|Previous Section||Index||Home Page|
Mr. Vaz: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what the level of staffing is at the Joint Entry Clearance Unit. 
Mr. Bradshaw: The current level of staffing in the Joint Entry Clearance Unit is as follows:
Mr. Vaz: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what plans he has for advertising the posts of ambassadors. 
Llew Smith: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he raised the matter of the continued imprisonment of Mordecai Vanunu in his recent meeting with his Israeli counterpart. 
Mr. Bradshaw: We regularly raise Mr. Vanunu's long detention with the Israeli authorities and the British Embassy in Tel Aviv monitor the conditions in which he is held.
Gillian Merron: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what recent changes there have been to United Nations sanctions against (a) Somalia, (b) the former Republic of Yugoslavia and (c) Sudan. 
Peter Hain: With the support of Her Majesty's Government, the range of sanctions imposed against Somalia, the Former Republic of Yugoslavia (FRY) and Sudan has been amended by the United Nations Security Council (the "UNSC").
On 19 June 2001 the UNSC adopted resolution 1356(2001) introducing certain limited exemptions to the arms embargo against Somalia. The arms embargo does not now apply to the temporary export of protective clothing for use exclusively by the UN, media or humanitarian and development workers, nor to supplies of non-lethal military equipment intended solely for humanitarian or protective use.
On 10 September 2001 the UNSC noted that the conditions called for by paragraphs 16(a)-(e) of resolution 1160(1998) had been met by the FRY Government, and subsequently decided to adopt resolution 1367(2001) which terminated the measures called for by resolution 1160(1998).
On 28 September 2001 the UNSC noted the steps taken by the Government of Sudan to comply with the provisions of resolution 1054(1996) and resolution 1070(1996) and agreed to adopt resolution 1372(2001) terminating the measures imposed by those resolutions.
13 Nov 2001 : Column: 665W
Gillian Merron: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what the outcome was of the General Affairs Council held in Luxembourg on 29 October. 
Peter Hain: The information is as follows:
General Affairs Council, Luxembourg: 29 October 2001
My right hon. Friend the Foreign Secretary, Baroness Symons of Vernham Dean and I represented the UK at the General Affairs Council (GAC) on 29 October.
The GAC adopted the 'A' Points listed in document number 13233/01. It also noted the resolutions, decisions and opinions adopted by the European Parliament in its part-session of 1920 September in Brussels and 14 October in Strasbourg listed in document numbers 11049/01 and 12365/01 respectively. Copies of all three documents have been placed in the Libraries of both Houses.
The GAC discussed preparations for the WTO Ministerial Conference, due to be held in Doha, Qatar from 913 November and agreed conclusions setting out the EU's position for this meeting. The Council conclusions of 26 October 1999 remained the basis for EU efforts to launch a new global round of multilateral trade negotiations, but the Council acknowledged that the final stages of negotiations would call for flexibility on the part of all participants. The Council emphasised the importance of the development dimension, highlighting the need for greater efforts to enhance the negotiating capacity of developing countries, and underlined the importance of the flexibilities of the TRIPS agreement in ensuring poor people in developing countries have affordable access to medicines.
The Council welcomed the European Parliament's resolution of 24 October 2001 on preparations for Doha and stressed the importance of dialogue with civil society, particularly with social partners, on trade issues.
Work in other Sectoral Councils
The Presidency drew attention to the Secretariat's stocktaking report of the main issues being discussed by other sectoral meetings of the Council of Ministers. In particular, the Presidency noted the road-map on implementation of a sustainable development strategy approved by the Gothenburg European Council, looking ahead to the Barcelona European Council on 1516 March 2002 and the World Summit on Sustainable Development in Johannesburg on 211 September 2002.
The GAC approved Presidency proposals, focusing on fiscal/tax issues, allowances and pensions, as a basis for further discussions with the European Parliament.
Funding of European Political Parties
The GAC discussed the draft regulation to establish a temporary, two year regime for the statute and funding of European political parties. Discussion focused on issues including the regulating of donations and the transnationality threshold for qualification as a "European" political party. The Presidency asked Coreper to discuss the issues further.
13 Nov 2001 : Column: 666W
EU political priorities for 2002
The GAC endorsed a UK Initiative for the GAC to coordinate the EU's overall strategic priorities through annual discussions. Spain, as the future Presidency, will schedule a further debate early next year.
The Council issued a declaration on the tenth anniversary of the Madrid Conference. It called on the Israelis and Palestinians, immediately and without pre-conditions, to return to negotiations on the basis of the recommendations in the Mitchell Report and Tenet Plan. It called upon the Israeli authorities to withdraw their troops immediately from the zone that is exclusively under Palestinian administration (Zone A). It called upon the Palestinian authority to do its utmost to arrest those responsible for acts of violence against Israel.
The GAC agreed conclusions on:
13 Nov 2001 : Column: 667W
EU action following US attacks
The GAC noted the good progress made on the counter-terrorism road map agreed at the European Council of 21 September. It tasked the Committee of Permanent Representatives with the oversight and direction of the road map, paying particular attention to the priorities identified by the European Council:
The GAC also discussed the situation in Afghanistan and the surrounding region Discussion was informed by reports from the Presidency and Secretary-General/ High Representative (SG/HR) Solana about their recent meetings with the UN Secretary-General and his personal representative, Ambassador Brahimi, and with the former king of Afghanistan, Zahir Shah. They also discussed the situation in central Asia, on the basis of a paper by the SG/HR. The Council welcomed the Troika visit from 30 October to Uzbekistan, Tajikistan and Turkmenistan.
The GAC adopted Conclusions on:
13 Nov 2001 : Column: 668W
No formal votes were taken on the points under discussion at the GAC.
|Next Section||Index||Home Page|