|Previous Section||Index||Home Page|
22. Mr. Swayne: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what discussions he plans to have with his European counterparts regarding the status of the EU charter of fundamental rights. 
26. Mr. Gerald Howarth: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what discussions have taken place concerning the agenda for the 2004 IGC in relation to institutional reform. 
Mr. Vaz: A Declaration in the Treaty of Nice sets out four issues to be discussed by the next Intergovernmental Conference in 2004. These are a more precise delimitation of competencies between the European Union and member states, the status of the Charter of Fundamental Rights, simplification of the Treaties, and the role of national Parliaments in European architecture.
27 Feb 2001 : Column: 587W
The Declaration also called for a deeper and wider debate on the future of the European Union, and mandated the Swedish and Belgian Presidencies to initiate a wide-ranging discussion with all interested parties, including representatives of national Parliaments, members of civil society and the candidate states. The Swedish Presidency will report on this process to the Gothenburg European Council in June.
25. Judy Mallaber: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will make a statement on the decision of Judge Guzman in Chile to bring charges against ex-President Pinochet in connection with the caravan of death. 
Mr. Battle: On 31 January Judge Guzman charged ex-President Pinochet with being the co-author of 57 deaths and 18 kidnappings perpetrated by the so-called "Caravan of Death" in Chile. We believe that those responsible for such atrocities should be brought to justice and we support the Chilean authorities in their pursuit of the due process of Chilean law.
27. Mr. Derek Twigg: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will make a statement on the role of the international community in East Timor, with particular reference to the international court it has set up there. 
Mr. Battle: With the full support of the international community, the United Nations Transitional Administration in East Timor (UNAET) is establishing institutions and preparing the ground for elections and independence later in the year.
We welcome recent progress made by the UNAET Prosecutor General in bringing to account those responsible for committing crimes in East Timor. We call on the UN, the East Timorese leadership and the Indonesians to build on their achievements and to maintain momentum.
Mr. Battle: We are pleased to see the recent political crisis resolved peacefully, in accordance with the Philippines' democratic traditions. We note President Arroyo's pledges for good governance and poverty alleviation. We welcome her resumption of peace negotiations with the rebel groups. We look forward to working closely with her Administration.
30. Mr. Syms: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what discussions his Department has had with the United States Administration on proposed anti-missile defence systems. 
27 Feb 2001 : Column: 588W
Mr. Vaz: My right hon. Friend the Foreign Secretary recently held discussions in Washington with Vice- President Cheney, National Security Adviser Rice and Secretary of State Powell on a range of issues including National Missile Defence.
These discussions, and those my right hon. Friend the Prime Minister had last week with President Bush, clearly demonstrated the constructive approach being taken by the Bush Administration. The US Administration reaffirmed their commitment to a National Missile defence system but stressed their willingness to take their time to consult Allies, Russia and others. They confirmed that no decision had yet been made on the development or deployment of a specific system. It is therefore too early to assess any implications for the UK.
31. Mr. Jim Cunningham: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will make a statement on the emerging dialogue between the Burmese regime and opposition figures. 
Mr. Battle: We cautiously welcome reports that the Burmese regime have had a series of contacts with Daw Aung San Suu Kyi. We hope that these will eventually be broadened to include the ethnic minorities and lead to a lasting peaceful solution to the political problems in Burma. But the UK will not soften its policy until there is real progress in Burma.
33. Mr. John Cryer: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what discussions he has had with the US Government regarding the implementation of Plan Colombia by the Colombian Government. 
Mr. Battle: We have had regular discussions with the US Government regarding the implementation of Plan Colombia. My right hon. Friend the Minister for the Cabinet Office and Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster intends to discuss developments in Colombia with the new US Administration in March, as well as development of the separate EU package.
Mr. Wilson: My hon. Friend the Member for Neath (Mr. Hain) met the Charge d'Affaires for the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) when the DRC Foreign Minister visited the UK in December. The Special Representative for the Great Lakes met him on 2 February. On both occasions discussions focused on relaunching the Lusaka peace process.
27 Feb 2001 : Column: 589W
the arrest, detention and beating of two Christian young men for distributing the video film "Jesus" in Jacobabad. 
Mr. Wilson: We are aware that Khalid and Nasir Masih were arrested on 11 January for distributing videos and literature to the Christian community in Jacobabad. Our High Commission in Islamabad continues to raise our concerns over the position of religious minorities with the Pakistani authorities and maintains regular dialogue with Christian and human rights groups.
Mr. Battle: Following consultation with the Foreign and Commonwealth Office and the Ministry of Defence, the Department of Trade and Industry recently approved a licence to export computer equipment, including 10 Fujitsu Siemens Scenic ED-1170A computers and two Fujitsu Siemens Lifebook C-6545 Notebook computers, controlled under the Dual Use Items (Export Control) Regulations 2000, to Iraq for the use by the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) in its humanitarian activities. The export of these goods to Iraq has been approved by the UN Sanctions Committee.
Mr. Battle: The eighth report in this series, covering the period July-December 2000, was published today and copies have been placed in the Libraries of the House. A copy of the report is also available on the Foreign and Commonwealth Office website (www.fco.gov.uk). The report includes a foreword by my right hon. Friend the Foreign Secretary. I commend the report to the House.
Ms Ward: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will list the forthcoming business in the Council of the European Union for March and the major European Union events for the period between 31 March and August. 
27 Feb 2001 : Column: 590W
27 Feb 2001 : Column: 591W
|8-10||Brussels||General Affairs Council|
|8-10||Brussels||Agriculture Council (Informal)|
|7||Brussels||Employment and Social Council (possible)|
|14-15||Brussels||General Affairs Council|
|14-15||Brussels||Industry and Energy Council|
|28-29||Brussels||Justice and Home Affairs Council|
|28||Brussels||Education and Youth Council|
|5||Brussels||Internal market/Consumer Council|
|11-12||Brussels||General Affairs Council|
|11-12||Brussels||Accession Ministerial Conference|
|11||Brussels||Employment/Social Affairs Council|
|18||Brussels||Fisheries Council (possible)|
|19||Brussels||ECOFIN Council (possible)|
|25-26||Brussels||General Affairs Council|
|6-7||Brussels||Informal Employment and Social Affairs Council|
|13-14||Brussels||Regional Territories Council (Informal)?|
|16-17||Brussels||General Affairs Council|
|There are no European Councils scheduled for August|
27 Feb 2001 : Column: 592W
|Next Section||Index||Home Page|