Previous Section Index Home Page

Falkland Islands

Mr. Nicholas Winterton: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what plans he has to enter into discussions with Argentina about the future status of the Falkland Islands; and if he will make a statement. [19529]

Mr. MacShane: None, therefore no.


Mr. Vaz: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs when he plans to visit Russia. [20254]

Peter Hain: My right hon. Friend the Foreign Secretary visited Moscow on 31 October and had talks with the Russian Foreign and Defence Ministers. He met the Russian Foreign Minister again in the margins of the UN General Assembly on 10 November.

He has no immediate plans to visit Russia but remains in regular contact with his Russian counterpart.

School Places

Derek Twigg: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what help civil servants receive with finding and securing places for their children in state-funded schools when returning from prolonged placements overseas. [20360]

4 Dec 2001 : Column 217W

Mr. Bradshaw: UK-based FCO staff returning to the UK from overseas apply for places in accordance with the arrangements established by the local education authorities (LEAs) under the guidance of the Department for Education and Skills. When necessary, the FCO provide LEAs with background information about the officer's circumstances.

European Union Business

Mr. Mike Hall: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will list the (a) forthcoming business in the Council of the European Union for December and (b) major European Union events for the period between 31 December and May 2002. [20966]

Peter Hain: The information is as follows:

4 Dec 2001 : Column 218W

No agendas for the above are available yet.

The following are the principle events in the EU between 1 January and May 2002 (certain relevant events are also included: the list is based on the information available at the date of issue).

10BrusselsFisheries Council
17BrusselsBudget Council(16)
21 to 22BrusselsAgriculture Council
25 to 26BrusselsMeeting of Employment Ministers(17)
28 to 29BrusselsGeneral Affairs Council
9 to 10BrusselsGymnich(17)
14BrusselsEducation and Youth Council
14 to 15BrusselsJustice and Home Affairs Council(17)
18 to 19BrusselsGeneral Affairs Council
18 to 19BrusselsAgriculture Council
22 to 23BrusselsTelecoms and Information Society Council(17)
28Brussels Justice and Home Affairs Council
1BrusselsJustice and Home Affairs Council(16)
1BrusselsInternal Market, Consumers and Tourism Council
7BrusselsEmployment and Social Affairs Council
11BrusselsResearch Council
11 to 12BrusselsGeneral Affairs Council
15 to 16BarcelonaEuropean Council
18 to 19BrusselsAgriculture Council
21BrusselsEnvironment Council
23 to 24BrusselsDefence Meeting(17)
25 to 26BrusselsTransport and Telecom Council
5 to 6LuxembourgMigrations Council(18)
8LuxembourgFisheries Council
13 to 14LuxembourgECOFIN(17)
15 to 16LuxembourgGeneral Affairs Council
22 to 23ValenciaEuromed Conference
22 to 23LuxembourgAgriculture Council
25 to 26LuxembourgJustice and Home Affairs Council
27 to 30LuxembourgAgriculture Council(17)
3 to 4BrusselsTourism Council(17)
9Europe Day
13BrusselsGeneral Affairs and Defence Council
17 to 18MadridEU-LAC Summit
21BrusselsInternal Market, Consumers and Tourism Council
23BrusselsCulture and Audio-visual Council
24 to 26BrusselsEnvironment Council(17)
27 to 28BrusselsAgriculture Council
30BrusselsDevelopment Council
30BrusselsEducation and Youth Council
31 to 1 JuneBrusselsTransport Council(17)

(16) Evening

(17) Ministerial informal

(18) ASEM Ministerial informal

4 Dec 2001 : Column 219W


Oversight Commissioner

Phil Hope: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland if he will publish the latest report received from the Oversight Commissioner. [20914]

Jane Kennedy: In accordance with section 68(4)(a) of the Police (Northern Ireland) Act 2000, I have today laid a copy of the Oversight Commissioner's third statutory report for the year 2001 before this House.

Government Law and Order Policy

Mr. Quentin Davies: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what the Government's policy is in regard to (a) organised crime and (b) community policing in Northern Ireland. [16305]

Jane Kennedy: The Government are determined to confront organised crime in Northern Ireland and are leading the fight through the work of the Organised Crime Task Force, which I chair.

The Task Force, launched in September 2000, is a multi-agency initiative, involving the Police Service of Northern Ireland, HM Customs & Excise and others. Work is already well developed and the operational agencies have achieved significant successes. For example, on 8 November, a joint operation by Customs and police resulted in seizure of 42.6 million illicit cigarettes, the largest ever seizure in the United Kingdom.

The Government will not permit the legacy of terrorism to develop into a system of organised crime activity in Northern Ireland. However, there are no short-term fixes. The dismantling of organised crime groups takes time, expertise and commitment.

The Government and the Chief Constable accept the importance of community policing and are committed to ensuring that this is a core function of the police service and the core function of every police station. It is the Government's policy to support, in every way possible, the Northern Ireland Policing Board and the Police Service of Northern Ireland, in delivering effective community policing.

Next Section Index Home Page