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Digital Broadcasting

28. Mr. Ian Bruce: To ask the Secretary of State for Wales what discussions he has had with the Department for Culture, Media and Sport on the funding of S4C2, the Digital BBC channel for Wales. [146549]

Mr. Hanson: I meet my right hon. Friend regularly and we discuss a range of issues.

Birth Certificates

Mr. Opik: To ask the Secretary of State for Wales if he will introduce legislation to allow children of Welsh parents born in England to be entitled to a Welsh birth certificate. [146548]

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Mr. Paul Murphy: The rules on birth certificates are a matter for my right hon. Friend the Chancellor of the Exchequer.


European Security and Defence Policy

Mr. McNamara: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will place in the Library a copy of the Dutch Presidency's proposal for a parliamentary dimension for the oversight of the ESDP. [146456]

Mr. Vaz [holding answer 29 January 2001]: A copy was placed in the House Libraries on 26 January.

Mr. McNamara: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will place in the Library a copy of the Government's response to the proposals of the Dutch Presidency for the parliamentary oversight of the ESDP. [146457]

Mr. Vaz [holding answer 29 January 2001]: The Dutch proposal was circulated as a basis for discussion and as such does not require a formal response.

Hinduja Brothers

Miss Widdecombe: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs which Ministers and officials in his Department have (a) been contacted by and (b) contacted (i) Mr. G. P. Hinduja and (ii) Mr. S. P. Hinduja since 2 May 1997; if he will list the occasions on which there was such contact; and if he will make a statement. [148076]

Mr. Wilson: It is not the normal practice of the Government to release details of meetings or discussions with private individuals or companies.

All relevant papers will be made available to the inquiry being conducted by Sir Anthony Hammond QC.

European Disability Forum

Mr. Bercow: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what funding from (a) EU and (b) UK Government sources is available to the European Disability Forum; and when he last received representations from them. [147458]

Ms Hodge: I have been asked to reply.

The European Disability Forum received 750,000 euro from the European Commission for the period 1 April 2000 to 31 March 2001 plus 100,000 euro for co-ordination of the European Day of Disabled People. The provisional budget for 1 April 2001 to 31 March 2002 is 900,000 euro (inclusive of funding for the European Day of Disabled People 2001).

I am not aware of any UK Government funding for this organisation.

Democratic Republic of Congo

Dr. Tonge: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs how many export licences for military dual-use equipment have been refused to

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(a) Angola, (b) Namibia, (c) Zimbabwe, (d) Rwanda, (e) Uganda and (f) Burundi on the grounds that there was a possibility it would be used in the Democratic Republic of Congo. [146831]

Mr. Wilson: Details of export licensing decisions between 2 May 1997 and 31 December 1999 have been set out in the Government's Annual Reports on Strategic Export Controls. These reports list by country of destination the numbers of export licences issued and refused in each equipment category and give details of the military equipment for which licences have been granted.

Between August 1998, when the conflict in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) started, and 9 February 2000 one application for a Standard Individual Export Licence (SIEL) was refused to Zimbabwe. This application was set out in the 1999 Annual Report and was refused against Criterion 4 (preservation of regional peace, security and stability) of the EU Code of Conduct. We judged it highly probable that the equipment would be used by Zimbabwean forces deployed in the DRC.

Between when the Prime Minister set out the basis of our new tighter policy on arms sales to countries intervening in the DRC, 9 February 2000, Official Report, columns 184-85W, and 17 January 2001, two applications for a SIEL were refused to Uganda. These applications were refused on the grounds that there was a clear risk that the equipment would be used in the DRC. These will be set out in the 2000 Annual Report on Strategic Export Controls in due course.

UN Compensation Fund

Mr. Cohen: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what the relationship is between (a) Iraq's unutilised oil for food moneys and (b) reparations via the UN Compensation Fund; and if he will make a statement. [147216]

Mr. Wilson: Of the nearly $12 billion in the UN Iraq account as of 19 January 2001, $4.5 billion of "oil for food" revenue remains unallocated by Iraq, depriving its people of much needed humanitarian relief. This money remains available to be spent by Iraq under future phases of the "oil for food" programme. There is no relationship between this money and reparations under the UN Compensation Fund. However, it is worth noting that as a measure to give further support to the Iraqi people, the UN Compensation Commission agreed to reduce from 30 per cent. to 25 per cent. the proportion of revenue dedicated to the UN Compensation Fund under Phase IX of the "oil for food" programme, so releasing more money for food, medicines and other humanitarian relief.

Brussels Council

Mr. Hood: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what the outcome was of the General Affairs Council held in Brussels on 22 and 23 January; and if he will make a statement. [147160]

Mr. Vaz: The General Affairs Council (GAC) on 22 January adopted the "A" points listed in document No. 5419/01. It also noted the resolutions, decisions and opinions adopted by the European Parliament in its session of 29-30 November in Brussels listed in document No. 12940/00. Copies of these documents will

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be deposited in the House Libraries as soon as they are available. The European Parliament did not transmit a record of its resolutions, decisions and opinions at its 11-15 December session in Strasbourg in time for adoption by the GAC on 22 January; they will go forward for adoption at the GAC on 26 February 2001.

Open debate on conflict prevention

In open debate, the Council agreed that the EU possessed appropriate resources and instruments to play a major role in conflict prevention, but needed to manage them more coherently and systematically.

Orientation debate on strengthening the EU's external action

The Council held its first ever debate on the priorities and quality of the EU's external actions, including external assistance.

The Council expressed broad support for Commission reforms covering both the process and the implementation of external assistance, and hoped that they would continue. The Council also agreed on the need for greater coherence, focus, flexibility and consistency in the use of external relations instruments. The Presidency concluded that Council views were converging on priorities for external action, namely: neighbouring countries (including the accession countries), poverty reduction, conflict prevention, and co-operation with major international actors. In addition, external actions needed to be responsive to both new expenditure pressures and to long-term priorities. These conclusions, together with the discussion itself and the Presidency paper on external action reforms would provide general guidance for the Commission in preparing the 2002 budget. (The Council remitted to COREPER further work on common strategies and other suggestions which arose during the debate, including the Foreign Secretary's proposal that the GAC hold a follow-up debate later in the year in connection with the draft budget).

Western Balkans

The GAC welcomed the free and fair elections in Serbia in December. It underlined the need for the FRY to co-operate fully with the ICTY and comply with its obligations under UNSCR 1244 and the Dayton and Paris agreements. The Council agreed to send an EU ministerial troika to Belgrade in early February. The GAC urged the authorities in Serbia and Montenegro to agree on a new constitutional arrangement, within a federal framework. The GAC also called for the speedy release of Kosovo Albanian and other prisoners held without charge or on political grounds. It strongly condemned terrorist acts by ethnic Albanians in southern Serbia, while welcoming the FRY authorities' commitment to UNSCR 1244. The Council thanked Mr. Kouchner for his work as UNMIK Special Representative in Kosovo and pledged its support for his successor, Mr. Haekkerup.

The Council approved the terms of reference for the high level EU/Albania Steering Group, which is to help Albania meet the requirements of the Stabilisation and Association agreement.

The GAC also discussed the use of depleted uranium in the Balkans. It agreed that this issue must be dealt with transparently, and that NATO would remain in the lead.

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Middle east peace process

The GAC welcomed President Clinton's efforts to seek a breakthrough in the peace process, and stated the EU's wish to work closely with the Bush Administration on the issue. It also expressed its support for the current negotiations in Taba, Egypt. The Council called on Israel to end its withholding of revenue payments due to the Palestinian Authority.

Democratic Republic of the Congo

The Council condemned the assassination of President Kabila, and called for all parties to the Lusaka Agreement to respect their commitments under this agreement.

El Salvador

The Council expressed its deepest sympathy to the victims and families of those lost in the El Salvador earthquake, and called for efficient donor co-ordination, both immediately and in the longer-term. It recalled the support being provided by the Community and member states.

Nice follow up: IGC/Nice Treaty

The Presidency announced that the Nice Treaty will be signed by Ministers in Nice on 26 February 2001. The Foreign Secretary welcomed the Presidency's plans for broad consultation involving all relevant actors, including national Parliaments.

Nice follow up: EU enlargement

The Presidency presented their work programme and emphasised their intentions to keep to and, where possible, proceed more rapidly than the Commission's timetable for negotiations agreed at Nice.

Any other business: Bananas

A discussion on the EU's banana import regime is now remitted to a future Council.

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