|Previous Section||Index||Home Page|
11 Dec 2003 : Column 583Wcontinued
Mr. Kaufman: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs when he will reply to the letter to him dated 7 October 2003 from the right hon. Member for Manchester, Gorton, with regard to Abu Nayem. 
As a result of an administrative error a package containing a number of my right hon. Friend's letters was lost in transit between the Foreign Secretary's office and UKvisas, the department responsible for entry clearance matters arising overseas. The letters that were lost have been identified and copies have been sent to UKvisas. I can assure my right hon. Friend that the Foreign Secretary will write to him in the next few days on this case.
Mr. Kaufman: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs when will he reply to the letter to him dated 7 October 2003 from the right hon. Member for Manchester, Gorton, with regard to Mr. Mukhtar Ahmed Rana. 
Mr. Arbuthnot: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs when he will reply to the letters from the right hon. Member for North-East Hampshire of 7 April and 22 July, regarding his constituent Dr. McGarry. 
Mr. Drew: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what recent representations he has made to the government of Eritrea concerning persecution of evangelical and Pentecostal Christians. 
11 Dec 2003 : Column 584W
Mr. Bercow: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs whether it is the policy of his Department to use fair trade products, as a matter of course, in (a) sales on Departmental premises and (b) receptions and meetings involving staff and visitors. 
Mr. Rammell: Foreign and Commonwealth Office purchasing policy is in accordance with the Government's Public Purchasing Consolidated Guidelines, which require the procurement of goods and services to be based on value for money and that they should be acquired by competition unless there are convincing reasons to the contrary.
Fair trade products are widely available in our offices. Almost all tea and coffee provided for official meetings is fair trade and our canteens and restaurants sell fair trade products including coffee, tea, chocolate and muesli bars.
Andrew Rosindell: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what steps are being taken to aid former Soviet states in the decommissioning of nuclear weapons, devices and delivery systems. 
Mr. MacShane: The Government published on 5 December the First Annual Report on the United Kingdom's contribution to the G8 Global Partnership. The Report details the work under way to address the nuclear, chemical and biological legacies of the former Soviet Union.
At the 2002 G8 Summit at Kananaskis in Canada, leaders pledged to provide up to US$20 billion over 10 years for a new Global Partnership against the spread of weapons and materials of mass destruction. My right hon. Friend the Prime Minister announced that the UK would make available up to US$750 million to fund projects in pursuit of these objectives.
Considerable progress has already been made as a result of close co-operation between FCO, DTI and MOD in conjunction with the Russian Federation and other countries of the former Soviet Union, Central and Eastern Europe as well as funding partners. The signing of bilateral agreements with the Russian Federation during President Putin's State Visit in June this year has helped to consolidate a firm foundation for the UK's programme of assistance.
The report outlines the specific projects in which the United Kingdom is involved. These include the dismantling of two Oscar class nuclear submarines and related projects; constructing a spent nuclear fuel facility, preparing the groundwork for the safe removal and storage of some 21,000 spent nuclear fuel assemblies at a former Russian Navy site, and constructing the infrastructure at a major chemical weapons destruction facility.
11 Dec 2003 : Column 585W
Mr. Rammell: District council elections took place in Hong Kong on 23 November 2003. Over a million people voted, 44 per cent. of those registered to do so, compared with a 36 per cent. turnout in the previous district council elections in 1999. The parties that secured the most out of the 400 seats available were the Democratic Party with 95 and the Democratic Alliance for the Betterment of Hong Kong (DAB), which secured 62 seats. The Chief Executive of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region is entitled to choose up to an additional 102 people to sit in various district councils but has yet to announce these.
We continue to follow developments in Hong Kong closely. My right hon. Friend the Foreign Secretary continues to report regularly to the House on the implementation of the 1984 Sino-British Joint Declaration on Hong Kong. The last such report, which covered the first six months of this year, was published in July (Cmnd 5864).
Keith Vaz: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs how many persons applied for the post of immigration adjudicator; and when he intends to announce the name of the successful candidate. 
Mr. Mike O'Brien: 86 people applied for the post of Independent Monitor for Entry Clearance Refusals Without the Right of Appeal. As my hon. Friend will now be aware, my right hon. Friend the Foreign Secretary announced the appointment of Fiona Lindsley in a written statement to the House on 1 December 2003, Official Report, column 53WS.
Mr. Godsiff: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs whether, in the build up to the war with Iraq and subsequently, he permitted British Intelligence Services to intercept diplomatic communications between member states of the United Nations. 
11 Dec 2003 : Column 586W
assurance that the only purposes for which interception may be permitted are set out in legislation: national security, safeguarding economic well-being and the prevention and detection of serious crime.
Mr. Jenkins: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will support the implementation of the Geneva agreement between representatives of Israel and the Palestinian territories. 
Mr. Rammell: The recognition and implementation of any final status agreement is for the Israeli Government and the Palestinian Authority. But, as my right hon. Friend the Prime Minister said in his Statement on the Geneva Accord on 1 December "I would like to commend this initiative and the debate that it has stimulated among Israelis and Palestinians, and more widely in the International Community. I hope that this initiative will also show that Israelis and Palestinians remain capable of finding partners for peace and working together, and encourage a return to the negotiating table.
Mrs. Calton: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what steps are being taken to encourage the Palestinian Authority to take steps to prevent further suicide attacks in Israel. 
Mr. Rammell: The UK, nationally and with EU partners, continues to urge the Palestinian Authority to fulfil its roadmap commitments on security, and intensify its efforts to tackle groups and individuals engaging in terrorist activity. The UK is also providing practical support to the Palestinian Authority to help them to rebuild the capacity of their security forces to tackle terrorism.
Mrs. Calton: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what steps he is taking to persuade the Israeli Government to (a) stop further construction of the separation wall in the West Bank and (b) prevent more settlements being built there. 
Mr. Rammell: The Government have urged the Government of Israel to re-route the fence away from Palestinian areas and to freeze settlement activity. My right hon. Friends the Prime Minister and the Foreign Secretary have made clear our concerns to the Israeli Prime Minister and Foreign Minister on a number of occasions. My noble Friend Baroness Symons of Vernham Dean raised these matters with the Israeli Foreign Minister during her visit to Israel on 30 September, and with the Israeli Minister for National Infrastructure on 29 October in London. She also raised our concerns about the fence with the Israeli Ambassador on 22 October.
Continuing illegal Israeli settlement activity and the building of the fence on Palestinian land threaten the prospects for a two-state solution and is an obstacle to peace. Israel should reverse its settlements policy and end land confiscation for the construction of the fence.
11 Dec 2003 : Column 587W
|Next Section||Index||Home Page|