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Mr. Spring: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what representations the Government have made in the European Commission on the Commission's paper, 'On the Legal Nature of the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union', with particular reference to the European Court of Justice's interpretation of the Charter. 
Mr. Bercow: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs which rights contained in the draft EU Charter of Fundamental Rights are not identical to rights already incorporated in the European Convention on Human Rights. 
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Dr. Tonge: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will make a statement on progress towards the ratification of the Optional Protocol on child soldiers to the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child. 
Mr. Hain: The Government are working toward ratification of the Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child on the involvement of children in armed conflict. The Ministry of Defence is currently drawing up administrative guidelines for the armed forces to implement this protocol, once they are in place, we hope to ratify the protocol. An initial target of January 2001 has been set.
Clare Short: The first priority in Burundi is peace. We continue to provide financial assistance to the Arusha Peace Process and also humanitarian assistance through well established non-governmental organisations focusing on emergency healthcare and nutrition. As soon as peace is established we will consider providing further assistance for Burundi.
Dr. Tonge: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what recent reports she has received concerning the use of oil revenue from Sudanese oil fields for development projects. 
Mr. Foulkes: We have seen some evidence that revenue is being directed to investment, especially roads and power generation. The Government of Sudan have also announced Sudanese Dinar 800m (US$ 3.118m) for development in the south through the Southern Sudan Co-ordinating Council. We are pressing for further clarification and will keep the situation under close review.
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Mr. Foulkes: The first priority for the Sudan is a lasting political solution to the conflict. We believe development assistance will not be effective without peace. We need to strengthen the voices for peace among the ordinary Sudanese and are currently stepping up efforts to work more through church and other religious groups in the south and elsewhere. In the meantime, we will continue to give urgent humanitarian need top priority. We will also support and encourage good proposals from non-governmental organisations who can effectively reach the poorest groups in the country.
Clare Short: A revised Wharf Improvement Project proposal was discussed with officials from my Department when they visited St Helena in July. The project is to be financed by the European Development Fund (EDF) but UK views will be taken into account when the project is considered by the EDF Committee. My officials were satisfied with the technical merits of the revised proposal. However, the St. Helena Government (SHG) have been asked to produce additional information on the health and safety benefits which underpin the economic case for this investment. This information has still to be provided. Subject to agreement on the economic case, we have advised SHG that we will support the project when it is submitted to the Committee for approval.
Mr. Cox: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what discussions she has had in the last 12 months with leaders of Third World countries to develop health and welfare programmes. 
Clare Short: Health issues have been included in most of my discussions during the past 12 months with leaders of poorer countries, with a focus on how we can assist them achieve the international development targets for health.
Clare Short: We have funded five organisations to carry out emergency clearance of anti-personnel landmines and unexploded ordnance, including cluster bomb units. Two of these organisations have been exclusively tasked with cluster munition clearance, while the other three have undertaken this task as part of a broader programme of unexploded ordnance clearance. We provided over £6 million during the 1999-2000 financial year for the clearance of mines and unexploded ordnance in Kosovo. So far this year we have committed a further £6.6 million.
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Mr. Alasdair Morgan: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development if she will list the non-departmental public bodies responsible to her which have duties relating to Scotland, indicating their budget and staffing in Scotland, the number of Scottish board members and their emoluments. 
Clare Short: We continue to provide assistance for mine clearance to a number of African countries from our humanitarian mine action programme, which totalled some £15 million in 1999-2000. Currently, this includes Chad, Mozambique and Guinea Bissau. This assistance is channelled through the UN (including the United Nations Mine Action Service, the United Nations Children's Fund and the United Nations Office for Project Services) and other international organisations, national Mine Action Centres and NGOs, and includes strengthening indigenous capacity where possible. We also provide support to help countries ratify the Ottawa Convention on the Prohibition of the Use, Stockpiling, Production and Transfer of Anti-Personnel Mines and their Destruction.
Dr. Tonge: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what assistance her Department has provided for the floods in Vietnam; and what environmental management projects her Department supports in Vietnam. 
Clare Short: We have provided a total of £1.15 million in response to the International Federation of the Red Cross and Crescent Societies (IFRC) Emergency Appeal to alleviate the suffering of flood victims in the Mekong watershed of Vietnam. This has contributed to meeting immediate needs (food, plastic sheeting and clothing) and to longer term livelihood support for families that will remain food insecure for some considerable time. Relief organisations placed a high priority on locally constructed boats to provide families with transport and the opportunity to catch and sell fish. This in turn assists families to buy rice and other staples and should reduce immediate dependence and bring medium-term benefits
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by re-establishing sustainable livelihoods. We have contributed a further £80,000 as our share of the European Commission Humanitarian Assistance to flood relief.
We have mainstreamed support for the environment rather than supporting specific environmental projects in Vietnam. We recognise that most environmental trends are adverse and have significant detrimental impacts on the health and livelihoods of poor people. Our rural poverty reduction programmes in Vietnam incorporate environmental and sustainability considerations. The Ha Tinh Poverty Alleviation Programme supports the construction of sea dykes, mangrove replanting and integrated pest management (IPM) all of which reduce vulnerability and improve people's livelihoods. Broader rural poverty reduction programmes currently being designed will incorporate environmental and sustainability perspectives, ensuring that rural infrastructure is assessed for environmental impact and seeking better ways of using natural resources in supporting the livelihoods of poor people.
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