|Previous Section||Index||Home Page|
Mr. Drew: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what representation he has received on the impact of sanctions on the access of Iraqi citizens to clean water; and if he will make a statement. 
20 Nov 2001 : Column: 183W
sanitation infrastructure. In addition, earlier this year the EU agreed a 13 million euro aid package for projects which include the provision of clean drinking water.
By contrast, the Iraqi regime continues to hamper all aspects of the oil for food programme. At a time when around $2 billion lies unspent by Iraq in the UN escrow account, Iraq has, for example, cut spending in this sector by 18 per cent. in 2001 compared to last year. Iraq continues to refuse to allow UN officials to enter Iraq to dicuss a cash component for sectors identified by the UN Secretary-General as being critical, one of which is water and sanitation.
Mr. Drew: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will make a statement on the performance of the oil for food policy regarding Iraq and the attitude of the Iraqi Government towards this policy. 
Mr. Bradshaw: The oil for food programme is the UN's largest humanitarian programme ever, worth some $12.5 billion last year alone. In his most recent report (September 2001), the UN Secretary-General concludes that the oil for food programme has made a considerable difference to the lives of ordinary Iraqis and, in spreading beyond the food and medicine sectors, to the rehabilitation of Iraq's civilian infrastructure.
These achievements have been made despite the continuing efforts of the Iraqi regime to hamper the oil for food programme. For example, around $2 billion of funds lie unspent, by Iraq in UN accounts and the Iraqi Central Bank consistently holds up the delivery of around $1 billion-worth of goods. Iraq continues to refuse to allow UN Officials to enter Iraq to discuss a cash component for sectors identified by the UN Secretary-General as being critical, such as health, education and water sanitation.
Mr. Straw: It has long been the policy of this and previous Governments not to comment on details of intelligence and security matters. The events of 11 September, and the role of the intelligence and security agencies in responding to them, are being taken into account in considering their financial allocation.
Mr. Ancram: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what discussions he had with King Abdullah of Jordan during his recent visit on (a) the middle east peace process, (b) terrorists living in Britain, (c) terrorism outside Britain, (d) Iraqi sanctions and (e) the present economic situation in Jordan. 
20 Nov 2001 : Column: 184W
Mr. Bradshaw: The Prime Minister and Foreign Secretary had talks with King Abdullah in London on 8 November. The Prime Minister and Foreign Secretary thanked the King for his leadership and determination in supporting the coalition against terrorism, agreed on the need to put the best humanitarian effort into dealing with the problems of displaced people and refugees and discussed how the international community could help reconstruct Afghanistan post-conflict. King Abdullah thanked the Prime Minister for his efforts during his travels throughout the middle east and the Islamic world to clarify the West's position that this is not a struggle between the West and Islam.
The King and Prime Minister agreed the importance of moving forward the Middle East Peace process as quickly as possible. The Prime Minister praised King Abdullah's record of pushing for progress in that area. The King, Prime Minister and Foreign Secretary discussed the need to control Iraq's military capabilities, while minimising the effects on Iraqi citizens. They also discussed ways in which the UK could help Jordan to achieve its economic objectives through support of King Abdullah's economic reform programme and encouragement of inward investment. There was no discussion on the issue of terrorists in the UK.
Mr. Ancram: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what assessment he has made regarding the (a) religious make-up and (b) ethnic make-up of Afghanistan; and what is his policy on the role of each of the (i) religions and (ii) ethnic groupings within Afghanistan in a future Government of Afghanistan. 
Mr. Bradshaw: Afghanistan has an immensely complex social tapestry. That complexity has been increased by the disruption of almost 20 years of continual warfare involving the movement of population both within and out of the country and whose effects are not yet properly documented. Traditionally, the main communities have been described as Pashtun (c. 38 per cent.), Tajik (c. 25 per cent.), Hazara (c. 19 per cent.), Uzbek (c. 6 per cent.) with the balance being made up of a patchwork of smaller groups. About 99 per cent. of the population are Muslims divided between Sunni (c. 84 per cent.) and Shia (c. 15 per cent.) adherents: the Hazara constitute almost all the Shia population.
The Government welcome the new UNSCR 1378 (2001) which sets out the international community's road map for a broad-based successor government to the Taliban regime, which should be multi-ethnic and fully representative of all the Afghan people.
Mr. Ancram: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs how many times he has met the (a) Head of the Cabinet's Defence and Overseas Secretariat, Robert Cooper, and (b) UN special representative for Afghanistan, Lakhdar Brahimi, since 11 September; and what was discussed during each of these meetings. 
20 Nov 2001 : Column: 185W
(including at the open Security Council meeting on 13 November). They discussed the UN's role in a post- Taliban Afghanistan.
Robert Cooper, the UK Co-ordinator for the Future of Afghanistan, has met the Secretary of State frequently since the 11 September attacks (most recently on 19 November). They discussed all aspects of the crisis.
Mr. Ancram: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs on what occasions he has discussed the prospect of a United Nations monitoring force for Afghanistan with the Government of Turkey; and what was discussed. 
Mr. Bradshaw: During his visit to Turkey on 1718 October, the Secretary of State discussed a wide range of issues related to the current crisis with the Turkish Foreign Minister Cem. He has since met Foreign Minister Cem at the UN General Assembly on 12 November.
Mr. Llwyd: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will list the coalition against terrorism's proposals for UN intervention in Afghanistan; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Bradshaw: We and the US have strongly supported a UN role in Afghanistan. We welcome the new UN Security Council Resolution 1378 (2001), which was unanimously adopted on 14 November and sets out the international community's vision for the future of Afghanistan.
Inter alia, the resolution outlined the principles that should govern the formation of a new administration in Afghanistan. It affirmed that the UN would play a central role in supporting the efforts of the Afghan people to establish such an administration. And it encouraged UN member states to support efforts to ensure the safety and security of areas of Afghanistan no longer under Taliban control, and in particular to ensure respect for Kabul as the capital for all Afghan people, and especially to protect civilians, transitional authorities, United Nations and associated personnel, as well as personnel of humanitarian organisations.
We have also discussed with the UN Secretary- General and his Special Representative for Afghanistan, Ambassador Lakhdar Brahimi, a number of other proposals, including for possible UN roles in security, which might be appropriate at some stage.
Mr. Drew: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what recent discussions he has had with the United Nations on the creation of a multi-national force to provide peacekeeping in Afghanistan. 
Mr. Bradshaw: During my visit to New York for the UN General Assembly from 10-16 November, I held consultations with the UN Secretary-General and his Special Representative for Afghanistan, Lakhdar Brahimi, on the future of Afghanistan, including what possible
20 Nov 2001 : Column: 186W
security arrangements might be appropriate at some stage. We are fully supportive of Ambassador Brahimi's efforts to resolve these issues.
Mr. Drew: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will make a statement on the UN Security Council's role in relation to the international coalition's actions in Afghanistan. 
Mr. Bradshaw: In response to the 11 September attacks, the UN Security Council adopted resolution 1368 (2001) on 12 September 2001, in which it stated that it would hold accountable those indirectly responsiblethose who aid, support or harbour the perpetratorsas well as those directly responsible. This resolution also reaffirmed the right of self-defence, enshrined in Article 51 of the UN Charter. Coalition military action has been undertaken in self-defence to avert further terrorist attacks.
On 14 November, the UN Security Council adopted Resolution 1378 (2001), which sets out the international community's vision for the future of Afghanistan. Inter alia, the resolution encourages member states to support efforts to ensure the safety and security of areas of Afghanistan no longer under Taliban control, and in particular to ensure respect for Kabul as the capital for all the Afghan people, and especially to protect civilians, transitional authorities, United Nations and associated personnel, as well as personnel of humanitarian organisations.
|Next Section||Index||Home Page|