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26 Nov 2002 : Column 198W—continued

North Korea

Llew Smith: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what representations Her Majesty's Government have made (a) directly and (b) through the United Nations Security Council to the North Korean Government on its nuclear weapons. [83250]

Mr. Rammell: We have made clear to the North Korean Government our deep concern at their nuclear weapons programme, which breaches a number of international agreements. My right hon. Friend the Foreign Secretary issued statements to the press concerning North Korea's nuclear programme on 18 October and 15 November. Foreign and Commonwealth Office officials made representations to the DPRK Charge d'Affaires in London on 7 November, and the British embassy in Pyongyang made further representations to the DPRK Government on 11 November. No representations have yet been made through the UN Security Council. The International Atomic Energy Agency's Board of Governors meeting in Vienna on 28 November 2002 will discuss the North Korean nuclear programme.


Keith Vaz: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what progress has been made on securing the rights of Roma people residing in Eastern European countries; and how their rights will be affected by European Union enlargement. [83664]

Mr. MacShane: States that wish to join the EU have to sign up to the Copenhagen Criteria. Only countries that meet the criteria, ensuring the basic human rights of all their citizens, can be invited to join. The EU reports

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annually on the candidate countries' performance against the criteria and these reports are taken into account in the accession process.

The UK, other member states and the Commission have all put a high priority on Roma minority issues in their pre-Accession support for candidate states. And most countries have initiated separate national strategies for Roma.

New member states will have to implement the new EU anti-discriminatory directives on accession.

Sussex Wreck

Mr. Allan: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what discussions he has held with (a) the Junta de Andalucia, (b) the Spanish Government and (c) the Government of Gibraltar in relation to the proposed salvage operations on the wreck believed to be the 17th century warship, Sussex. [82979]

Mr. MacShane: None.


Mrs. Spelman: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what representations he has made to the European Commission regarding (a) the role of Zimbabwe in the forthcoming meeting of the ACP-EU, and (b) the presence there of Zimbabwean ministers who are on the travel ban list. [80603]

Mr. Rammell: The forthcoming meeting of the European Union-African Caribbean Pacific (EU/ACP) Joint Parliamentary Assembly is a matter for the respective Parliaments. Invitations were made by the co-Secretariat of the EU/ACP.

Those attending from ACP countries are entitled to certain privileges and immunities under the Lome and Cotonou Agreements. The EU' s Common Position 2002/145/CFSP imposing sanctions on Zimbabwe specifically allows member states to grant exemptions where travel is justified on grounds of attending meetings of international bodies.

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On 7 November Belgium alerted EU partners to the request from Christopher Kuruneri, Zimbabwe's Deputy Minister for Finance and Paul Mangwana, Minister of State for State Enterprises, for visas to attend the EU/ACP meeting. Both are on the EU travel ban list. Under the terms of the Lomé and Cotonou Agreements, Belgium had a legal obligation to grant these visas, since these agreements override Council decisions on sanctions. The Belgian Government undertook to attach maximum restrictions. The banned individuals were granted visas only for the period 19–29 November, restricted to the territory of Belgium.



Mrs. Spelman: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development how much the European Development Fund paid for Zimbabwean Government officials to attend the forthcoming meeting of the ACP-EU. [80604]

Clare Short: Following our inquiries the European Commission have made it clear that there was no cost to the European Development Fund.

Aid Underspend

Mrs. Spelman: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what volume of aid in (a) Africa, (b) Central America, (c) Caribbean, (d) South America, (e) middle east, (f) Asia and (g) European countries has been unallocated in each of the last five years; and if she will make a statement on underspend in each of these budgets. [80606]

Clare Short: DFID's entire budget has been fully allocated over the past five years. Each year our initial budget includes a modest Contingency Reserve, and in some years we have initially allocated funds for separate reserves for geographical divisions, but these reserves have always been re-allocated to specific programmes in the course of the year.

The budget and outturn figures for each of the named seven regions for the past five years are (in £000s):

1997–98 1998–99 1999–2000 2000–01 2001–02
BudgetOutturnBudgetOutturnBudgetOutturnBudget OutturnBudget Outturn
C. America3,8503,9313,6003,5544,4404,2823,8203,3134,3284,208
S. America19,95019,07219,66718,89619,31020,10619,56320,08631,64627,848
Middle east19,67513,87322,25018,56026,55032,68644,30042,56749,90053,990

These figures are on an indicative basis only, as there may be inconsistencies in data recording and there have also been changes in boundaries between divisions.

Central African Republic

John Barrett: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development if she will make a statement on efforts to distribute food aid in the northern provinces of the Central African Republic. [82662]

Clare Short: It is difficult to obtain precise information on the humanitarian situation in the Central African Republic particularly in the areas of the country under rebel control. Inter-agency missions to assess the situation further than 30km north of Bangui have not been able to take place due to security concerns. We do know that the World Food Programme (WFP) has sent 45 metric tonnes of food to Northern Bangui and that nine tonnes of this has been distributed in the area directly to the north of the capital, to those

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most seriously affected by the recent fighting. We are also aware of World Health Organisation and CAR Red Cross society reports indicating that hospitals and health centres in the country's northern provinces are short of medicines.


John Barrett: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development if she will make a statement on the humanitarian situation in the Ituri district of the Democratic Republic of Congo. [82756]

Clare Short: The humanitarian situation in Ituri remains a major cause for concern. We continue to monitor it as closely as possible.

Some of the civilians displaced by the fighting have reached areas where access is possible. DFID have contributed £500,000 to the UN OCHA Emergency Response Fund established to help deal with this kind of contingency.

We continue to work with the UN to explore options on how to strengthen the presence of MONUC in Bunia. We have also supported UN and EU statements condemning all the violence but especially the ethnic violence in Ituri.


John Barrett: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development if she will make a statement on her Department's policy on bilateral aid to Eritrea following the agreement between the Government of Eritrea and the European Commission on 15 November. [82759]

Clare Short: We do not have a significant bilateral programme in Eritrea but make our major contribution through the EC. We have, however, provided support for humanitarian efforts, the peace process and small projects administered by the recently opened British Embassy in Eritrea. We also fund nearly 20 per cent. of EC assistance. Early next year we will investigate with the Government of Eritrea the scope for support to their Poverty Reduction Strategy process.

John Barrett: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what steps are being taken to improve the transport infrastructure in Eritrea. [82760]

Clare Short: We are not providing any direct support to improve the transport infrastructure in Eritrea. The European Commission agreed a Country Strategy Paper with the Government of Eritrea on 15 November. This provides for support to the transport sector, including support for roads under the short-term rehabilitation programme and preparation of the transport sector study. Previous EC assistance included the rehabilitation of the Massawa-Asmara road. In addition the World bank is providing support under its emergency reconstruction project for transportation, including roads. With the Italian Government, they are also supporting a ports rehabilitation project.

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