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11. Mr. Martyn Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development if she will make a statement on the UK's contribution to the three preparation committee for the world summit on sustainable development. 
Clare Short: The Government's strategic objective for the World Summit is "to make globalisation work for sustainable development, especially for the poorest". We see the Summit as part of a broader process that includes the Millennium Declaration, the WTO Doha Development Agenda and the agreement reached at the Financing for Development Conference in Monterrey. Priority areas for action at Johannesburg include fresh water, sanitation and energy.
Officials from DEFRA, the Cabinet Office, DTI, FCO, the Scottish Executive and my Department attended the 3rd Prep Com in New York from 25 March to 5 April. The UK worked closely within the EU and in discussion with other countries in pursuit of our objectives. We will continue to do so in the run up to the Ministerial PrepCom in Indonesia from 27 May to 7 June.
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central principle is that it is Africa's responsibility to advance African development. NEPAD has identified as initial priorities the areas of peace and security and political and economic governance, which include an African peer review mechanism. I am placing in the Library of the House a recent speech outlining my views on priorities for NEPAD.
Bilateral aid to sub-Saharan Africa stands at over £630 million a year and is increasingly provided in the form of assistance to reforming Governmentsto enable them to implement nationally-owned poverty reduction strategies. Bilateral aid to Africa has almost doubled since 1997 and is set to rise further.
The UK has been at the forefront of efforts to set up a system for providing debt relief to countries with unsustainable debt levels. So far 19 countries in sub-Saharan Africa have reached decision point on the Heavily Indebted Poor Countries (HIPC) initiative, and are receiving interim debt relief and three have completed the HIIPC process and are receiving full debt relief; we are working with African countries and with the international community to tackle conflict in the continent, including seeking resolution of existing conflicts as well as finding ways to prevent future disputes; working with the international community and partner countries to tackle key development challenges, including fighting HIV/AIDS, investing in health and education, investing in rural economies and infrastructure, promoting private investment and sustainable development, improved information and communications technology, and improving governance and service delivery; promoting changes in policies of wealthy countries which impact on Africa's development, such as trade and market access, agricultural subsidies, arms proliferation, corruption and bribery by international companies; working with African leaders and institutions to promote closer partnerships between Africa and the rest of the world, and supporting African owned development strategies, including the New Partnership for Africa's Development; and providing funds to, and working with, multilateral bodies such as the World bank, International Monetary Fund, the European Commission, the African Development bank, United Nations agencies, and others.
25. Dr. Julian Lewis: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development if she will make a statement on the future of the new partnership for African development following the election results in Zimbabwe. 
Clare Short: The situation in Zimbabwe highlights the need for African nations to improve standards of economic and political governance in the struggle to eliminate poverty. The proposed African peer review system has an important role to play. These proposals are being developed under the New Partnership for Africa's Development. It is clear that the Zimbabwe elections did not meet the standards already laid down by the Southern Africa Development Community.
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Clare Short: The New Partnership for Africa's Development (NEPAD) is one of the most important initiatives that has come from Africa in recent years. It represents a consensus among African countries that Africa should take responsibility for African development. NEPAD countries have identified economic and political governance and peace and security as their initial priorities.
Clare Short: Nigeria has a history of poor governance and very high levels of corruption which is the major cause of very high levels of poverty in this oil rich country. Nigeria transferred from military to civilian rule in 1999 amidst considerable optimism for reform. Improvements in the performance of Government and impact on corruption have been slow.
Freedom of speech has generally been observed but on corruption the Government have not done enough. The introduction of anti-corruption legislation and an anti- corruption commission are important but not sufficient. Strong implementation is needed.
My Department has expanded its involvement in Nigeria significantly since 1999. We are focused on improved governance at federal, state and local level but Nigeria is a difficult place to work and progress is slow.
18. Mr. Win Griffiths: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development if she will make a statement on the actions of her Department to help strengthen democracy and economic recovery in Sierra Leone. 
Clare Short: Much of our work in Sierra Leone aims to strengthen democracy and promote economic recovery. We are providing technical assistance to the National Election Commission to help ensure that May's Presidential elections are free and fair. We are providing long-term support for wide-ranging public sector reforms, working with the police, the Ministry of Defence, the judiciary and the Anti-Corruption Commission to promote democratic values, including greater transparency, accountability and the rule of law. A copy of my speech in Sierra Leone in February outlining our priorities for action will be placed in the Library of the House.
Economic recovery is one of the two main planks of the Sierra Leone Government's interim poverty reduction strategy. We are providing technical support to develop this into a full strategy, guiding Government policy and expenditure over the next few years to promote growth and poverty reduction. And we have been successful in pressing for early relief on Sierra Leone's unsustainable international debt under the Heavily Indebted Poor Countries initiative, a key step towards attracting renewed foreign investment.
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Clare Short: Our priority in Mozambique is to support the development, implementation and monitoring of the Government of Mozambique's own Action Plan for the Reduction of Absolute Poverty, known as the PARPA. Many of the central themes of the New Partnership for African Development, including the need for local ownership of development processes and for sound policies, better governance and accountability to citizens, are strongly reflected in the PARPA.
The New Partnership for African Development also calls for donors to re-examine their ways of working and, in particular, to focus their resources on agreed priorities and to ensure that funds are increasingly channelled through Government's own systems. In Mozambique, DFID and other key donors have established a common mechanism for disbursing aid funds via the Government's central budget, supported by measures to improve capacity. This is vital to improve accountability and the effectiveness of aid, by ensuring that funds are allocated via the budget to the priority areas set out in the PARPA, and we are committed to increasing the proportion of our Mozambique programme which is channelled in this way.
Clare Short: Sudan needs peace above all else. The UK is playing an increased part in the international effort to bring about peace. We have appointed a UK Special Representative for Sudan who will head a Unit made up of DFID and FCO staff. Their task will be to co-ordinate the UK contribution to the international efforts for peace in as many ways as possible.
In the meantime we continue to address urgent humanitarian needs arising from conflict and drought, and we have provided over £40 million of humanitarian assistance to Sudan through NGOs and UN relief agencies since 1997. A more substantial UK development programme depends on an end to the war.
Clare Short: Since my visit to Sudan in January my Department, in consultation with the FCO, has endeavoured to raise the profile of the peace process in Sudan within the international community, and identify areas where the UK can play a key role in promoting peace.
We are making some progress and our influence is growing, particularly through the recent appointment of a Special UK Representative for Sudan, Alan Goulty. He will be supported by a joint FCO/DFlD-staffed unit responsible for co-ordinating and participating in dialogue between both sides in the Sudanese conflict. The new unit
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will also ensure continuing links with other important international partners who share our wish for lasting peace in Sudan.
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