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Mr. Laws: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many (a) UK military personnel and (b) UK defence industry employees have been (i) confirmed as suffering from and (ii) suspected of suffering from depleted uranium poisoning, in each year from 1980 to 200102; and if he will make a statement. 
Dr. Moonie: Although a number of people may suspect that they are suffering from ill health as a result of exposure to depleted uranium, including personnel in the Gulf and Balkans campaign, I am unaware of any individual who has been confirmed as suffering from ill health arising from exposure to DU over the period 1980 to 200102.
Mr. Laws: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what assessment his Department has made of the health risks associated with material containing depleted uranium in the last 10 years; if he will publish the results; and if he will make a statement. 
Dr. Moonie: I refer the hon. Member to the answer given on 25 January 2001, Official Report, column 653W, by my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Defence, to my hon. Friend the Member for Gedling (Vernon Coaker), in which the Ministry of Defence published a paper that explained the MOD's position on the risks posed by depleted uranium (DU). This paper included reference to the MOD's earlier paper published on 19 March 1999, entitled: "Testing for the Presence of Depleted Uranium in UK Veterans of the Gulf Conflict: the Current Position". Copies of both papers are available in the Library of the House and on the MOD's website at www.gulfwar.mod.uk.
I also refer the hon. Member to my letter of 24 March (reference: D/US of S/LM 0291L/01/I) to my hon. Friend the Member for Stroud (Mr. Drew), which includes the review paper: "Depleted UraniumSafety Guidance to UK Armed Forces and MOD Civilians"; and my letter of 17 April (reference: D/US of S/LM PQ 0346L/01/M), to my hon. Friend the Member for Stoke-on-Trent, North (Ms Walley), which discusses and lists risk assessments associated with DU. I also refer the hon. Member to my letter of 7 June 2001 (reference: D/US of S/LM PQ 0679L/01/Y) to my hon. Friend the Member for Blaenau Gwent (Llew Smith), which lists reports on depleted uranium commissioned by the MOD from DERA and contains some additional relevant material. All three letters are available in the Library of the House.
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(b) employees within the defence industries of the United Kingdom, have suffered from (i) depleted uranium poisoning and (ii) other medical conditions caused by exposure to depleted uranium; and if he will make a statement. 
Dr. Moonie: The Ministry of Defence is funding a programme designed to establish whether a scientifically rigorous test can be developed to determine historical exposures to depleted uranium (DU). Given such a test is developed, epidemiological studies will be undertaken to establish whether there is any correlation between ill-health and exposure to DU. As part of the MOD's Gulf Veterans' Medical Assessment Programme, which has so far seen over 3,000 service personnel and a small number of defence industry employees who served in the Gulf, a very small number of tests for total uranium have been carried out in cases where physicians believed that such tests would assist in treatment of their patients. All these tests showed that the signs and symptoms displayed by these patients were not due to any form of uranium exposure. In the early 1990s, a small number of UK troops concerned they had inhaled DU dust while conducting work in the Gulf conflict had their lungs monitoredno detectable DU contamination was found.
There are established systems within the United Kingdom for monitoring the health and safety of those who are exposed to depleted uranium as part of their work activities. These systems are, and always have been, employed throughout the MOD and involve monitoring of personnel and the working environment. Some individuals also receive annual health reviews. These measures ensure that exposures to depleted uranium are as low as reasonably practicable and do not exceed statutory limits. Therefore there is no reason for investigations of the type mentioned for these employees.
Mr. Simon Thomas: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what the compensation scheme is for civilians who are (a) killed, (b) injured and (c) maimed by unexploded munitions on military training grounds. 
Mr. Ingram: When compensation claims are submitted, they are considered on the basis of whether or not the Ministry of Defence has a legal liability to pay compensation. Where there is a legal liability to pay compensation we do so.
Mr. Hoon: I am pleased to announce that I have appointed Dr. Anne Wright CBE to a three-year term. This appointment has been conducted in accordance with the Office of the Commissioner for Public Appointment's guidance on appointments to public bodies.
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Roger Casale: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs when he will lay before the House the report by Mr. Rabinder Singh, the independent monitor of entry clearance refusals. 
Mr. Bradshaw: Mr. Singh's report on entry clearance refusals was laid before the House today. I very much welcome the report which acknowledges the high standards of our entry clearance operation overseas and the Government's commitment to ensuring that it continues to operate fairly and professionally. Mr. Singh's comments and suggestions will receive careful consideration.
Norman Baker: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what contact there has been between his Department and (a) Sheikh Mohammed Al Maktoum and (b) the Dubai authorities in relation to the allegation made by Sheikha Shamsa. 
In Warsaw last year, the Prime Minister called for a greater role for national parliaments in EU decision- making. Subsequently, the Nice European Council agreed that this question would be one of the main agenda items for the next Intergovernmental Conference in 2004. The Laeken European Council on 1415 December is expected to agree that the preparations for this IGC will be taken forward by a Convention consisting of, among others, national parliamentarians.
Roger Casale: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what discussions he has had with his European counterparts in preparation for the EU summit in Laeken with a view to strengthening the contribution of EU member states to international efforts to re-establish the middle east peace process. 
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permanent ceasefire, implement the recommendations of the Mitchell report and resume political negotiations aimed at delivering security for Israel and allowing for the emergence of a Palestinian state.
He also met other EU Foreign Ministers at the General Affairs Council on 10 December. They agreed on the need for concerted international action. They reaffirmed their view that peace requires the recognition of Israel's irrevocable right to live in security and the emergence of a viable Palestinian state. The Palestinian Authority must dismantle the Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad terrorist networks and appeal in public for the end of the armed intifada. Israel must withdraw its forces, end the practice of extra-judicial killings, lift the closures and freeze all settlement activity. EU High Representative Javier Solana was mandated to go to the region and report back at Laeken.
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