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18 Nov 2004 : Column 1786W—continued

European Constitution

Mr. Austin Mitchell: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what commitments were entered into by the Government of the United Kingdom in respect of the Solemn Declaration on European Union of 1983; by whom the declaration was signed on behalf of the Government; and which of those commitments (a) have already been fulfilled or discharged by existing treaties, and by which treaty provisions in each case, (b) will be implemented by the proposed European Constitution as published by the Government as CM 6289 and (c) remain for future action. [199284]

Mr. MacShane: The Solemn Declaration on European Union of 1983 was signed by the then Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher in the name of the UK Government. It was a non-binding commitment of the then 10 member states to reform the Community's institutions and to develop its policies in many areas. Much of it has since been implemented through the successive stages of evolution of the EU, through three further waves of accession, the Single European Act, the Maastricht Treaty on European Union, the Treaty of Amsterdam and the Treaty of Nice. The EU Constitutional Treaty would consolidate this process of reform.

Falkland Islands

Mr. Simmonds: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what recent discussions have taken place with the governments of (a) Argentina, (b) Chile, (c) Brazil and (d) Uruguay regarding flights to and from the Falkland Islands over their airspace; and if he will make a statement. [193466]

Mr. Rammell: The issue of flights to and from the Falkland Islands has been discussed recently between the UK and Argentina. It was mentioned briefly during the meeting between my right hon. Friend the Foreign Secretary and the Argentine Foreign Minister Bielsa during the United Nations General Assembly on 22 September. It has also been discussed in on-going contacts at official level. The UK would like to see an arrangement reached with the Argentine Government that would allow charter flights to the Falkland Islands to resume. Any such agreement would have to be acceptable to the Falkland Islanders.

Discussions with the governments of Chile, Brazil and Uruguay take place as necessary.

Falluja (Journalists)

Mr. Jim Cunningham: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what precautions are in place to protect journalists reporting on the front line with troops in Falluja. [197820]


 
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Mr. Rammell [holding answer 16 November 2004]: It has not proved possible to respond to my hon. Friend in the time available before Prorogation, for which I apologise.

Foreign Prisons (UK Minors)

Mr. Oaten: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs how many United Kingdom minors are held in foreign prisons. [198915]

Mr. Mullin: We record the number of British nationals detained overseas who request consular assistance on a quarterly and annual basis. The age of the detainee is not recorded. But our consular staff are alerted quickly when a minor is arrested. We provide consular assistance with all due care and consideration to their age.

The information requested could be provided only at disproportionate cost.

G8 Summit

Annabelle Ewing: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what support, including financial support, is to be provided to Perth and Kinross council to prepare for the G8 summit. [195120]

Mr. Alexander: The Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) does not have financial responsibilities for supporting Perth and Kinross council, as local authority funding in Scotland is a matter for the Scottish Executive, but is supporting them in other ways to maximise the benefits of the summit for the local area. The FCO is helping them to respond to residents' concerns about the summit's possible impact, for example by taking part in their key public meetings, and is working with them to help involve local people and businesses in the summit where possible.

Government Buildings (Disabled Access)

Tom Cox: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs whether all Government buildings in his Department within the Greater London area are fully accessible to disabled people; and if he will make a statement. [199318]

Mr. Rammell: The Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) has taken steps to ensure that FCO buildings within the Greater London area are as fully accessible to disabled people as is reasonably practicable, in line with the principals of the Disability Discrimination Act 1996. Where it has been found that access to certain areas is restricted, measures are in place to address these issues.

Grenada/Cayman Islands

Mr. Foulkes: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs when the Governments of (a) Grenada and (b) the Cayman Islands formally asked his Department for financial and other help following the recent hurricanes. [199024]

Mr. Rammell: Sadly, Hurricane Ivan caused widespread damage in Grenada and in the Cayman Islands, making communications very difficult. We were, nevertheless, in very regular touch, in whatever
 
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ways were possible, with officials in Grenada and the Cayman Islands prior to and after Hurricane Ivan hit and so discussed their needs and requests for help as the situation developed.

As my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for International Development set out in his statement of 12 October 2004, Official Report, columns 14–20WS, we responded quickly to immediate needs including by sending two Royal Navy vessels to Grenada and the Cayman Islands immediately following the hurricane. Our assistance to the region following the hurricanes and storms in September amounts to almost £9.75 million.

Guantanamo Bay

Ms Abbott: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs which (a) British nationals and (b) former British residents are detained by the US Administration in Guantanamo Bay; where each was first taken into custody by US forces; how long each has been detained; what efforts the Government have made to obtain visitation rights for the detainees' families; how many letters each has been allowed to send in the last 12 months; and whether detainees had been tortured. [198863]

Mr. Mullin: It has not proved possible to respond to my hon. Friend in the time available before Prorogation, for which I apologise.

Iran

Mr. Drew: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will publish the evidence received from the International Atomic Energy Authority that Iran has (a) breached nuclear safeguards obligations and (b) failed to meet suspension commitments; where these breaches and failures occurred; and what plans the International Atomic Energy Authority has to pursue the issue. [198704]

Mr. MacShane: The latest report by the Director-General of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) will be discussed by the IAEA's Board of Governors at their next meeting which is due to begin on 25 November. Until then, it remains confidential. Once the Board of Governors meeting is concluded, we expect the board to decide to release the report for publication, as has been the case with previous reports. The IAEA is continuing to investigate all unresolved issues relating to Iran's nuclear programme.

The Government are planning to produce a Command Paper containing the key documents on Iran's nuclear programme. This Command Paper will include all the reports of the Director-General and Resolutions on Iran adopted by the Board of Governors over the past two years.

Mr. Foulkes: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what assessment he has made of the implications of Iran's nuclear programme for (a) regional stability and (b) the Middle East peace process. [199023]

Mr. Rammell: The proliferation of nuclear weapons in the Middle East would pose a significant threat to stability and efforts to establish peace in the region. The
 
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UK, working closely with France and Germany and the Office of the EU High Representative, has encouraged Iran to take steps that would reassure the international community that its nuclear programme is exclusively for peaceful purposes. We welcome the agreement reached with Iran on 15 November.


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