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14 Jan 2003 : Column 554Wcontinued
Mr. Cox: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what his policy is on the resolution passed in November 2002 by the European Parliament on the present situation in Bangladesh; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Mike O'Brien: The European Parliament's resolution raised a number of important issues on the situation in Bangladesh, which we ourselves have raised with the Bangladeshi authorities. The Bangladesh government has argued that the resolution does not give a fully representational view of the situation in Bangladesh. We continue to work closely with our European partners in raising human rights and other concerns with the Bangladesh authorities.
Mr. Cox: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs (1) what discussions he has had with the Bangladeshi government on the reported deaths that have taken place in police custody in recent months in that country; 
(3) what discussions he has had with the Bangladeshi government on their policy known as Operation Clean Heart; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Mike O'Brien: While the countermeasures being taken under XOperation Clean Heart" may have had some impact in combating the law and order problem in Bangladesh, we are concerned by reports of mistreatment of detainees, including deaths in custody. During her visit to Bangladesh in December, my hon. Friend the Parliamentary Under Secretary of State at the Department for International Development (Sally Keeble), raised our concerns with the Bangladesh Home Minister. Our High Commission also regularly discusses human rights with the Bangladesh government. We look for the due process of law to be followed in all cases, and for the action of security forces and for the treatment of detainees to comply with internationally agreed minimum standards.
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Mr. Cox: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what recent discussions he has had with the Bangladeshi Government on (a) the development of democracy and human rights, (b) the setting up of Parliamentary committees, and (c) the protection of minorities in that country. 
Mr. Mike O'Brien: Our High Commission in Dhaka regularly raises with the Bangladesh authorities the need for Parliamentary reform and advocates the benefits of Parliamentary committees. We welcome the contact between our two parliaments, including last year's visits to London by Bangladeshi parliamentarians and to Bangladesh by members of the UK Branch of the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association. We continue to urge the Bangladesh government and opposition parties to work together in the interests of democracy. We also continue to encourage respect for human rights, including for the rights of minorities.
John Barrett: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what assessment he has made of the fairness of the presidential elections held in Equatorial Guinea on 15 December. 
Mr. Rammell: We are concerned at reports of election irregularities. These concerns were reflected in the EU's Declaration of 18 December which focused on the lack of opposition representation, the fact that opposition leaders are either in prison or in exile, and that the recommendations on human rights observance and governance of the UN Special Representatives had not been followed through. The EU statement also urged the government of Equatorial Guinea to extend a political amnesty for the opposition, and, with the opposition, to hold an all-inclusive political dialogue on advancing democratisation and establishing guarantees for the respect of human rights.
Harry Cohen: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs whether the Government have provided the United Nations Monitoring, Verification and Inspection Commission with background intelligence briefings on the material within its dossier on Iraq and weapons of mass destruction published on 24 September 2002. 
Harry Cohen: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs how many copies of the Government's dossier on Iraq and weapons of mass destruction published on 24 September 2002 have been provided to the United Nations Monitoring, Verification and Inspection Commission. 
Mr. Mike O'Brien: A copy of the Government's dossier on Iraq's weapons of mass destruction was passed to UNMOVIC in New York on the day of its publication. The dossier is also available on the Internet.
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Mr. Beith: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what arrangements are in place to reduce the risk of air proximity incidents involving civilian and RAF aircraft in the approaches of Newcastle Airport; and whether these include a corridor of controlled airspace. 
Mr. Spellar: Aircraft on approach or departure to Newcastle Airport are protected by a Controlled Zone (CTZ) and the Northern Off-Route Co-ordination Area (NORCA) which links Newcastle and controlled airspace near Leeds Bradford Airport (LBA). NORCA is permanently active and military aircraft requiring to enter it need to obtain an Air Traffic Control (ATC) service from nominated Military ATC Units. On 20 March 2003, NORCA is to be replaced by a corridor of Class A controlled airspace. This will afford extra protection, and further measures to enhance air safety may be introduced next year.
The MOD and CAA have also: mandated the use of a secondary radar transponder on military aircraft; instructed military pilots to make an information call to Newcastle when operating near the CTZ; improved the arrangements during military exercises near Newcastle; and arranged better co-ordination between RAF Spadeadam and Newcastle ATC.
Mr. Jamieson: The Government's policy is to work with the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) to limit or reduce all emissions from aircraft, including carbon. This work is essentially aimed at developing cleaner technology and operating practices, and market-based measures to incentivise the sector to use them.
Mr. Lidington: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what estimate he has made of (a) the amount in tonnes of carbon emissions and (b) the proportion of total United Kindom carbon emissions represented by emissions from aircraft (i) using United Kingdom airports and (ii) overflying the United Kingdom in each of the last five years. 
Mr. Jamieson: Data on carbon emissions from aircraft and the proportion of total carbon emissions are published annually in 'Transport Statistics Great Britain' (in Tables 2.8 and 2.9 on pages 40 and 41 respectively in the 2002 Edition). The information requested on overflying aircraft is not available.
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Official data indicates that company insolvencies in Scotland have generally been on an upward trend since 1995. The latest figures released show there were 184 company liquidations in the third quarter of 2002, bringing the cumulative total for the year thus far to 599. The estimated number of company insolvencies for the full year is 800, indicating an increase of around a third on the previous year. New company formation has also increased over the same period.
The Department's share of the UK contribution is forecast at #281k for the calendar year 2002. The Ministry of Defence pays the remainder of the UK contribution, forecast at #186k, in 2002. The DTI contribution is likely to increase to #400k in 2003 when the Ministry of Defence is forecast to pay #85k, reflecting their reduced level of contribution.
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