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Mr. Robathan: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs (1) what representations he has made to EU partners on (a) the situation in Serbia and (b) Serbian co-operation with international institutions; 
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(3) what assessment he has made of UN reports that Radovan Karadzic and Ratko Mladic are in Belgrade; and what representations he has made to the Serbian authorities on this matter. 
Mr. MacShane: We and our European Union partners regularly discuss the situation in Serbia and the rest of the Balkans region. The General Affairs and External Relations Council on 26 January noted the results of the recent Serbian parliamentary elections of 28 December 2003. It urged all democratic parties to help form a government committed to reform and further integration with the European Union.
While the relationship between Belgrade and the United Nations Administration Mission in Kosovo (UNMIK) has been difficult, the Serbian Deputy Prime Minister and Head of the Co-ordination Centre for Kosovo and Metohija, Nebojsa Covic, has recently made helpful statements on the Direct Dialogue Working Groups. These talks will cover areas such as environmental issues, energy and missing persons. This is a positive step towards building a stable future for Kosovo.
The UK fully supports the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY), which helps foster reconciliation and stability in the region. Serbia and Montenegro (SaM) made some progress in early 2003, but co-operation has since stalled. We take every opportunity to remind Belgrade that in order to realise her Euro-Atlantic aspirations, SaM must fulfil the international obligation of full and complete co-operation with the ICTY.
We believe that SaM could do more to co-operate with the ICTY, particularly by assisting in the arrest and transfer of Bosnian Serb leaders Ratko Mladic and Radovan Karadzic. Through both bilateral and EU initiatives, we continue to put pressure on the SaM Government to transfer all remaining ICTY indictees, including Mladic and Karadzic, and to allow ICTY full access to documents and witnesses.
Mr. Robathan: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs who attended the Somali National Reconciliation Conference at the Safari Park Hotel outside Nairobi. 
Mr. Mullin: The main Somali political and faction leaders attended these consultations, although leaders from Somaliland did not. A UK observer was also present.
Mr. Robathan: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what the cost was to the UK Government of the Somali National Reconciliation Conference held at the Safari Park Hotel outside Nairobi. 
Mr. Mullin: The UK Government made a voluntary contribution of US$100,000 to support these consultations.
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Mrs. Iris Robinson: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs pursuant to his answer of 28 January 2004, Official Report, column 415W, on terrorism (political parties), what means have been used to persuade Hizbollah to abandon all terrorist activity. 
Mr. Rammell: Hizbollah's terrorist wing, the External Security Organisation, is proscribed in the UK. We maintain contact with the political wing of the organisation, on which we press the pursuit of legitimate political engagement and the abandonment of terrorist activity. We have also urged Lebanon, Iran and Syria to exercise any influence they have with Hizbollah in a positive manner.
Bob Russell: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs when he last used a train in connection with his ministerial duties. 
Norman Baker: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will make a statement on the division of responsibilities between his Department and the local council on Tristan da Cunha in respect of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species. 
Mr. Mullin: The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs takes the policy lead on Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) related matters for the UK. The UK's ratification of CITES applies to Tristan da Cunha. Under the latter's current legislation, which is under review, the functions of the CITES Management Authority are carried out by the Administrator, who is a Foreign and Commonwealth Office official. The Island Council would not be involved.
Bob Russell: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will seek the consent of the Turkish Government for British officials to monitor the Turkish local elections on 28 March. 
Mr. MacShane: No. The British Embassy in Ankara will follow the local elections in Turkey closely. This will include consultations with political parties, non-governmental organisations and electoral authorities.
Bob Russell: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will seek the consent of the Turkish Government for British officials to monitor the Kurdish New Year Newroz celebrations on 21 March. 
Mr. MacShane: No. Non-governmental organisations will observe the Newroz celebrations and the British Embassy in Ankara, which follows developments in Turkey closely, is in regular contact with them.
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Mr. Grogan: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what recent discussions he has had with the Government of Ukraine on the importance of free and fair elections there; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. MacShane: My right hon. Friend the Foreign Secretary made clear to Foreign Minister Kostyantyn Gryshchenko in January that Ukraine's aspirations towards membership of the EU and NATO were dependent on its democratic progress. The extent to which the 2004 presidential elections are free and fair will be a test of Ukraine's readiness for closer relationships with the EU and NATO.
Mr. Cousins: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs whether it is the Government's policy to support (a) new approvals and (b) new payments of claims from the United Nations Compensation Commission. 
Mr. Mullin: As a permanent member of the United Nations Compensation Commission's (UNCC) Governing Council, the UK actively supports the work of the UNCC, including any Governing Council decisions relating to new approvals and new payments.
Mr. Rosindell: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will make a statement on the scope of international monitoring of weapons of mass destruction proliferation, with particular reference to biological and chemical weapons. 
Mr. MacShane: The threat of proliferation of WMD has, in recent years been successfully limited by international arms control and effective multilateral treaties including the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), Comprehensive Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT), Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC) and the Biological Weapons Convention (BWC).
The NPT is the cornerstone of the non-proliferation regime, with 188 States Parties. It forbids acquisition or possession of nuclear weapons, except by the five acknowledged nuclear weapons States, who are required to pursue negotiations on nuclear disarmament. The NPT requires non-nuclear weapons Parties to enter into safeguards agreements with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) in order to verify compliance. The IAEA's safeguards system is being strengthened by the introduction of an Additional Protocol expanding the IAEA's access. The UK is working with EU partners to see this Additional Protocol accepted as an international norm.
The CTBT provides for a global system of monitoring stations, using four complementary technologies, to record data necessary to verify compliance. Its aim is to achieve a total ban of explosive testing of nuclear weapons.
The CWC bans the production, acquisition and retention of chemical weapons and requires CW possessors to destroy, under supervision, CW stockpiles
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and production facilities. CWC implementation is verified by the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) through on-site monitoring of CW destruction activity, and regular inspection of relevant industrial facilities. The CWC also provides for any Party with a concern about another's compliance to seek a challenge inspection. The CWC has 159 Parties, most recently including Libya's welcome accession.
The BWC has 151 Parties. The Fifth Review Conference of the BWC agreed in November 2002 on a three-year programme of work leading up to the Sixth Review Conference in 2006. This process is designed to strengthen the Convention, which currently has no ability to verify compliance. Assistance with the establishment of national legislation and regulation was provided to two States Parties following the annual Meeting of States Parties in 2003. The UK actively encourages universality of the Convention and urges all States that have not yet done so to sign and ratify the Convention.
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