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Sierra Leone

John Barrett: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what assessment he has made of the potential for the continued fighting in Liberia to threaten the stability of Sierra Leone. [70878]

Mr. MacShane: UNAMSIL and the Government of Sierra Leone have taken measures to minimise the impact of the conflict in Liberia on the emerging peace in Sierra Leone. The UK supports regional and international efforts to bring the conflict in Liberia to an end to halt the worsening humanitarian situation in the sub-region. A considerable number of innocent civilians have been displaced in Liberia, and others have sought refuge in Sierra Leone. We continue to monitor the situation closely.

Macedonia

Mr. Randall: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, pursuant to the answer of 10 July, Official Report, column 1017W, what conditions in Macedonia have to be met. [71131]

Mr. MacShane: With regard to the UK ratification of the SAA, we have made it clear to the Macedonian Government that we expect to see the continuing implementation of the August 13 agreement, including free and democratic parliamentary elections, rights for all ethnic groups and rule of law.

Nepal

Dr. Tonge: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs whether military assistance to be provided to Nepal by the UK will include training and capacity building initiatives for its security forces. [71353]

Mr. Mike O'Brien: The Nepali government has our full support, and we are committed to providing continuity development, political and miliary assistance to help them overcome this crisis.

We intend to implement a number of training programmes designed specifically for the Nepalese security forces. The Nepalese police will receive assistance to help them modernise and enhance their professionalism. We intend to do this through UK and local technical assistance and aim to help local communities by increasing their access to open and accountable policing.

We will also provide training for the Royal Nepalese Army in peace support operations and human rights awareness programmes. This should increase the protection of human rights by way of improved awareness of humanitarian laws and the better reporting of human rights violations.

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Catherine Meyer Case

Keith Vaz: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what recent discussions he has had with the Lord Chancellor concerning the Catherine Meyer case. [71591]

Mr. Mike O'Brien: The Lord Chancellor's Department is the lead Department on Hague Convention cases. In 1995 Lady Meyer ceased to pursue court proceeding under the Hague Convention for the return of her children. At that point the Lord Chancellor's Department ceased to be involved in her case. However, the Foreign and Commonwealth Office and the Lord Chancellor's Department have offered a joint meeting to my hon. Friend the Member for Leicester, East (Keith Vaz) to discuss Lady Meyer's case and the operation of the Hague Convention.

Entry Clearance

Keith Vaz: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will meet hon. Members to discuss entry clearance issues relating to his travel advice before 24 July. [71590]

Mr. Mike O'Brien: I shall be meeting hon. Members on Wednesday 24 July from 3.30 pm to 4.30 pm in Committee Room 18.

Iraq

Mrs. Mahon: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs whether sanctions on Iraq cover fibre optic cables. [71751]

Mr. MacShane: Yes. The Goods Review List (GRL) introduced by UN Security Council resolution 1409 (2002) lists all dual-use and military goods whose export to Iraq under the UN Oil for Food programme is subject to review by the UN Sanctions Committee. The list, which is publicly accessible on the UN website at www.un.org/Departments/oip/index.html, includes fibre optic cables. All other exports under the Oil for Food programme not included on the GRL are approved automatically by the UN Secretariat.

Information Campaigns

Dr. Cable: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs how much his Department spent on information literature, advertising and campaign material in financial year 2001–02; if he will list the campaigns that spent over £250,000; and if he will make a statement. [70206]

Mr. MacShane [holding answer 22 July 2002]: In financial year 2001–02 the Foreign and Commonwealth Office spent £1,448,314 on information literature and £6,434 on advertising. The figure for information literature includes expenditure on consular publicity campaigns, such as "Know Before You Go", which is run jointly with the travel industry to help ensure that travellers are well prepared for conditions abroad. Expenditure on advertising for recruitment is excluded, as identifying this expenditure would entail disproportionate effort and cost.

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British Council (Indemnity Undertakings)

Mr. Jenkins: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs how many indemnity undertakings were given by his Department in respect of loss or damage to works of art loaned to the British Council for exhibition overseas for the 12-month period ended March 2002; and what the value was of contingent liabilities in respect of such undertakings which remained outstanding at that date. [72877]

Mr. MacShane: The British Council, although not a Government Department, receives a substantial grant-in-aid from the Foreign and Commonwealth Office. The Council regularly organises or sponsors exhibitions overseas of works of art loaned from national galleries and private collections in the United Kingdom. It provides certain assurances or guarantees in respect of loss or damage while these works are on loan.

In the 12-month period ended 31 March 2002 the British Council provided such assurances to four national lenders and undertakings to 193 private lenders. The value of the contingent liabilities that remained outstanding as at 31 March 2002 in respect of private lenders was £4,358,822. No contingent liabilities remained outstanding at this date in respect of national lenders.

Sino-British Declaration

Mr. Jenkins: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs when he will publish the next report to Parliament on Hong Kong and the Sino-British Joint Declaration. [72878]

Mr. MacShane: The eleventh report in this series, covering the period January-June 2002, was published today and copies have been placed in the Libraries of the House. A copy of the report is also available on the Foreign and Commonwealth Office website, www.fco.gov.uk. The report includes a foreword by my right hon. Friend the Foreign Secretary. I commend the report to the House.

Westminster Foundation for Democracy

Mr. Jenkins: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs when the annual report of the Westminster Foundation for Democracy will be available. [72879]

Peter Hain: I have arranged for copies of the Westminster Foundation for Democracy's annual report to be placed in the Libraries of both Houses.

The Foundation has continued its crucial work in building and developing democracy overseas during the last 12 months. The Foundation received a grant-in-aid of £4.156 million from the Foreign and Commonwealth Office and further £390,056 of funds earmarked for specific purposes. In addition it received funds from the European Union, the United Nations Development Programme and the Department for International Development.

Most of the Foundation's activities were in its priority areas of central and eastern Europe, the former Soviet Union and Anglophone Africa. The Foundation initiated an important technical assistance programme in Sierra Leone, promoting the development of political parties in the principles of peaceful and responsible conduct

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in political life. The significant contribution that the Foundation has made to the development of democracy in the Balkans was strongly endorsed by an independent evaluation of its Bosnia programme.

Cayman Islands (Human Rights)

Mr. Chidgey: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what assessment he has made of the compatibility of legislation passed in the Cayman Islands with the UK Human Rights Act 1998 and with the European convention on human rights 1972; and what decisions he has made as to whether such legislation is ultra vires with Orders in Council made by the Secretary of State under UK Acts of Parliament. [72161]

Mr. Mike O'Brien: Cayman Islands' legislation is scrutinised by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office to ensure its constitutionality and its compatibility with the Islands' obligations arising under the European convention on human rights and other international agreements. The UK Human Rights Act 1998 does not extend to the Cayman Islands and is therefore not directly considered.

No Cayman Islands' legislation has been disallowed in recent years because it was found to be ultra vires with an Order in Council made under a UK Act of Parliament.

Mr. Chidgey: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what independent reviews of human rights issues obtained in the Cayman Islands have been commissioned by his Department; and if he will place a copy of the reports on such reviews in the Library. [72160]

Mr. Mike O'Brien: An independent review of human rights in the Cayman Islands has been commissioned and is being undertaken by a UK consultancy. Once the report is available and has been released in the Caymans, a copy will be placed in the Library.


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