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The Minister for Europe (Mr. Denis MacShane): Hon. Members will wish to be aware of the outcome of the plenary of the Wassenaar arrangement on export controls for conventional arms and dual-use goods and technologies which took place in Vienna on 1012 December 2003.
The arrangement is the only multilateral export control forum dealing with conventional arms. Its purpose is to prevent de-stabilising accumulations of conventional weapons in sensitive parts of the world by promoting transparency and responsibility in transfers of arms and dual-use goods. The Government believe the arrangement has an important role to play in improving arms exporting practices amongst its current participating states, and can help to spread good practice to other countries.
increased transparency with the addition of mandatory reporting for all small arms and light weapons (SALW) exports;
strict controls on man-portable air defence systems (MANPADS) transfers;
guidelines on arms brokering;
and adopting end-use oriented controls encouraging member Governments to impose export controls on certain unlisted items when necessary to support the United Nations arms embargoes.
A ministerial statement was agreed in the name of Ministers from all Wassenaar arrangement states and released at the end of the plenary. The purpose of this statement was to reaffirm the importance participating states attach to the Wassenaar arrangement as a forum for the promotion of peace and stability, as well as to raise the arrangement's public profile. It reads as follows:
We wish to affirm the importance of the Wassenaar arrangement as one of the pillars of multilateral efforts towards peace and stability. We believe agreements reached in the context of the Wassenaar arrangement can play a critical role in preventing the diversion of legal arms transfers and in promoting responsible national export control policies for conventional arms and dual-use goods and technologies. In this context, we strongly endorse multilateral efforts to develop strict controls on the transfer
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As we look at ahead and consider the future threats to international security and stability, we are convinced that countries committed to a stable international order must work together closely to prevent conventional weapons and sensitive dual-use technologies from being used to perpetrate terrorist acts. Terrorists must be stopped from diverting weapons from legitimate channels. Building upon the momentum developed during the 2003 assessment, we believe that continued collaboration between the participating states of the Wassenaar arrangement will make a significant contribution to global security"
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Constitutional Affairs (Mr. Christopher Leslie): In December it was announced that, subject to the European Parliamentary and Local Elections Pilot Bill achieving Royal Assent, the north-east and east midlands regions would pilot all postal voting at the combined European Parliamentary and local elections in June 2004. I can today announce it is our intention that two further regions will also hold all-postal pilots. These regions will be Yorkshire and the Humber and the north-west.
I am pleased to be able to announce these further regions so that the important work of preparing for the pilot elections can begin in earnest. We have identified Yorkshire and the Humber and the north-west after discussion with electoral administrators and look forward to those regions, alongside the north-east and east midlands, helping us to progress our electoral modernisation agenda.
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Defence (Mr. Ivor Caplin): As part of the Government's commitment to investigate Gulf veterans' illnesses openly and honestly, data on mortality of veterans of the 199091 Gulf conflict are regularly published. The most recent figures, for the period 1 April 1991 to 31 December 2003, were published on 15 January 2004. The key tables from that publication are set out below. Table 1 gives the causes of death to UK Gulf veterans over that period; table 2 shows the deaths due to malignant neoplasms among UK Gulf veterans. As with previous information, the data for Gulf veterans are compared to that of a control group, known as the Era cohort, which is made up of armed forces personnel of a similar age, gender, service, regular/reservist status and rank who were not deployed.
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|ICD Chapter||Cause of death||Gulf||Era||MortalityRateRatio||95%ConfidenceInterval|
|All cause coded deaths||619||627||0.98||(0.881.10)|
|I||Infectious and parasitic diseases||6||3||1.99||(0.4312.30)|
|III||Endocrine and immune disorders||1||6||0.17||(0.001.37)|
|VI||Diseases of the nervous system and sense organs||10||11||0.90||(0.342.35)|
|VII||Diseases of the circulatory system||88||113||0.77||(0.581.03)|
|VIII||Diseases of the respiratory system||11||8||1.37||(0.503.92)|
|IX||Diseases of the digestive system||16||20||0.80||(0.391.62)|
|IV, XXVI||All other disease-related causes(3)||5||14||0.36||(0.101.04)|
|EXVII||External causes of injury and poisoning||354||306||1.15||(0.991.35)|
|Motor vehicle accidents||124||101||1.22||(0.931.60)|
|Water transport accidents||5||1||4.98||(0.56235.34)|
|Air and space accidents||26||19||1.36||(0.732.60)|
|Other vehicle accidents||0||1||0.00||(0.0038.81)|
|Accidents due to fire/flames||0||2||0.00||(0.005.30)|
|Accidents due to natural environmental factors||2||2||1.00||(0.0713.73)|
|Accidents due to submersion/suffocation/foreign bodies||17||7||2.42||(0.956.89)|
|Late effects of accident/injury||0||2||0.00||(0.005.30)|
|Suicide and injury undetermined whether accidentally or purposely inflicted||113||108||1.04||(0.791.37)|
|Injury resulting from the operations of war||3||4||0.75||(0.114.41)|
|Other deaths for which coded cause data are not yet available||9||12|
|Overseas deaths for which cause data are not available||4||4|
(1) Service and Ex-Service personnel only.
(2) Causes have been coded to the World Health Organisation's International Classification of Diseases 9th revision (ICD-9), 1977.
(3) Includes cases with insufficient information on the death certificate to provide a known cause of death.
|ICD Chapter||Anatomical site||Gulf||Era||MortalityRateRatio||95%ConfidenceInterval|
|140149||Malignant neoplasms of lip, oral cavity and pharynx||6||4||1.49||(0.357.19)|
|150159||Malignant neoplasms of digestive organs and peritoneum||25||31||0.80||(0.451.40)|
|150||Malignant neoplasms of oesophagus||9||4||2.24||(0.629.95)|
|153||Malignant neoplasms of colon||4||11||0.36||(0.081.22)|
|160165||Malignant neoplasms of respiratory and intrathoracic organs||17||26||0.65||(0.331.25)|
|162||Malignant neoplasms of trachea, bronchus and lung||15||24||0.62||(0.301.24)|
|170175||Malignant neoplasms of bone, connective tissue, skin and breast||16||14||1.14||(0.522.52)|
|172||Malignant neoplasms of skin||7||6||1.16||(0.334.18)|
|179189||Malignant neoplasms of genitourinary organs||4||7||0.57||(0.122.24)|
|190199||Malignant neoplasms of other and unspecified sites||23||31||0.74||(0.411.31)|
|199||Malignant neoplasms of brain||15||15||1.00||(0.452.18)|
|200208||Malignant neoplasms of lymphatic and haematopoietic tissue||21||14||1.49||(0.723.17)|
|235239||Neoplasm of uncertain behaviour or unspecified nature||3||3||1.00||(0.137.43)|