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Mr. Hancock: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will make a statement on his recent efforts to find a peaceful solution to the problem of the region of Transnistria with reference to his actions within (a) the EU, (b) NATO and (c) the OSCE. [187740]

Mr. MacShane: We remain concerned about the situation in Transnistria, and together with EU partners continue to call on the two parties in particular the Transnistrians, to negotiate constructively and in good
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faith. After Transnistrian moves to force the closure of Latin script schools in the region, which has raised tensions significantly, the EU imposed a travel ban on 26 August against ten individuals within the Transnistrian administration responsible for the measures. Along with our EU partners, we are supporting Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe mediation in the settlement talks, and continue to look for ways to bolster this support. We also regularly raise Transnistria with the other mediators, Russia and Ukraine, both bilaterally and through the EU. I raised our concerns with the Ukraine Defence Minister on 6 September.

We want Russia to fulfil commitments made when signing the Adapted Conventional Forces in Europe (ACFE) Treaty at the OSCE Summit in Istanbul in 1999, including full withdrawal of arms and ammunition from Transnistria. or their destruction in situ, and the withdrawal of Russian forces. Together with NATO allies we have stated that we will not ratify the ACFE Treaty until the Russian Federation has met their commitments concerning Moldova and Georgia.


Angus Robertson: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs (1) what assessment his Department has made of the treatment of the Montagnards in Vietnam; and if he will make a statement; [187260]

(2) what representations he has made to the Government of Vietnam concerning the treatment of the Montagnards in Vietnam; and if he will make a statement. [187261]

Mr. Mike O'Brien: We remain concerned about the situation of the Montagnards in the Central Highlands region of Vietnam.

We raise human rights concerns regularly with the Vietnamese Government, both bilaterally and with our EU partners. These include the problems faced by the Montagnards in the Central Highlands, particularly with regard to land and religious freedom. I raised these issues during my visit to Vietnam in March and with the President of Vietnam during his official visit to the UK in May. On the same day, my right hon. Friend the Foreign Secretary raised our concerns about human rights in Vietnam with the Vietnamese Foreign Minister.

With our other EU partners, we participate in a regular human rights dialogue with Vietnam. The most recent meeting, attended by our ambassador in Hanoi, took place on 22 June. We raised the situation of the Montagnards at this meeting and expressed our deep concern at unrest in the Central Highlands over Easter 2004.

We will continue to raise our concerns and press the Vietnamese Government to adhere to their obligations at every suitable opportunity.

West Papua

Mr. Hancock: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will make it his policy to urge the United Nations to instigate a
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review of the UN's conduct in relation to the Act of Free Choice in West Papua in 1968–1969; and if he will make a statement. [186379]

Mr. Rammell: The Report of the Special Representative who oversaw the implementation of the UN backed 1969 Act of Free Choice resulting in West Papua becoming a province of Indonesia was accepted by a majority vote of the UN in November 1969.

The British Government, together with other members of the international community, have continued to stress to the Indonesian Government at the highest level the need to implement fully the 2001 Special Autonomy law for Papua. This law allows for the establishment of a Truth and Reconciliation Committee to look at the incorporation of Papua into Indonesia in the 1960s.



Mr. Liddell-Grainger: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development (1) if he will make a statement on the progress of reconstruction in Afghanistan. [186441]

(2) what recent representations he has received regarding the progress of reconstruction in Afghanistan; and if he will make a statement. [186442]

Mr. Gareth Thomas: The Secretary of State and I continue to regularly receive representations on Afghanistan, from Members of Parliament, the public and non-governmental organisations. They have reflected the priorities that people attach to the reconstruction process.

Considerable progress has been made since the fall of the Taliban in November 2001. Over 3 million refugees have been helped to return to Afghanistan. 4.5 million children are in school this year and over 30 per cent. are girls. A vaccination campaign has led to the near eradication of polio and the immunisation of 9 million children against measles saving over 35,000 lives. Progress has also been made in economic recovery with the International Monetary Fund estimating economy growing by 30 per cent. last year.

At the international conference in Berlin, donors pledged $8.2 billion over three years to help rebuild Afghanistan. Finance Minister Ghani said donors met Afghanistan's target for this year, pledging $4.5 billion, and covered more than two thirds of its expectations over the next three years. On October 9, the first-ever direct presidential elections in the post-Taliban country will be held. Voter registration has now closed with over 10.5 million Afghans registered (42 per cent. are women). This is hugely encouraging result, which we hope will lead to the successful conclusion of the Bonn Process.

Water and Sanitation

Dr. Tonge: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what proportion of the aid budget will be spent on water and sanitation in 2004–05; and if he will make a statement. [187528]

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Mr. Gareth Thomas: The Department for International Development's (DFID) support for water and sanitation is predominantly channelled through our country programmes and support to multi-lateral institutions. Expenditure allocations reflect developing country governments' own priorities, and our assistance is co-ordinated with that of other donors. DFID works to assist countries to use their budgets for greatest impact on reducing poverty and achieving the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). For these reasons, DFID has not made a forward commitment specifically for the water sector.

However, DFID significantly supports the water sector providing the UK's bilateral expenditure of approximately £90 million (the last period for which
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precise data are available is 2001–02 when bilateral water expenditure was £87 million), which represents approximately 6 per cent. of the bilateral aid budget. This includes programmes in which water and sanitation and hygiene promotion are the main aims, and those where water and sanitation are components associated with wider objectives such as better health or education or improved urban management. DFID's contribution to multilateral expenditure on water and sanitation is estimated to be in excess of £40 million per year. As a result, the UK was the fourth largest contributor of financial aid to the water sector in 2000 and 2001, and fifth in 2002. DFID is in the process of updating projections of bilateral and multilateral water-related expenditure through to 2007–08, taking into account the autumn 2004 resource a location round.