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5 Jan 2004 : Column 76W—continued


Hutton Inquiry

Mr. Lilley: To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office if he will list meetings and discussions that (a) his Department and (b) other Government departments have held on the report by Lord Hutton into the circumstances surrounding the death of Dr. David Kelly, broken down by date; and if he will list those present at each meeting. [145324]

Mr. Alexander: Lord Hutton has yet to present his report to the Government. The Prime Minister has already made clear he will be making a statement to the House on the day of publication.

Mr. Lilley: To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office if he will place in the Library the official minutes for the series of running meetings on 7 and 8 July referred to during the inquiry by Lord Hutton into the death of Dr. David Kelly (ref: Hutton Inquiry Evidence, CAB/7/0009–13). [145325]

Mr. Alexander: The notes of the meetings referred to are on the website of the Hutton Inquiry listed as evidence number CAB/7/0009–13.

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Tim Loughton: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs supplementary to his oral answer to question No. 4, 16 December 2003:

Mr. MacShane [pursuant to his answer, 16 December 2003, Official Report c. 1418]: I made an error in my answer, in the House, of 16 December to the hon. Member. The answer should have read as follows:

Arms Trade

Mr. Laurence Robertson: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what discussions he has had with representatives of other governments about restricting international arms trading; what restrictions he plans to introduce; and if he will make a statement. [145373]

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

Mr. Laurence Robertson: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will make a statement on the Government's policy on the export of arms. [145374]

Mr. MacShane: Britain has one of the strictest and most transparent arms export licensing systems in the world. All export licence applications are rigorously assessed on a case by case basis against the consolidated EU and national arms export licensing criteria, taking account of the circumstances prevailing at the time and

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other announced Government policies. Our criteria clearly set out our commitment to take account of the risk that exports might be used for either internal repression or external aggression.

The British Government have been in the forefront of international efforts to strengthen the regulation of the arms trade and proliferation. We were instrumental in getting agreement for an EU Code of Conduct on Arms Exports, and we regularly encourage other countries to adopt stricter and more transparent arms export policies. We are active members of all the key regimes that work to prevent the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, such as the Missile Technology Control Regime, the Nuclear Suppliers Group, and the Australia Group (which deals with chemical and biological weapons). The UK is also a member of key arms control treaties, such as the Ottawa Convention on Landmines, the Nuclear Non Proliferation Treaty, the Chemical Weapons Convention and the Biological and Toxin Weapons Convention.

We remain committed to working with other states to find common ground on the issue of export controls. The UK aims to forge partnerships across regions, with states who have different perspectives and approaches to the export of arms, in an effort to secure a universal commitment to strengthening export controls, thereby making an important contribution to the global effort to combat weapons of proliferation.

Art Acquisition

Norman Baker: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs how much his Department has spent on the acquisition of works of art in each year since 1997, broken down by amounts spent on (a) paintings and (b) sculpture; what the single most expensive piece of art purchased by his Department since 1997 was; how much it cost; and what the total revenue raised by his Department through sales of its works of art has been since 1997. [142368]

Mr. Rammell: The Foreign and Commonwealth Office has spent the following in acquiring works of art since 1997:



The single most expensive piece of art purchased over this time was 'Dancing Columns', a sculpture by Tony Cragg, which cost £190,000 in the financial year 2000–01.

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The Department has not sold any works of art over this period.

Brussels Summit

Mr. Cash: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will place in the Library a copy of the text referred to in the Declaration of the President of the EU as a negotiating acquis; and whether it is regarded by the Government as a negotiating acquis not open to further discussion. [145498]

Mr. MacShane: We have placed copies of all the documents produced by the Presidency during the IGC in the Library of the Houses. These include a compromise text tabled for the Naples Conclave on 28–29 November 2003 and a further text tabled in the week preceding the European Council. Yet another compromise text, promised for the second day of the European Council, was not in the event tabled, though the President of the European Council, Mr. Berlusconi, drew on it when summing up at the end of the meeting.

Until the negotiations are completed, all aspects are potentially open to further discussion. But the Italian Presidency went through the normal negotiating process of successive refinements and approximations of a text, in the search for consensus, and we would expect the next Presidency to want to draw upon this work.


Mr. Woodward: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs (1) what funding his Department has given to Burundi in (a) 2001, (b) 2002 and (c) 2003; [145152]

Mr. Mullin: Over the last five years the UK has put over £5 million into bilateral aid to Burundi, mostly in humanitarian and health interventions, including for displaced persons, and peace-building activities. In addition we have put 2 million US dollars into a Trust Fund for debt alleviation. The UK has also contributed 25 million US dollars to another Trust Fund for a regional programme of Disarmament, Demobilisation and Reintegration in the region, of which Burundi will be a beneficiary.

We also disbursed £25,000 in 2002–03 to support mediation efforts in Burundi and have so far spent £134,326 in this financial year on governance issues. We have also provided support to the African Union peacekeeping force (AU African Mission in Burundi) with a contribution of £3.7 million to the Mozambican Government to help equip their 217-strong contingent. Following a request from the AU Chairman (Konare) to my right hon. Friend the Prime Minister, we have agreed to support AMIB further through a contribution of £2 million to the AU administered Trust Fund.

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We have also funded a number of small projects in Burundi using FCO/DFID funds, for example:


Small grant scheme (SGS)
FCO departmental programme budget
FCO human rights project fund

(22) Estimate of likely spend.

Mr. Woodward: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what representations he has made to the leader of Burundi on preventing the supplying, training and arming of rebel groups in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. [145154]

Mr. Mullin: We strongly support the arms embargo introduced in UN Security Council Resolution 1493 of 28 July 2003 which calls on all states, including the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), to take measures to prevent such support. We are supporting proposals for an arms monitoring mechanism in the DRC.

We have a regular dialogue with the Government of Burundi and continue to encourage the Government of Burundi to pursue a negotiated agreement to bring the remaining rebel group (FNL-Rwasa) into the peace process.

Mr. Woodward: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what his assessment is of the situation in Burundi. [145155]

Mr. Mullin: Recent developments in Burundi are encouraging but there is a long way to go. The implementation of a cease-fire and inclusion of former rebels into government following agreement in Dar es Salaam in November is good news. The African Mission in Burundi (supported by the UK) is deployed and preparing for the disarmament., demobilisation and reintegration of rebel forces. The country is preparing for elections and the end of the transition in November 2004. However, many challenges remain. Poverty remains widespread and the economic situation is poor. One rebel group remains outside the peace process. The UK will continue to support efforts to bring peace, security, stability and progress to Burundi.

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