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27 Oct 2003 : Column 53W—continued

Trade Liberalisation

Mr. Gibb: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development if he will assess the effect of full trade liberalisation by (a) all countries and

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(b) developed countries only on the distribution of welfare gains among (i) developed, (ii) non-least developed and (iii) least developed countries. [133416]

Hilary Benn: Estimates vary, but World Bank and IMF research shows that welfare gains from liberalising all trade range from US$250 billion to US$550 billion; one-third to two-fifths of these gains would accrue to developing countries. Because their economies are more highly protected, most studies find that developing countries gain more as a percentage of their GDP/GNP from liberalisation than industrial countries.

Low-income countries (a group that includes the least developed countries) gain most from industrial country liberalisation of agriculture, because of the greater relative importance of agriculture in their economies. In contrast, the larger and more advanced developing countries gain most from liberalisation in industrial goods because of the greater importance of manufacturing in their production and exports.


John Barrett: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what action he is taking to tackle the health problems in the Teso region of Uganda. [133764]

Hilary Benn: DFID provides support to Health services in Uganda primarily through general budget support. The Ministry of Health allocates its budget resources to districts based on relative poverty, burden of disease, and other exceptional factors. This approach has led to significant improvements in health service provision throughout Uganda. Recent insecurity in the Teso region resulted in an increased demand for health services and in response the Ministry sent additional health workers and medical supplies. In addition DFID has also channelled extra resources through its wider programmes with UNICEF, the World Food Programme (WFP), and the Uganda Red Cross Society to support those displaced by the conflict.



Paul Flynn: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what the (a) purpose and (b) cost was of military and civilian assistance provided by the UK Government to Colombia in each of the last five years. [132681]

Mr. Rammell: Aid given via the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) is listed as follows. Total figures given in each year are funds allocated to projects within that year, although funding shown covered some projects in subsequent years.

1999: £1,545,000—on information services on sexual and reproductive health for internally displaced people; local initiatives for peace, strengthening NGOs in the rural sector.

2000: £621,163—on child abuse issues; witness and victim protection systems; strengthening prevention management of human rights violations; promotion of sustainable livelihoods and poverty reduction; public

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service conflict resolution training; internally displaced people; strengthening indigenous community institutions; environmental work by indigenous population.

2001: £344,712—rehabilitation of former child soldiers; promotion of sustainable livelihoods and poverty reduction; strengthening of fire service; humanitarian aid; human rights city campaign; child soldiers; biodiversity projects.

2002: £498,363—promotion of sustainable livelihoods and poverty reduction; public service conflict resolution training; civil society study tour; education on parliamentary system; security sector reform; humanitarian action cooperation; protection of women's human rights; environmental conservation; biodiversity projects.

2003 to date: £664,703—human rights training for Colombian Armed Forces; promotion of sustainable livelihoods and poverty reduction; community defenders for vulnerable communities; street children project; environmental projects.

During the past five years the FCO has also contributed over 3 million in counter-narcotics assistance to Colombia. We do not publicise details of such assistance to protect the safety of personnel involved and to avoid undermining its impact in future work in this area.

On aid via the Ministry of Defence, I refer the hon. Member to the answer my right hon. Friend the Minister of State for the Armed Forces (Mr. Ingram) gave on 16 October 2003, Official Report, columns 321–22W.

On aid via the Department for International Development I refer the hon. Member to the answer my right hon. Friend the then Secretary of State for International Development (Clare Short) gave on 9 January 2003, Official Report, column 296W, and that my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for International Development (Hilary Benn) gave on 26 June 2003, Official Report, column 940W.


Mr. Kaufman: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs when he will reply to the letter to him, dated 11 September 2003, from the right hon. Member for Manchester, Gorton with regard to Mrs. K. Qureshi. [133845]

Mr. Mullin: A reply was sent to my right hon. Friend on 10 October 2003. I regret that because of significantly increased workloads at UKvisas, the department responsible for the entry clearance operation overseas, this reply was not sent within the usual deadline of seven working days.

Draft European Constitution

Sir Teddy Taylor: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs whether the provision under Article IX of the draft European constitution for member states to withdraw from the constitution if no agreement is negotiated within two years would necessarily result in total withdrawal from membership of the EU and obligations under the treaties. [134142]

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Mr. MacShane: Article I-59 of the draft EU Constitutional Treaty sets out the arrangements under which any member state so desiring could withdraw from the EU. Paragraph 3 states:

The provision that the constitution would cease to apply to the member state in question would equate to total withdrawal from the European Union.

EU Diplomacy

Mr. Redwood: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs in what countries the UK relies on EU diplomatic representation; and what plans he has to rely on EU representation in two years' time. [134309]

Mr. MacShane: The United Kingdom's diplomatic representation overseas is carried out by British embassies, British High Commissions and British Consulates.

European Commission delegations currently represent the EU overseas in areas of Commission competence—external trade, European external assistance and some external aspects of Justice and Home Affairs.

The Inter Governmental Conference will consider proposals for Commission delegations to take on additional responsibilities to complement and work alongside national representations. No conclusions have yet been reached.

General Affairs Council

Mr. Hood: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what the outcome was of the General Affairs and External Relations Council held on 13 to 14 October; what the Government's stance was on the issues discussed, including its voting record; and if he will make a statement. [134576]

Mr. MacShane: The information requested is as follows.

Outcome of the 13 October General Affairs and External Relations Council

General Affairs Session

Progress of work in other council configurations

Preparation of European Council (Brussels, 16–17 October)

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External Relations Session

Wider Europe

Middle East Peace Process



Western Balkans


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