportionate cost. The use of the veto on legislative proposals is comparatively rare. But the requirement for unanimity in the most sensitive areas of policy acts as an important discipline, helping to ensure that member states tend to develop proposals which all can support.
Mr. Vaz: The Government are clear about the benefits for the UK of co-operating with our European partners. But they are also clear that the Community should act only where the objectives cannot be better carried out by member states.
Dr. Starkey: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if Her Majesty's Government will pass on to the UN Human Rights Commission inquiry information on human rights abuses collected by British consular staff in the Palestinian Occupied Territories. 
Mr. Hain: We remain concerned about human rights abuses in the Occupied Territories, and if the special session of the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) to be convened in New York passes the UNHRC resolution convening the Commission of Inquiry, we will co-operate fully.
Mrs. Dunwoody: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what representations he has made to the Palestinian Authority about the use of children during the clashes between Israelis and Palestinians. 
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None. The European Commission's proposal on improved market access for the 1 per cent. of products from the 48 Least Developed Countries (LDCs) which do not yet have tariff and quota free access to the EU will be implemented by adjustments to the EU's Generalised System of Preferences (GSP) scheme. The Cotonou Partnership Agreement and the preferences it enshrines for the participating countries will be unchanged. However, the 39 Cotonou countries which are also LDCs would be able to gain some additional benefits if they export to the EU products covered by the proposed new GSP arrangements.
Mr. Vaz: The EU oil embargo and flight ban have already been lifted with effect from 9 October. The remaining EU sanctions, with the exception of the arms embargo and the ban on the export of equipment which might be used for internal repression or terrorism, are being revised to ensure that only those measures aimed directly at Milosevic and those persons directly associated with him remain in place: this process should be complete by the end of November.
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Mr. Vaz: The EU oil embargo and flight ban against the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia were lifted on 9 October following the election of Vojislav Kostunica as President of the FRY. The remaining EU sanctions, with the exceptions of the arms embargo and ban on equipment which might be used for internal repression or terrorism, are being revised to target only Milosevic and those individuals associated with him.
Mrs. Mahon: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will urge the European Union to provide finance to reconstruct the civilian infrastructure damaged by NATO's bombing of Yugoslavia. 
Mr. Vaz: The European Union has already responded quickly to support the new government in the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (FRY) and repair the damage brought on by the Milosevic regime. At the Biarritz European Council on 13 October, the EU announced a 200 meuro emergency assistance package. This package will focus on support for the energy sector, food, health, education and heating. The EU has also allocated 22 meuro for the clearance of the Danube.
Mr. Maude: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what recent representations he has received from the US Administration on the further development of (a) European Security and Defence Identity and (b) European Security and Defence Policy. 
Mr. Vaz: President Clinton welcomed the outcome of the Feira European Council regarding the European Security and Defence Policy in a statement on 20 June 2000. Speaking at the NATO Informal Defence Ministerial at Birmingham on 10 October 2000, Defence Secretary Cohen said that the US agrees with the Helsinki Headline Goal
Mr. Vaz: Non-EU European allies and candidates for accession to the EU have been encouraged to make additional contributions to the Headline Goal target. The European Council at Feira welcomed initial declarations of intent to contribute. Defence Ministers of those countries will have the opportunity to announce offers to make forces available to EU-led crisis management operations in meetings with Defence Ministers of EU member states on 21 November. These offers will be additional to the Headline Goal, which is for EU member states alone to achieve.
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Mr. Maude: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will make a statement on the scope of the (a) European Security and Defence Identity, (b) Common European Security and Defence Policy and (c) European Security and Defence Policy. 
The Common European Security and Defence Policy (also known as the European Security and Defence Policy) refers to the arrangements established within the EU for the EU to have the capacity to undertake conflict prevention and crisis management tasks. ESDP is being developed in close co-operation with NATO.
Mr. Maude: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what the (a) role and (b) composition is of the European Military Committee; and what representation it has within (a) NATO and (b) other EU bodies. 
Mr. Vaz: The Nice European Council is likely to take decisions on establishing permanent political and military bodies including an EU Military Committee. The EU Military Committee will give military advice on questions relating to crisis management operations. It will be composed of Chiefs of Defence Staff of the member states. Day-to-day business will be carried out by national military representatives, who may be double hatted with military representatives at NATO. The Chairman of the Military Committee will attend the Political and Security Committee and meetings of the Council when decisions with defence implications are to be taken.
Mr. Maude: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what assessment he has made of the progress made in setting up co-operation and co-ordination mechanisms involving non-EU NATO members in the ESDI/P framework. 
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