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Mr. Cox: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department when the United Kingdom will ratify the European Convention on the exercise of children's rights. 
Ms Rosie Winterton: I have been asked to reply.
Of the 43 member states of the Council of Europe only Cyprus, Greece, Latvia, Poland and Slovenia have ratified the Convention on the Exercise of Children's Rights. A new Council of Europe Convention on Contact with Children is expected to be adopted shortly. Both of these conventions include provisions for children who may wish to be heard or represented as a party to the proceedings so the Government intend to look at both of them together.
Ms Walley: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many assaults there have been on (a) crew and (b) passengers while travelling on public services in Staffordshire in the last 12 months. 
Ms Keeble: I have been asked to reply.
In returns to the Department, bus operators in Staffordshire reported 12 assaults on bus crew in the year 2000; data are not yet available for 2001. Information concerning assaults on bus passengers in Staffordshire is not available. The British Transport police have advised
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that in the last 12 months five assaults on staff and seven on passengers were reported on the railways in Staffordshire.
Adam Price: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if the Government plans to introduce licensing for dog ownership. 
Mr. Meacher: I have been asked to reply.
The Government do not plan to introduce licensing for dog ownershipthe previous dog licensing system ceased in 1988 because it cost more to administer than the revenue it produced. DEFRA promotes responsible dog ownership through byelaws, education and publicity.
Matthew Taylor: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will list the dates of meetings that (a) special advisers and (b) Ministers in his Department have had since 1 January 1999 with representatives of Global Crossing; and if he will make a statement. 
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Mr. MacShane: No Ministers of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, or their special advisers, have had meetings with representatives of Global Crossing since 1 January 1999.
Mr. Sayeed: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs which consultant was used to advise on the installation of air conditioning during the recent refurbishment of GCHQ. 
Mr. Straw: The most recent refurbishment work at a GCHQ premises, involving the provision of air- conditioning, engaged the services of W. S. Atkins as consultant.
Mr. Sayeed: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs whether an installer capable of installing not-in-kind air conditioning was invited to quote for the recent refurbishment contract for GCHQ; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Straw: In line with Government policy, contracts for GCHQ are let on the basis of a main contractor providing goods and services via sub-contractors, (including in this case the provision of air conditioning). It is for those specialists to determine solutions which may, or may not, be on a like for like basis.
Mr. Sayeed: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what measures were taken to ensure that the consultant advising on the installation of air conditioning during the recent refurbishment of GCHQ was aware of the Government's policy on the use of hydrofluorocarbon refrigerants in air conditioning; and if he will make a statement on the measures taken by the consultant to source practical and safe alternatives to hydrofluorocarbon-based air conditioning. 
Mr. Straw: GCHQ ensured that the consultant complied fully with Government policy on refrigerants, which supports the phase-out timetable for ozone- depleting agentsincluding hydrochlorofluorocarbon (HCFC) and chlorofluorocarbon (CFC)as agreed in the Montreal Protocol of 1987, and the subsequent revisions laid down by European Commission Regulation 59491. The refrigerant chosen for the air conditioning plant used in the refurbishment was R407C (which is HFC-based and is therefore not ozone-depleting) and all other materials were CFC-free. This is acceptable under the relevant legislation.
Mr. Bercow: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs how many staff have been employed by his Department in each of the last 10 years. 
Mr. Bradshaw: I refer the hon. Member to the answer given to him by my hon. Friend the Parliamentary Secretary, Cabinet Office on 19 March 2002, Official Report, column 296W.
Llew Smith: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs which countries have weapons of mass destruction. 
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Mr. Bradshaw: Under the terms of the nuclear non-proliferation treaty, the United Kingdom, the United States, France, China and Russia are legally entitled to possess nuclear weapons.
Additionally, India and Pakistan have tested nuclear devices. We continue to encourage Israel to resolve international concerns about its nuclear status by acceding to the nuclear non-proliferation treaty as a non-nuclear weapons state. We also know that Iraq possesses significant biological and chemical weapons capabilities and, were UN sanctions to be lifted, we believe it could develop a nuclear weapon within five years.
There are four States Parties to the Chemical Weapons Convention (The US, Russia, India and another State Party) that have declared possession of chemical weapons. They are currently in the process of destroying them in accordance with their obligations under the convention.
We are also aware of, and very concerned by, persistent reports that Iran, The Democratic People's Republic of Korea, Libya and Syria are pursuing programmes to develop WMD and the means for their delivery.
Richard Burden: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what representations he has made to the Government of Israel concerning the implementation of United Nations Security Council Resolution 1322 with respect to adhering to the Fourth Geneva Convention. 
Mr. Bradshaw: The UK along with our EU partners reaffirmed the applicability of the Fourth Geneva Convention to the Occupied Territories, including East Jerusalem at the reconvened conference of High Contracting Parties to the Fourth Geneva Convention in Geneva on 5 December 2001, and, in both the Conference Declaration and in the EU statement, condemned the indiscriminate and disproportionate use of force to contain violence, in line with UN Security Council Resolution 1322.
Richard Burden: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what investigations he has made into Israeli forces' detention, since 12 March, of the British citizen Patricia Rantisi and their occupation of her Ramallah apartment; and what representations he is making to the Government of Israel on the subject. 
Mr. Bradshaw: Our embassy in Tel Aviv have raised concerns with the Israeli Defence Force (IDF) about the plight of all British nationals in the occupied territories. Consular officials in Jerusalem kept in regular contact with British nationals trapped in Ramallah between 12 and 15 March, including speaking by telephone to Mrs. Rantisi.
On 14 March, the Permanent Under Secretary of State at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office delivered a demarche in the name of my right hon. Friend the Foreign Secretary to the Israeli ambassador to London calling for IDF co-operation over the plight of British nationals in Ramallah. The embassy in Tel Aviv has also raised Mrs. Rantisi's plight with the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
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Dr. Cable: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will list the 30 largest contracts awarded by his Department from (a) May 1997 to April 1998, (b) May 1998 to April 1999, (c) May 1999 to April 2000, (d) May 2000 to April 2001 and (e) May 2001 to the latest date for which figures are available, stating in each case the values of the contracts and the companies with which the contracts were placed. 
Mr. MacShane: I refer the hon. Member to the answer given to the hon. Member for North Tayside (Mr. Peter Wishart) on 20 March 2002, Official Report, column 38586W.
Mr. Davidson: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what proportion (a) in the last year for which figures are available, (b) five years ago and (c) 10 years ago of senior civil servants in his Department attended (i) independent and (ii) state schools; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Bradshaw: The information requested cannot be provided except at disproportionate cost. The Foreign and Commonwealth Office's manpower system does hold data on education details but information on the schools and type of school that staff attended is incomplete. In its recruitment policy, the Foreign and Commonwealth Office aims to reflect the diversity of British society.
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