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16 Dec 2002 : Column 552W—continued

Hawk Jets

Norman Lamb: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what recent reports he has received from the UN, regarding the supply of Hawk jet spare parts to the Democratic Republic of Congo; and what conclusions have been reached as a result. [87238]

Mr. Rammell: We have seen no reports from the UN on this matter. We are still in discussion with the UN about the allegations in the UN panel report on exploitation of resources in the DRC. The Security Council is considering the extension of the panel's mandate to allow discussion to continue.

Mr. John Bredenkamp

Norman Lamb: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs pursuant to the answers of 18 November, Official Report, columns 9–10W, where the two meetings between Mr. John Bredenkamp and British High Commission officials in Zimbabwe took place; when the meetings took place; who was present at each of these meetings; who spoke to Mr. Bredenkamp in each of his two telephone calls; and what items were addressed in (a) the two meetings and (b) the two telephone conservations between Mr. Bredenkamp and officials. [82515]

Mr. Rammell [holding answer 25 November 2002]: The two meetings between British High Commission officials and Mr John Bredenkamp took place in the High Commission in Harare. The meetings were held on 14 November 2001 and 11 March 2002 respectively, and both at Mr Bredenkamp's request. The discussions were held in confidence, and covered a range of issues. During them, British officials neither encouraged, nor expressed support for, Mr Bredenkamp's business activities.

I am withholding details of who was present at these meetings, and further details of what was discussed, including in the telephone conversations, under exemption 1b of the Code of Practice on Access to Government Information (Information which would harm the conduct of international relations or affairs) and exemption 14b (information the disclosure of which without the consent of the supplier would prejudice the future supply of such information).

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Oil Revenues

Mrs. Spelman: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what the total volume is of unspent oil revenues in the escrow account of the UN oil-for-food programme. [87077]

Mr. Mike O'Brien: As of 11 December US$3.3 billion of 'Oil For Food' revenue remained unallocated by Iraq in the UN escrow account.

Mrs. Spelman: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what proportion of the oil revenues allocated for (a) Iraq and (b) Iraqi Kurdistan are allocated to (i) the UN Compensation Fund and (ii) UN administrative expenses. [87079]

Mr. Mike O'Brien: Revenues from the sale of Iraqi oil under the Oil For Food (OFF) programme are deposited in a UN escrow account. 59% of this revenue is allocated to the UN humanitarian programme in Baghdad-controlled Iraq, and 13% to the programme in northern Iraq. The UN Compensation Fund receives 25% to meet claims arising from Iraq's invasion of Kuwait, and 3% is allocated to the UN administration of the OFF programme.

Mrs. Spelman: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what actions the Government is taking to enable the unspent oil revenues allocated for Iraqi Kurdistan in the escrow account of the UN oil-for food programme to be disbursed; and when she last discussed the volume of unspent oil revenues in the UN oil-for food escrow account allocated with representatives of the Office for Iraq Programme. [87080]

Mr. Mike O'Brien: Officials continue to press the Office of the Iraq Programme (OIP) to ensure that the revenues in the UN escrow account allocated to the UN humanitarian programme in northern Iraq are used in full. They also discuss these issues regularly with Kurdish representatives.

September 11 Terrorist Attacks (Mr. Sheikh)

Mr. Oaten: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he has received a response from the Pakistan Government for his request for information on the detention of Mr. Sheikh; and if it provides evidence of a link between Mr. Sheikh and the September 11 attacks. [86585]

Mr. Mike O'Brien [holding answer 9 December 2002]: Since our request for information, we have discussed the case with the Pakistani authorities, made clear our opposition to the death penalty and requested access to Omar Sheikh and confirmation of his nationality status. We understand that Omar Sheikh is currently appealing against his conviction for his involvement in the abduction and murder of Daniel Pearl, for which he has been sentenced to death. As the legal process is ongoing, it would be inappropriate to comment on possible linkages to other terrorist crimes.


Mr. Ancram: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs on what grounds a visa was issued to Mr. C. Pasipamire of Zimbabwe; whether

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Mr. Pasipamire is subject to EU sanctions; and if he will make a statement on Mr. Pasipamire's presence in the United Kingdom. [87098]

Mr. Straw: The British High Commission in Harare issued a visitor's visa to Mr C. Pasipamire. His application was assessed in accordance with the UK Immigration Rules. He satisfied the relevant criteria and he is not subject to EU sanctions. His stay in the UK will be governed by the terms of his visa.



Mrs. Spelman: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what assessment she has made of plans to create a national army in Afghanistan. [87070]

Clare Short: President Karzai issued a decree on 1 December 2002, setting out a plan for establishing a national army. A copy is being placed in the Libraries. We welcome the announcement as an integral part of the wider reform and reconstruction process. A professional multi ethnic military force and defence institutions accountable to appropriate civilian control and oversight will be developed, with the support of the US as lead nation, for the coordination of assistance to the Afghan national army. Detailed implementation plans will now be prepared, with support from UNAMA and donor countries. The UK has already pledged to contribute #10 million from the Global Conflict Prevention Pool to the interim payment of army salaries for the newly trained force, provided the Afghan Government fulfils certain transparency and accountability criteria that the UK has set as a precondition for these payments.

Mrs. Spelman: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what discussions she has had with the Government of Afghanistan on recent fighting between warlords. [87071]

Clare Short: There continues to be low level inter-factional fighting in Afghanistan. This underlines the need to provide assistance to the Afghan Administration in the building of appropriate defence and security forces that are able to improve security for the Afghan people and maintain Afghanistan's territorial integrity. The recent presidential decree on the Armed Forces and disarmament demobilisation and reintegration programme should initiate that process and facilitate the extension of the central government's authority to the regions.

Agriculture (Developing Countries)

Mrs. Spelman: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development if she will make a statement on her Department's policy on supporting agriculture in developing countries. [87089]

Clare Short: My Department recently published an Issues paper on agriculture: XBetter Livelihoods for Poor People: The role of Agriculture", which sets out the Department's policy on supporting agriculture in developing countries. I launched this paper at a side event to the recent World Summit on Sustainable

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Development (WSSD) in Johannesburg. I have arranged for copies of the paper to be placed in the House of Commons Library. The paper is also available on the Department's website: under Publications, Environment, Natural Resources and Land Tenure.


Mrs. Spelman: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development when the transparency initiative on cooperation on anti-corruption in developing countries announced at the WSSD was introduced; which countries have signed up to the initiative; which companies are formal partners to the initiative; and if she will make a statement on the results of the initiative. [87064]

Clare Short: The Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative was announced by the Prime Minister at the World Summit on Sustainable Development in Johannesburg in September 2002.

At that time, Norway, Italy, Indonesia and the Central African Republic committed to developing a framework to promote transparency. Now, the G8, plus Australia, Netherlands, Belgium, South Africa, Algeria, Equatorial Guinea, Senegal and Botswana are interested and keen to engage on the substance of the initiative. We are following up with key producer countries, such as Angola, Sudan, Kazakhstan, Azerbaijan, Brazil and Venezuela. Discussions are taking place with NEPAD leaders.

Extractive companies backing the initiative in Johannesburg include: BP, Shell, Rio Tinto, BMP Billiton and Anglo-American, with others (TotalFinaElf, Talisman and Statoil) expressing interest in getting involved.

Momentum is growing behind the initiative. We are building awareness of the issues and exploring options for achieving transparency. The UK will host an international conference (involving Ministers, senior officials, industry and NGO leaders) to take the initiative forward in the run up to the G8 summit, in April 2003, at which more stakeholders will formally become partners in the initiative.

Mrs. Spelman: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development when her Department intends to host the international meeting involving all existing and prospective partners to the transparency initiative on anti-corruption in developing countries; where this meeting will take place; and at what cost. [87065]

Clare Short: The international conference (involving ministers, senior officials, international institutions, industry and NGO leaders) to build international consensus for action and, we hope, agree on a preferred mechanism to achieve transparency of payments and revenues in the extractive sector will take place in late April 2003. The conference will be hosted in London; details of the date and location will be available early in the New Year.

This will be preceded by an international multi-stakeholder workshop on 11 and 12 February 2003 to explore the best mechanisms for achieving transparency of payments and to help build the international

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coalition. This meeting will take place in London, at the Thistle Victoria Hotel. Invitations to this meeting will be issued before the start of the New Year.

The budget for the international workshop is #40,000, covering the venue, facilitation, catering and travel costs for participants from developing countries.

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