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10 Dec 2003 : Column 510W—continued


Olympic Bid

Mr. Hawkins: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what plans she has to liaise with the owners of the Dome about its possible use as an Olympic venue to assist the bid to host the Olympics in 2012. [143278]

Tessa Jowell: Selecting potential Olympic venues and negotiating the terms of their use is a matter for the Olympic bid company, London 2012 Ltd. I understand that the potential owners of the Dome, the Anschutz Entertainment Group, are already engaged in discussions with London 2012 Ltd.

Sport England

Kate Hoey: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport when she will publish the Quinquennial Review of Sport England. [142859]

Mr. Caborn: Stage One of the Quinquennial Review of Sport England was published and laid before the House in July 2001, and performed a useful service in demonstrating the need for the re-organisation of Sport England's funding and other activities.

It was intended that Stage Two of the Review should include detailed re-organisation proposals. Such proposals were at an advanced stage of preparation when my right hon. Friend the Prime Minister's Strategy Unit commenced its review of sports policy in the spring of 2002. The Strategy Unit's proposals for the

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re-organisation of Sport England formed a major part of its wider recommendations for the future of sports policy, published as Game Plan in December 2002. They continue to inform the major Sport England reform programme which is now underway, and this programme should be seen as having superseded the proposals which were under discussion during Stage Two of the Quinquennial Review.



Mr. McNamara: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs at what level the Government will be represented at the UN High Commissioner on Human Rights-convened regional seminar of experts for Western States, Implementing the Durban Programme of Action, from 10 to 12 December. [142187]

Mr. Rammell: The Government will be represented by one official from the Race Equality Unit in the Home Office and one from the Human Rights Policy Department in the Foreign and Commonwealth Office. These were the two departments that led on the government's preparations for the 2001 World Conference Against Racism.


Paul Flynn: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what his calculation is of the total opium crop in Afghanistan in each year from 1999 to the present; and what changes have taken place in the amount of land devoted to poppy cultivation since the end of hostilities in 2001. [142865]

Mr. Rammell: The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) conducts an annual survey into the level of opium poppy cultivation and production in Afghanistan. It has reported levels over the past five years as follows:


The low level of cultivation and low production figure in 2001 reflect the Taliban ban on opium cultivation; the ban did not however address the underlying causes of poppy cultivation in Afghanistan and was enforced with mix of threat and bribery.

The UNODC poppy cultivation survey in 2003 has shown reductions in the traditional areas, compared to 2002, but new cultivation in some areas that have not previously been involved in poppy production. The reduction in the traditional areas demonstrates that drug control policy has been effective where the Afghan Government has been able to exert control. Production also tends to move from traditional areas to more marginal and inaccessible areas to protect crops against

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law enforcement activity. Increasing security and stability in Afghanistan remains key to progress in reducing opium production.

Arms Trade

Mr. Byers: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what steps he is taking to promote an international arms trade treaty; and if he will make a statement. [142969]

Mr. MacShane: I refer my hon. friend to the previous answer I gave the hon. Member for Portsmouth, South (Mr. Hancock) on 23 October 2003, Official Report column 654W.


Mr. Allan: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what reasons were given by the Colombian Government for the rates of voter abstention in (a) the Colombian referendum and (b) the municipal and departmental elections of 25 and 26 October. [143186]

Mr. Rammell: The abstention rate for the Referendum was high with participation at only 20.04 per cent. Our assessment, based on discussion with Colombian election officials and international observers, is that the security situation played its part, particularly in the more remote and more conflict-ridden areas of Colombia, where despite a state security presence the participation rate was below national average. The complexity of the questions on which citizens were being asked to vote also caused a reluctance to vote.

The elections had a better turnout of 50.49 per cent. This was about average for Colombian elections. The turnout for the Congressional elections and Presidential elections in 2002 were 42 per cent. and 50 per cent. respectively.

Foreign Office Staff (School Places)

Mr. Foulkes: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs (1) what proportion of the money his Department spent on school places for children of Foreign Office personnel was spent on the independent sector in each year since 1996; and what he estimates the proportion will be in 2003; [140561]

Mr. Rammell: Education expenditure for children of Foreign Office personnel since 1996 has been spent almost entirely on fee-charging schools in the private and independent sector. Less than 1 per cent. in each year is spent on boarding fees for state run boarding schools.

We do not distinguish between private and independent schools. The annual expenditure on education for children of FCO personnel since 1996 is as follows.

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Financial year£

Gulf War

Harry Cohen: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what percentage of the oil-for-food income was allocated to Gulf War reparations through the UN administered Compensation Fund; what amount in pounds sterling that percentage represented from (a) December 1996 to December 2000 and (b) December 2000 to 21 November 2003; and what the amount paid by Iraq in reparations was prior to December 1996. [141116]

Mr. Mullin: When the "oil-for-food" scheme was launched in December 1996, the United Nations Compensation Commission (UNCC) received 30 per cent. of the proceeds of Iraq's oil sales, allowing it to make regular compensation payments to successful claimants. This percentage was reduced to 25 per cent. pursuant to Security Council resolution 1330 (2000). On 22 May 2003 the Security Council adopted resolution 1483 (2003), which reduced the percentage of revenue from Iraqi oil sales to be paid into the Compensation Fund to 5 per cent. The total amount paid in compensation to victims of Iraq's invasion and occupation of Kuwait to date is over US$17.5 billion. The figures in pounds sterling are not readily available, nor is a breakdown of the amounts paid between the dates stated.


Hugh Bayley: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what advice has been given and on what dates to UK embassies, high commissions and other diplomatic posts abroad about the need to report information about possible cases of international bribery and corruption by UK citizens and companies; which posts have reported cases; on how many occasions; and how many of those reports have been followed up by investigations by UK law enforcement agencies. [141108]

Mr. MacShane: I refer my hon. Friend to the replies I gave the hon. Member for Ceredigion (Simon Thomas) on 15 and 28 October respectively, Official Report, columns 264W and 181W. The guidance telegrams referred to there were issued in January 2002, February 2002 and March 2003. We cannot comment on individual reports received in order not to prejudice criminal investigations.


John Barrett: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will make a statement on the status of Liberia's membership of the International Monetary Fund. [142781]

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Mr. Mullin: Liberia is a member of the International Monetary Fund (IMF). But on 5 March 2003 the IMF suspended Liberia's voting rights. Liberia was not sufficiently servicing its significant arrears and failed to address key concerns adequately, including improving transparency and management of revenue and government expenditure, addressing human rights violations and regional interference.

Now Liberia is under new leadership we are working with key partners, including the IMF and World Bank, to help redevelop Liberia and restore its relations with the international donor community. We understand that the IMF will visit Liberia for discussions with the National Transitional Government.

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