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Mr. Peter Bradley: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what is at issue between the British High Commission in Belize and Belize Telecom; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Battle: Belize Telecommunications Ltd. has advised the British High Commission in Belmopan that it considers the latter's actions in using and circulating information about call-back services to be illegal and has pointed out that in their view they are not therefore obliged to maintain telephone services to the High Commission. On the basis of legal advice taken, we disagree.
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Mr. Peter Bradley: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what contact there has been between Interoute (UK) Ltd. and the Foreign and Commonwealth Office; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Battle: None directly. Interoute forwarded its promotional leaflets to the High Commission in Belmopan. The High Commission circulated them as part of its normal activities in support of UK business, and informed Interoute of this action.
Mr. Peter Bradley: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what savings to public funds have been made through the use by the British High Commission in Belize of a telephone call-back system; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Battle: We do not hold figures for the total saving to date. But the use of call-back services reduces the cost to the High Commission of a one minute telephone call to the UK from approximately £2.04 to £0.61, representing a saving of 70 per cent.
Mr. Peter Bradley: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what recent correspondence he has received from the Chairman of Belize Telecoms; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Battle: The Secretary of State has received no correspondence from the Chairman of Belize Telecommunications Ltd. The British High Commission in Belmopan received three letters from Belize Telecommunications. All three were signed by the Chairman of the company.
Mr. Cox: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs which Ministers from his Department have visited (a) North Korea and (b) South Korea since May 1997, indicating the dates of the visits. 
Mr. Battle: No Foreign Office Ministers have visited North Korea. There have been five ministerial visits to South Korea since 1997. Derek Fatchett visited in November 1997, July 1998 and April 1999. I visited in April 2000, and the Foreign Secretary in October 2000.
Mr. Hain: We welcome any initiatives hon. Members may decide to take to improve their foreign language skills. The FCO maintains a dedicated foreign language training Centre to support the operational requirements of the FCO. The expertise of the centre is available to all Government Departments on a full economic cost recovery basis through FCO Services. Hon. Members will be welcome to use the services of the Diplomatic Service Language Centre in the context of initiatives the Centre is taking to operate in wider markets. The charging basis will be the same. The House of Commons Library has been sent copies of the Centre's Guide to Services.
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Mr. McNamara: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what steps he takes to ensure his policy regarding the placing of recruitment advertisements for posts in his Department is applied to the Irish ethnic press on the same basis as other ethnic minorities; and on what date his recruitment policy was last subjected to a PAFT analysis. 
On advice from the former Fair Employment Commission in Northern Ireland we advertise all but the most junior posts in the Foreign and Commonwealth Office through the Belfast Telegraph. FCO Recruitment policy is subject to the Civil Service Commissioner's Recruitment Code and will not be designated for the purposes of Section 75 of the Northern Ireland Act 1998, which has replaced the Policy Appraisal and Fair Treatment (PAFT).
The Recruitment Code sets out the requirement that recruitment to the Civil Service must follow the principle of selection on merit on the basis of fair and open competition. Government Departments are audited by the Commissioners to ensure they comply with the Code. The Commissioner's audited the FCO Recruitment Section in February 2000 and noted that recruitment was carried out in a professional and efficient manner.
Dr. Tonge: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what recent discussions he has had with his UN counterparts about the imposition of a UN arms embargo in the Democratic Republic of Congo. 
Mr. Hain: While the possibility of a UN arms embargo on the DRC has not been discussed in the UN Security Council in recent months, the conflict in the DRC is a major focus of concern for the Council as this matter remains under review.
The UK fully implements and enforces the EU arms embargo on the DRC, which has been in place since January 1993. We are currently discussing with EU colleagues the case for widening the scope of this embargo.
Dr. Tonge: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, pursuant to his answer of 10 December 1997, Official Report, column 577W, on child labour, what progress has been made with the monitoring of child jockeys being sold into employment in the United Arab Emirates. 
Mr. Hain: I share the hon. Member's concern about this issue. I have personally raised these concerns with the United Arab Emirates Authorities, most recently during my visit to Abu Dhabi and Dubai last year. We continue to monitor the situation.
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Mr. Cohen: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will list payments authorised by the UN Compensation Fund since 1 January 1998 indicating the payees, the amounts concerned, the reasons for the payment, the total amounts authorised for payment by the Fund since its inception and the total amount of remaining outstanding claims. 
Mr. Hain: The total payments authorised since the inception of the UN Compensation Fund to those who suffered losses as a result of Iraq's illegal invasion of Kuwait in 1990 are $32.2 billion (December 2000). For the more detailed breakdown which the hon. Gentleman has requested I refer him to the website of the UN Compensation Commission at www.unoq.ch/uncc.
Mr. Tony Benn: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what action the United Kingdom Government have taken to implement the judgment of the International Court of Justice in 1995 in regard to the legality of the threat or use of nuclear weapons. 
Mr. Vaz: None. We do not believe that the 1996 Advisory Opinion of the International Court of Justice imposed any new disarmament obligations on the United Kingdom or that it required either a change in our entirely defensive nuclear deterrence policy or in the NATO doctrine of collective self defence.
Mr. Baker: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Employment what the average size of class taught by one teacher was in (a) primary and (b) secondary schools in East Sussex for each year from 1990 to the latest year for which figures are available. 
Class size data were recently published in a Statistical Bulletin, "Class Sizes and Pupil Teacher Ratios in England 2000" on 20 December 2000, copies of which are available from the Library, or alternatively can be accessed from the Department for Education and Employment statistical website www.dfee.gov.uk/statistics. Figures from this release show that in September 2000, there were just 30,000 infants in classes of over 30 compared with 485,000 in January 1998. Just 2 per cent. of infants are now in such classes compared with 29 per cent. in January 1998.
January 2000 saw a fall in the size of the average junior class in England; and a continuing fall in the size of the average primary class, after rising for a decade. The size of the average secondary class nationally, at 22, is still five below the average primary class. Secondary headteachers are receiving an average of £50,000 this year in direct grant to spend as they choose. If this were spent on recruiting teachers, the average secondary class size could be reduced by up to 0.8.
|East Sussex(1)||Brighton(2)||East Sussex(2)|
|Maintained primary||Maintained primary||Maintained primary|
|Year||Key stage 1||All classes||Maintained secondary||Key stage 1||All classes||Maintained secondary||Key stage 1||All classes||Maintained secondary|
(1) Before local government re-organisation
(2) After local government re-organisation
(3) Not applicable
(4) Not available
25 Jan 2001 : Column: 667W
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