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Mrs. Spelman: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what actions she is taking to promote democracy in Burma following the release of Aung San Suu Kyi. [55889]

Clare Short: The UK has played a leading role in pressing for change in Burma. My Department continues to work closely with the FCO in support of efforts to bring about national reconciliation and facilitate political progress. The apparent unconditional release of Aung San Suu Kyi from house arrest is a welcome step forward but much more remains to be achieved. We will continue to do everything in our power to facilitate and support national reconciliation, human rights, the restoration of democracy, and thereby the conditions for eventual re-engagement with the international community.

Palestinian Refugee Camps

Angus Robertson: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development (1) what Palestinian refugee camps in (a) Lebanon and (b) Syria are (i) run directly by her Department, (ii) run by organisations with DFID involvement and (iii) run by UK non-governmental organisations; and if she will make a statement; [55998]

Clare Short: The UK Government do not run or fund Palestinian refugee camps. This is the responsibility of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestinian refugees (UNRWA), the local authorities, and the camp communities. We provide voluntary contributions to UNRWA, the camps' main services provider, and have funded UK NGOs engaged in camp community development projects.

Departmental Staff (Scotland)

Annabelle Ewing: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development how many and what percentage of (a) civil service, (b) executive agencies and

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(c) non-departmental public body jobs under the remit of her Department are located in Scotland; and how many of each have been relocated to Scotland since May 1997. [56313]

Clare Short: DFID civil service staff are located in London, East Kilbride and, increasingly, overseas. The number of posts currently located in Scotland is 530, which represents just over 33 per cent. of the total.

We do not hold detailed records of civil service jobs relocated to Scotland between 1997 and 2002 but the information we do hold indicates that staff numbers in East Kilbride increased by around 70 in that period.

No posts within the three non-departmental public bodies under the remit of the Department have been relocated to Scotland.

Millennium Development Goals

Tony Worthington: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what action she plans to take at the Development Council Meeting at the end of May to promote the pursuit of the millennium development goals for education. [56163]

Clare Short: On 30 May EU Development Ministers are expected to approve a Council resolution on education and training in the context of poverty reduction in developing countries. This recognises that education, especially of girls and women, is central for poverty reduction and sustainable development, and the community and member states undertake to adjust their policies and allocation of resources to reflect this.

Reiterating the Council's strong commitment to the education millennium development goals and to the Dakar framework for action on education for all (EFA), the resolution indicates that universal and free primary education should be the first priority of the community and member states' development cooperation strategy for education. The main responsibility for meeting these goals lies with developing country Governments. But the Commission and member states will strongly support their efforts, undertaking to increase the volume and improve the delivery of assistance for primary education and to cooperate more effectively with other international organisations, like UNESCO and the World bank.

The UK has been actively involved in the drafting of this resolution and will strongly support, and closely monitor, its implementation.



Kate Hoey: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department when he will indicate the whereabouts of the Home Office file on a constituent of the hon. Member for Vauxhall (Home Office reference: E105598); and when that constituent's case will be resolved. [46653]

Angela Eagle: The original papers relating to this file have been mislaid and despite a number of searches have not yet been found. Searches for the file are continuing.

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In view of this, further information has been requested separately and, once received, the case will be considered as a priority.

Mr. Damian Green: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department when he will answer the letters from the hon. Member for Ashford of 16 January and 21 March, concerning the site of the former Aldington prisons. [55088]

Angela Eagle: A reply to the hon. Member was dispatched on 7 May 2002.


Vernon Coaker: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether he plans to review legislation governing police powers and procedures. [56902]

Mr. Blunkett: I am initiating a review of the provisions of the Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984 (PACE) and the Codes of Practice issued under it. The review will be carried out jointly by the Home Office and the Cabinet Office. PACE and its Codes are vital parts of the framework providing the police with the powers they need to combat crime. I am determined, however, that this should be taken as an opportunity to reduce the administrative burdens on the police, not allow them to be tied in procedural knots which prevent them bringing criminals to justice. I want to ensure that after nearly 20 years PACE is still a useful tool supporting the police and, if changes are needed, I will have no hesitation in making them.


Mr. Gordon Prentice: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what change to international conventions and treaties on refugees it is his policy to promote; and if he will make a statement. [28041]

Angela Eagle: In June 2000, my right hon. Friend Jack Straw, the then Home Secretary, called for the international community to examine how better the 1951 Geneva Convention could be operated to deal more effectively with issues caused by large mixed flows of migrants. Later that year, the United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) launched a series of global consultations on the legal framework, operation and gaps in the 1951 convention. The consultations will conclude this year. I reaffirmed, on 12 December 2001, the United Kingdom Government's commitment to the 1951 Geneva Convention and its 1967 Protocol at a commemorative meeting to celebrate the 50th anniversary of its signing.

At European Union (EU) level the Treaty of Amsterdam requires that a community instrument must replace the Dublin Convention by May 2004. The commission has presented a draft proposal for a Council regulation establishing the criteria and mechanisms for determining the member state responsible for examination of asylum applications made within the EU. The Government's view of this draft regulation can be found in the Home Office Explanatory Memorandum dated 23 October, deposited in the Library.

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Mobile Telephones

Mr. Bercow: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will list, for 1997–98 and for each subsequent financial year, the amount spent (a) in the United Kingdom and (b) abroad by (i) his Department, (ii) its agencies and (iii) its non-departmental public bodies on (1) providing mobile telephone equipment, including handsets and other associated equipment, (2) for telephone calls made using such equipment and (3) telephone calls made using privately owned mobile telephones but subsequently reclaimed by (x) ministers and (y) staff. [34316]

Angela Eagle: I refer the hon. Member to the reply I gave him on 7 May 2002, Official Report, column 126W.

National Insurance Costs

Mr. Andrew Turner: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what his estimate is of the cost in the next 12 months of the budget changes to employers' national insurance contributions to (a) his Department, (b) agencies of his Department, (c) local government carrying out functions within the responsibility of his Department, (d) the Police and (e) the Prison Service. [52076]

Angela Eagle: I refer the hon. Member to the answer given the Chief Secretary to the Treasury, by my right hon. Friend the Chief Secretary to the Treasury (Andrew Smith), on 29 April 2002, Official Report, column 544W.

It is estimated that the changes to employers' national insurance contributions announced in the Budget will increase pay costs on average by 0.7 per cent. next year.

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