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Mr. Grieve: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs on how many occasions the UK delegation to a meeting of the European Council of Ministers has been led by someone other than a Member of Her Majesty's Government; and if he will list those involved. 
Mr. Vaz: On 8 June 2000 Nicol Stephen, Minister for Enterprise and Lifelong Learning in the Scottish Executive, led for the UK at the Education Council. This was the only occasion since May 1997 that the UK has not been represented in the Council of Ministers by a Member of the Westminster Parliament. This substitution was agreed with my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Education, and was fully in line with the Government's agreement with the devolved Administrations.
Mr. Gerrard: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs in what ways non-governmental organisations will be involved in the UK delegation to the UN Special Session on HIV/Aids in June. 
Mr. Hain: There will be full consultation with non-governmental organisations in the run-up to the UN Special Session on HIV/AIDS this summer, and we hope that some NGO representation will join the UK delegation to the Special Session.
Mr. Corbyn: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what representations he has received from the Government of Mauritius concerning future sovereignty of the Chagos Islands. 
Mr. Battle: We have received regular representations from the Government of Mauritius about the sovereignty of the British Indian Ocean Territory. The most recent have been from the Mauritian Foreign Minister this month.
Mr. Corbyn: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs when he plans to publish studies on the economic viability of the Chagos Islands; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Battle: The Report of the Preliminary Study on the feasibility of re-settlement on the outer islands of the British Indian Ocean Territory was placed in the Libraries of Parliament in July 2000, and made available to others
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directly affected, such as the lawyers for the Applicant in the recent court proceedings and the Governments of Mauritius and the United States. We expect that the Reports of the further stages of study will be made available similarly when the work to be done by independent experts is completed.
Mr. Corbyn: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what external legal advice he has received on the legal status of the Chagos Islands and Diego Garcia in respect of rights of self-determination of its peoples. 
Mr. Corbyn: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what the budget for 2000-01 for the administration of the British Indian Ocean Territory is; and how many of the relevant officials are (a) United Kingdom based and (b) locally based. 
Mr. Battle: The British Indian Ocean Territory (BIOT) Appropriation Ordinance 2000 provided an expenditure in the financial year 2000-01 of £2,301,000. Of this sum £132,000 was provided for administration, with the bulk, £1,800,000, being provided for fisheries protection and related issues. Subsequent in-year revision of the estimates suggest that the total will be in the region of £2,050,000.
Revenue was originally estimated at £755,000. But revenue (from fisheries licences chiefly) has been better than predicted and it is now estimated that total revenue for the year will be nearer £1,500,000.
(a) Four FCO officials based in London work part-time for the BIOT Administration. Their staff costs are not currently borne by the BIOT Government. A further six part-time officials based in the UK, the Principal Legal Adviser and various judicial appointments, have their fees paid for by the BIOT Government.
(b) There are 22 military personnel based in the territory who are appointed officials of the BIOT Administration in addition to their Service functions, primarily in policing, customs and similar services. Their staff costs are not currently paid for by the BIOT Government.
In addition, a Senior Fisheries Protection Officer and a number of crew from the Fisheries Protection Vessel who are, from time to time, appointed as Fisheries Protection Officers are paid for either directly or indirectly by the BIOT Government.
Mr. Corbyn: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what arrangements have been made for Chagos Islanders to visit the islands since the recent court ruling on the right of return. 
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Mr. Hain: UK and US aircraft patrolling the no-fly zone over Iraq are not conducting a bombing campaign, as my hon. Friend implies. They only take action in self-defence, as is their right under international law. We have no wish for this confrontation to continue: it could end tomorrow if Iraq stopped shooting at our aircraft.
Mr. Dalyell: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what recent representations he has made to the Government of Turkey about the export of oil to Turkey from Iraq. 
Mr. Hain: We have made the Turkish Government aware of our serious concerns about the trade in illegal oil through Turkey which we are keen to see stopped. The UN Sanctions Committee discusses Iraq's oil exports, both legal and illegal, on a regular basis.
Mr. Dalyell: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will discuss UN Resolution 1284 with the Governments of (a) France, (b) Russia, (c) China and (d) Malaysia. 
Mr. Hain: We have held regular discussions with the Governments of France, Russia, China and Malaysia on Resolution 1284 in the context of wider discussions on Iraq in the Security Council, since the resolution was adopted. All Security Council members have made it clear that they are working for the resolution to be implemented in full.
Mr. Hain: The UK has consistently approved humanitarian flights to Baghdad. We place flights on hold, and then usually only on a temporary basis, where cargo or passenger details are insufficient to ensure that UN sanctions are not being breached. These holds are lifted as soon as we are satisfied with the additional information provided. We encourage organisations to provide additional humanitarian assistance to the Iraqi people--and called on them to do so in SCR 1284. We assist those who wish to do this by air with their applications for Sanctions Committee approval. However the resumption of scheduled commercial flights involving financial transactions with Iraq would be a clear contravention of the sanctions resolutions.
Mr. Hain: We share UNICEF's concern that the children of Iraq have suffered greatly at the hands of a dictator who cares nothing for their welfare. We, however, do care about them. Under SCR 1284, a UK initiative, the humanitarian programme in Iraq has grown eightfold since it began in 1997. With up to $16 billion available this year, there is no reason why Iraqi children should go short of food, medicine or other humanitarian supplies unless Saddam decides to deny them.
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Mr. Hain: We welcome recent statements by the Iraqi Oil Minister that Iraq is increasing oil production again to return to the pre-Gulf War levels reached last year. Iraq's decision to halt oil production in December 2000 denied the Iraqi people over $650 million of humanitarian relief in December alone. We remain sceptical of Iraqi claims that they are unable to maintain production because of a shortage of oil spare parts when Iraq spent only 2 per cent. of the $600 million allocated to Iraq by the UN for oil spare parts during the last six months of 2000. Oil spare parts are also included in the UN's "fast-track" system which has already processed more than $3 billion worth of goods.
Mr. Hain: Under the terms of United Nations Security Council resolution 1284, contracts clearly designed for humanitarian purposes for the supply of foodstuffs, medical, agricultural, educational, water and sanitation supplies and oil spare parts no longer require Sanctions Committee approval but only need to be notified to the UN Secretariat. Under Security Council resolution 1330 these lists of "fast-track" goods are being extended to include goods in the electricity and housing sectors also. This year alone, more than $3 billion worth of humanitarian goods have been "fast tracked" in this way to Iraq.
The UK holds less than 2 per cent. of all other contracts, which are circulated to the UN Iraq Sanctions Committee, and only does so when there are serious concerns that the goods could be used in Iraq's Weapons of Mass Destruction programmes. Holds are generally placed temporarily until assurances have been received about the end-use or in-country monitoring of these goods. It is the Iraqi Government who place blocking holds on UN humanitarian supplies.
Mr. Dalyell: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what assessment he has made of UN stock reports on the distribution picture for food and medicines verified by UN observers. 
Mr. Hain: We have seen no recent UN reports specifically on the distribution of food and medicine in Iraq. However, we note that in his most recent report the UN Secretary-General called on Iraq to improve its contracting, ordering and distribution of the food basket and called for more effort to ensure the timely distribution of supplies to address the nutritional needs of the Iraqi people. We also note the Secretary-General's comment that the lack of a cash component--which the Iraqi regime refuses to discuss with the UN--is hampering the transportation of supplies for the targeted nutrition programme in central and southern Iraq.
Mr. Hain: The "Oil for Food" programme has grown eightfold since 1997. Providing billions of dollars of humanitarian relief to the Iraqi people again this year, "Oil for Food" remains the largest UN aid programme ever. "Fast-track" procedures introduced by the UN last year mean that more goods, including foodstuffs, medical,
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agricultural, educational, water and sanitation supplies and oil spare parts no longer require Sanctions Committee approval, thus reaching the Iraqi people more quickly. So far this year, more than $3 billion worth of goods have been processed in this way. However, despite the programme's success, we remain concerned that a lack of co-operation from the Iraqi regime continues to hamper the delivery of this aid to the Iraqi people.
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