|Previous Section||Index||Home Page|
Mr. Bradshaw: I know that there are a number of special events planned on St. Helena to commemorate this historic event and a successful year. We are in touch with the St. Helena Government representative in London over plans to mark the occasion in the United Kingdom.
Mr. Bradshaw: My right hon. Friend the Foreign Secretary had a meeting with President Khatami on 25 September, when he first visited Iran. They discussed the international fight against terrorism, the situation in the region and bilateral relations.
Mr. MacShane: Promotion of human rights is at the heart of our foreign policy. Britain is an active and committed member of the Commission on Human Rights. We are making preparations within Whitehall, with EU partners and with NGOs. I will go to Geneva myself in March to deliver the UK speech.
Mr. MacShane: On 28 January the EU decided to impose targeted sanctions on senior members of the Government of Zimbabwe if the election is assessed as not being free and fair. On 30 January the Commonwealth Ministerial Action Group (CMAG) called on the Government of Zimbabwe to ensure that all parties in the election be allowed to campaign freely. It called for
5 Feb 2002 : Column 800W
the immediate deployment of Commonwealth election observers and the Government's full co-operation in facilitating the operation of all international observers.
23. Mr. Boswell: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what assessment he has made of the role the United States will play in finding a political solution in Zimbabwe. 
Mr. MacShane: The United States Government have expressed strong concern at the situation in Zimbabwe over a number of months. In addition, the Zimbabwe Democracy and Economic Recovery Act invites the US Administration to consult and co-ordinate with international partners on action against Zimbabwe. The US Administration are yet to impose sanctions but are urgently considering their next steps.
they prevent the international media from having free access to cover the election;
there is a serious deterioration on the ground, in terms of a worsening of the human right situation or attacks on the opposition;
the election is assessed as not being free and fair.
25. Barbara Follett: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will make a statement on progress in the Lusaka accord and moves to bring peace to the countries of central Africa. 
Mr. MacShane: We welcome the continued ceasefire, the withdrawal of some foreign troops from the DRC and the progress which has been made in the disarmament, demobilisation, repatriation, resettlement and reintegration process in the last six months. But further progress is necessary. During my right hon. Friend the Foreign Secretary's recent visit to the Great Lakes with his French counterpart, Hubert Vedrine, he stressed the need for further progress and expressed our joint commitment to achieve this.
His visit demonstrates clearly this Government's determination to help resolve conflict within central Africa and to bring peace and prosperity to the region. We are committed to this goal. We will continue to work closely with the EU and the UN in order to achieve it.
5 Feb 2002 : Column 801W
Peter Hain: At the Brussels process meeting held in London yesterday my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State and the Spanish Foreign Minister, Mr. Pique, reiterated their invitation for the Chief Minister of Gibraltar to attend talks under the Brussels process. Building on the climate of confidence established by the Brussels process we have encouraged the Governments of Spain and Gibraltar to talk and meet.
Mr. MacShane: The formal ending of the conflict in Sierra Leone on 18 January 2002 marked the beginning of the restoration of human rights for the long-suffering Sierra Leonean people. An important element in this process is the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, in which the United Nations High Commission for Human Rights is leading the way. We have funded preparatory work for the UN, to facilitate the commission, and will continue to strongly support its establishment. We have also led in the UN Security Council to secure the special court for Sierra Leone, which will bring to justice those responsible for the worst of the atrocities committed in Sierra Leone during the last few years.
Mr. MacShane: The UK has been at the forefront in supporting UN Security Council resolution 1315 (2000) for a special court for Sierra Leone. This institution will bring to justice those most responsible for gross human rights abuses committed during the conflict, and send a strong signal to others, wherever they are, that they will be brought to account for their actions. The agreement establishing the court was signed in Freetown on 16 January. We are contributing £6.6 million over three years towards the court's estimated budget of £40 million.
Mr. Bradshaw: There has been no recent peace agreement in Sudan. However, we were delighted to hear last month that as a result of the efforts of the US special envoy, with whom we have been working closely, the parties agreed on 19 January to a limited ceasefire in the Nuba mountains. Under the terms of the agreement civilians will be allowed to move freely within the region currently held by the SPLA. There will be two demilitarised zones to allow the Nuba people to access fertile land, and humanitarian assistance will be allowed
5 Feb 2002 : Column 802W
Mr. Bradshaw: Georgia continues to need help to build capacity to tackle problems it faces. Both bilaterally and multilaterally we will continue to provide appropriate assistance. HMG continue strongly to support the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Georgia. We encourage a constructive relationship between Georgia and Russia.
35. Mr. Salter: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs pursuant to the statement of the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State of 21 January 2002, Official Report, column 623, what action he is taking to ensure that the suspected al-Qaeda prisoners being held by the United States are being treated humanely and in accordance with international law. 
Mr. Bradshaw: We are in close contact with the US as the detaining power. During my right hon. Friend the Foreign Secretary's visit to Washington on 31 January and 1 February, he again made it clear that detainees should be treated humanely and in accordance with international norms.
Ann Clwyd: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will request that the report of the ICRC into conditions at Camp X-Ray be made available to the British Government. 
Mr. MacShane: In order to preserve the impartiality and neutrality which enable it to pursue its humanitarian work, the ICRC never releases its reports to third parties. Its report on conditions at Camp X-Ray will accordingly be made confidentially to the United States as detaining power.
Ann Clwyd: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs whether the International Committee of the Red Cross has had access to detainees held at centres other than Bagram and Kabul. 
|Next Section||Index||Home Page|