29 Nov 2004 : Column 3W

Written Answers to Questions

Monday 29 November 2004


Departmental Answers

Mr. Evans: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development how many written questions tabled in the last parliamentary session his Department had been unable to provide a substantive answer before the end of the session. [199657]

Hilary Benn: The Department for International Development (DFID) makes every effort to answer all questions substantively before Prorogation, however, this is not always possible. Where this was the case, hon. Members were issued with a response that followed parliamentary guidelines to notify them of this. Where hon. Members did not receive a substantive response they have the option to re-table the question in this session.

During the last Parliamentary Session of 2003–04; there were 2,296 written parliamentary questions tabled to DFID, of which, 13 questions could not be answered substantively in the time available before Prorogation.

Millennium Development Goals

Tony Baldry: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what progress is being made on each of the eight Millennium Development Goals (MDG) on the basis of existing funding levels; and when each MDG will be met (a) including China and (b) excluding China. [199599]

Hilary Benn: The latest edition of DFID's annual publication 'Statistics in International Development' which is available in the House of Commons Library, summarises progress towards the MDGs. Globally, progress has been most noticeable in reducing income poverty and that the goal of promoting gender equality has also seen notable improvement. The water and sanitation targets for MDG 7 have also moved in the right direction. The prospects are less good for the goals related to universal primary education, improving child and maternal health and combatting HIV/AIDS, malaria and other diseases, though some countries have seen substantial improvements in these areas, showing what can be done with the right policies and targeted resources. Goal 8 highlights action required by developed countries and progress is being made, although further effort is still needed.

The UK has recently completed a report which sets out its own contributions towards meeting the MDGs, this will be published early in 2005.
29 Nov 2004 : Column 4W

The UN has recently produced a chart showing progress towards selected indicators related to the MDGs by region. Although this represents the most thorough assessment currently available, it does not provide an analysis excluding China. The most recent UN progress report on the Millennium Development goals (October 2004) can be accessed via http://millenniumindicators.un.org.

Water/Sanitation Projects

Mr. Duncan: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what his Department's policy is on instituting sector budget support for water and sanitation in cases where main partner governments do not prioritise water and sanitation in their poverty reduction strategies; and if he will make a statement. [200113]

Mr. Thomas: In our dialogue with our partner governments, we regularly discuss the priority placed on water and sanitation in their poverty reduction strategies.

Whether DFID will consider, along with other donors, to provide sector budget support in a particular country will depend on the specific situation in that country.


Demonstration (Cabinet Office)

Dr. Julian Lewis: To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office (1) if she will make a statement on the anti-war demonstration held inside the Cabinet Office on 23 November; how many demonstrators entered the building; at what time they (a) entered and (b) were removed; and what security status was in force at the time; [200265]

(2) what period of time elapsed before the intruders in the Cabinet Office on 23 November were challenged. [200266]

Ruth Kelly: On Tuesday 23 November at approximately 1.15 pm a security officer stopped a member of the public who was attempting to enter the Cabinet Office at 70 Whitehall without a pass. While the officer was dealing with this person, who was agitated, three further persons were able to gain entry. These individuals gained access to an office inside the building where they were, within a few minutes, stopped and challenged by security guards who had pursued them. The police were called, and they arrested, and removed all four protestors from the building at 1.30 pm.

The security status at the time was black special.

Identity Passes

Dr. Julian Lewis: To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office whether identity passes are required to be worn within the Cabinet Office building. [200267]

Ruth Kelly: Yes.
29 Nov 2004 : Column 5W



Mr. Hancock: To ask the Prime Minister if he will list meetings he has attended with representatives of casino operators from outside the UK in the last 12 months, broken down by (a) location and (b) purpose; and if he will make a statement. [200372]

The Prime Minister: I refer the hon. Member to the answer I gave the hon. Member for Bath (Mr. Foster) on 10 November 2004, Official Report, columns 691–92W.

Climate Change

Norman Baker: To ask the Prime Minister (1) if he will make a statement on his recent discussions in Washington with President Bush on climate change; and what progress was made; [200692]

(2) if he will make an assessment of the degree to which (a) President Bush and (b) the US Administration believe that climate change is happening. [200750]

The Prime Minister: I refer the hon. Member to the answer I gave to my hon. Friend the Member for Ealing, Southall (Mr. Khabra) at Prime Minister's questions on 17 November 2004, Official Report, column 1350.

Departmental Press Briefings

Llew Smith: To ask the Prime Minister whether (a) Ministers and (b) departmental officials briefed reporters for (i) The Sun and (ii) Daily Mail in respect of information used in articles published on 23 November on alleged terrorist plots to attack targets at Heathrow and Canary Wharf in London. [199633]

The Prime Minister: All contacts with the media are conducted in accordance with the Ministerial Code, the Civil Service Code, the Code of Conduct for Special Advisers and Guidance on the Work of the Government Information Service.

Departmental Websites

Paul Holmes: To ask the Prime Minister whether his Office's .gov.uk websites comply with the World Wide Web Consortium's Web Content Accessibility Guidelines adopted by the Government in 2001; and if he will make a statement. [199692]

The Prime Minister: Recent work on the Downing Street website was part of an on-going commitment to ensure that the website is fully compliant with World Wide Web Consortium's guidelines. Further work is planned to ensure that the entire site meets the highest possible standards of accessibility.


Dr. Tonge: To ask the Prime Minister what reports he received during 2002 from the International Atomic Energy Agency concerning Iraq's weapons of mass destruction. [200148]

29 Nov 2004 : Column 6W

The Prime Minister: Under United Nations Security Council Resolution 1051, the IAEA was tasked with submitting reports to the UN Security Council every six months on the status of its investigations into Iraq's nuclear weapons programmes. Reports were produced on 10 April 2002 and 16 October 2002 although there were no in-country inspection activities until November 2002 as a result of the refusal of the Iraqi Government to allow entry by the inspection teams. Following the resumption of inspections after UNSCR 1441 the IAEA presented an interim report on progress together with an interim assessment of Iraq's Declaration to the Security Council on 19 December 2002.

Adam Price: To ask the Prime Minister on what date he was made aware of the July 2003 withdrawal by the intelligence services of the reports on Iraq's weapons. [200037]

The Prime Minister: I refer the hon. Member to the answer I gave him on 21 July 2004, Official Report, column 285W.

Llew Smith: To ask the Prime Minister when he read the final report of the Iraq Survey Group. [199662]

The Prime Minister: I read the report when it was published on 6 October 2004.

Next Section Index Home Page