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Malcolm Bruce: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs if she will make a statement on progress with regard to the Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants. 
Mr. Meacher: The Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants was adopted on 22 May 2001 and has 124 signatories. To come into force 50 countries need to ratify, and the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) has set a target of 2004 at the latest. The Convention has been ratified by five countries, with work on ratification in progress in others including the UK. However, the use of all ten intentionally produced chemicals currently listed in the Convention has already been banned here.
In June UNEP will convene a sixth session of the Intergovernmental Negotiating Committee, which developed the Convention, to oversee implementation of international action during the interim period and to prepare for the first Conference of the Parties after entry into force.
Llew Smith: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs if she will place in the Library copies of the (a) United Kingdom submissions and (b) submissions by other nations relevant to United
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Kingdom policies on sustainable development, made to the preparatory meeting in New York for the World Summit on Sustainable Development. 
Mr. Meacher: At the Third Preparatory Committee for the World Summit on Sustainable Development, the UK Government worked with European Union partners in order to submit a joint EU position to the Chair. The submission addressed the Chair's document which was tabled at the end of the Second Preparatory Committee on 12 February. A copy of the document will be placed in the Library.
Malcolm Bruce: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what steps the Government plan to take (a) nationally, (b) Europe-wide and (c) internationally towards launching a mechanism to promote and develop international objectives for sustainable development in Johannesburg. 
Mr. Meacher: The Government are working with their partners nationally, in Europe and internationally towards the development of proposals for the Johannesburg Summit that focus on the practical implementation of international sustainable development objectives. In particular we want to see a specific action programme agreed on resource efficiency, freshwater and sanitation, oceans, energy supply, sustainable development in Africa and to improve international governance. The UK has five initiatives in hand on energy, freshwater, forestry, finance, and tourism. We are urgently discussing with partners, especially within the EU, whether any of these could form an input into large scale global projects.
Mr. Bercow: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs how many staff in his Department's press office have received (a) termination and (b) redundancy payments in each of the last four years. 
Sandra Gidley: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he has established a baseline for policy appraisal against which to measure progress on equal treatment; and what progress has been achieved. 
Mr. Bradshaw: No policy appraisal baseline has yet been established, other than the existing personnel-related targets for diversity. The FCO diversity strategy agreed in January 2002, a copy of which has been placed in the Library of the House, sets out the strategic requirement to consult widely on the UK domestic implications of foreign policy. Action plans are under development as a result, including the future development of an appropriate cross-cutting structure for mainstreaming equality in foreign policy development.
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his Department since June 1997, indicating in each case whether the outcome has been (a) put out to consultation and (b) published. 
Mr. Bradshaw: No gender impact assessments have yet been drawn up by the FCO. The FCO diversity strategy agreed in January 2002, a copy of which has been placed in the Library of the House, sets out the strategic requirement to consult widely on the UK domestic implications of foreign policy. Action plans are under development as a result, including developing wider ideas for extending the FCO's consultative network.
Sandra Gidley: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what new data series separated by gender, race, disability and age have been commissioned by his Department since August 1997. 
Mr. Jenkins: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs how many members of staff at his Department are justices of the peace; and if he has a strategy for his Department to encourage members of staff to become justices of the peace. 
Mr. Bradshaw: The Foreign and Commonwealth Office has no strategy to encourage members of its staff to become justices of the peace. However, in accordance with section 50 of the Employee Rights Act 1996 (ERA), Heads of Department may grant special paid leave to officers required to attend court as justices of the peace. No central records are kept of which staff have been appointed to such positions, nor of leave granted to enable them to fulfil their duties.
Llew Smith: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what consideration the United Kingdom has given, in consort with European Union partners, to establishing sanctions against Israel, until Israel implements United Nations resolutions in full. 
Mr. Bradshaw: We are not aware of any formal proposal for the EU to consider sanctions. The idea of sanctions has been discussed before but there has not been a consensus in favour. The Government's view is that we should at this stage focus on achieving a ceasefire and Israeli withdrawal from Palestinian areas.
Llew Smith: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what representations he has made to Israel in respect of the use of British-supplied military vehicles by the Israeli army in its invasion of the Palestinian territories in March and April. 
Mr. Bradshaw: I refer my hon. Friend to the answer given by my right hon. Friend the Foreign Secretary to the right hon. and learned Member for North-East Fife (Mr. Campbell) on 15 April 2002, Official Report, columns 72223W.
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Mr. Bercow: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what the cost in 200102 was of the pay increase to staff in his Department, agencies and the non-departmental public bodies for which he is responsible; and what the cost of the forthcoming increase will be in 200203. 
Mr. Bradshaw: In 200102 the figure for the Foreign and Commonwealth Office was £4.5 million. For the British Council the figure was £0.93 million. The increase for our agency, Wilton Park, was £153,000. Information on our four other, much smaller, NDPBs is currently not available. I will write to the hon. Member shortly about them.
Mr. Bradshaw: It is not clear from the question to which backlog, if any, that my hon. Friend refers. I should be grateful for clarification of this and will ensure that my hon. Friend receives an early response.
Mr. Bradshaw: It is not our practice to disclose details of individual entry clearance cases in a public forum. I will write to my hon. Friend the Member for Leicester East about this case in the next few days.
Mr. Gray: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs how many contracts his Department has with consultants; what level of professional indemnity insurance is standard in contracts with small consultants; whether he can make exceptions to the level of professional indemnity insurance; and what recent discussions he has had with other Government Departments about the level of professional indemnity insurance. 
Decisions regarding the appropriate level of professional indemnity insurance are taken on a case-by- case basis. A common indemnity insurance limit for small consultancy work is £500,000. As with previous Administrations under exemption 2 of the Code of Practice on Access to Government Information, it is not the Government's practice to provide details of discussions which form part of the process of policy development and analysis.
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