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Sierra Leone

Mr. Gordon Prentice: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what recent changes there have been in United Nations sanctions in relation to Sierra Leone. [39604]

Peter Hain: UN Security Council resolution 1385 (2001) was adopted on 19 December 2001.

The resolution extends for a further 11 months the mandatory UN embargo on the export of rough diamonds from Sierra Leone originally imposed for a period of 18 months by UNSCR 1306 (2000) of 5 July 2000.

Diamonds certified under the Government of Sierra Leone certification scheme continue to remain exempt from the embargo.

The UK originally played a leading role in promoting 1306 in the UN Security Council. It continues to support measures aimed at breaking the link between conflict and the illicit trade in rough diamonds.

The embargo is implemented in the UK and the Isle of Man by means of an amendment to the Open General Licence, effected on 17 July 2000, and in the Channel Islands and Overseas Territories by Orders in Council under the United Nations Act 1946 (S.I. Nos 1822/2000 and 1840/2000).

Departmental Expenditure Limits

Mrs. Humble: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what plans there are to change the departmental expenditure limits and administration costs limits for 2001–02. [39605]

Mr. MacShane: Subject to parliamentary approval of the necessary Supplementary Estimate, the Foreign and Commonwealth DEL will be increased by £32,584,000 from £1,362,704,000 to £1,395,288,000 and the administration costs limits will be increased by £34,335,000 from £634,598,000 to £668,933,000. Within the DEL change, the impact on resources and capital is as set out in the following table:


New DEL1,268,738126,550
of which:

The change in the resources element of DEL arises from:

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The change in the capital element of DEL arises from:

The increases will be offset by inter-departmental transfers and will not impact on the planned total of public expenditure.


Mr. Borrow: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what sanctions the EU has imposed against Zimbabwe. [39606]

Peter Hain: On 18 February the General Affairs Council (GAC) of the European Union decided to implement targeted sanctions against the Government of Zimbabwe. The GAC expressed serious concern at continuing political violence, serious violations of human rights and restrictions on the media in Zimbabwe which call into question the prospects for a free and fair presidential election on 9–10 March 2002. The GAC noted that the Government of Zimbabwe had objected to having nationals of six EU member states accredited as observers for the forthcoming elections and refused to accredit the EU Chief Observer, Ambassador Pierre Schori.

The measures adopted are carefully targeted. They comprise:

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The travel ban has been implemented by administrative means pending an order under section 8B of the Immigration Act 1971.

The UK already has an arms embargo in place against Zimbabwe imposed on 3 May 2000 in respect of all applications for new licences for the export to Zimbabwe of goods and technology listed in part III, schedule 1, of the Export of Goods (Control) Order 1994, as amended (commonly known as the Military List).

The asset freeze, the embargo on the provision of technical assistance and training relating to arms and the embargo on the sale or supply to Zimbabwe of equipment which might be used for internal repression fall within Community competence. These measures are implemented by an EC regulation which is directly applicable in the UK. The regulation came into force on 21 February 2002, the day of its publication in the Official Journal of the European Communities. Regulations under the European Communities Act 1972 will be passed to impose penalties for infringements of the regulation as required.

Copies of the Common Position and regulation listing those subject to the asset freeze and travel ban can be found on the European Union website:


Dr. Julian Lewis: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what his Department's policy is on ministerial intervention in commercial negotiations between (a) large, (b) intermediate-sized and (c) small private companies and Romania. [37182]

Mr. MacShane: Each case is considered on its merits in terms of the overall potential benefit to UK business and to the UK economy. A number of factors will be relevant in considering this, including whether the company is incorporated or registered in Britain, whether the company has a UK address, whether a company is UK controlled or owned, whether it employs people in the UK, whether it has a UK-manufactured product or service, and whether there are wider benefits for the UK, eg in terms of increased access to overseas markets, increased employment or increased competitiveness.


New Deal

Mr. Clappison: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what plans he has to improve the performance of the new deal for young people in helping participants from non-white ethnic minority groups to obtain sustained jobs. [25985]

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Mr. Nicholas Brown: New deal is pro-active in the promotion of equality of opportunity and outcome for people of all ethnic groups. In November 1998, we published a Strategy for Engaging Ethnic Minorities which looked at ways to identify and overcome the barriers to ethnic minority young people, providers and businesses participating in new deal. Action plans supporting the strategy are reviewed every six months.

The National Employment Panel's Minority Ethnic Advisory Group (MEAG) advises the Department for Work and Pensions on increasing the effectiveness of the new deal for ethnic minority clients. Additionally we work with groups such as the Black Training and Enterprise Group, the Commission for Racial Equality and local Racial Equality Councils in developing tools to assist staff in engaging with ethnic minority clients.

We are investing £15 million in new outreach services for people from ethnic minorities in some of the country's most deprived urban areas. The outreach service, to be launched in April, will explore different ways jobless people from ethnic minority communities can be helped through the new deal or specialist training.

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