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Dr. Julian Lewis: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs whether it is the policy of the Department to retain for the benefit of future (a) historians and (b) applicants under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 the same (i) complete categories of files, (ii) numbers of files and (iii) representative examples of files from categories of files destroyed as had been preserved prior to the passage of that Act. 
No substantive changes have been made to the Foreign and Commonwealth Office's (FCO) guidelines and criteria for selection or destruction of files over the past five years. The FCO's current selection policy is set out in Operational Selection Policy
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No. 13 'Britain's diplomatic relations, 19731996' which can be found on the TNA's website at: http://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/recordsmanagement/selection.
Dr. Julian Lewis: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what changes have been promulgated in each of the past five years to the guidelines or other criteria for the retention or destruction of departmental files. 
Mr. Straw: No substantive changes have been made to the guidelines and criteria for retention and destruction of departmental files since 1999, apart from the period of retention for consular case files. In February 2002 the existing guidelines and criteria were reissued by The National Archives as Operational Selection Policy (OSP) no 13. This can be found on TNA's website at www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/recordsmanagement/selection. In 2004 the period of retention for consular case files was reduced from six to three years after last action to ensure Foreign and Commonwealth Office compliance with Principle 7 of the Data Protection Act.
Norman Baker: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what motions have been proposed by the UK for consideration by the United Nations since 1997 relating to (a) the environment, (b) climate change and (c) contraction and convergence. 
Mr. Rammell: The UK attaches great importance to environmental issues at the UN. As with other issues we normally work through the EU. Since 1997 the UK, via the EU, has proposed, co-sponsored or given its support to various resolutions on environmental issues in UN bodies such as the General Assembly (UNGA), the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC), the Commission on Sustainable Development (CSD) and the UN Environmental Programme (UNEP).
The UK attaches particular importance to progress on tackling climate change, and works through the Conferences of Parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change and other Multilateral Environmental Agreements (MEAs), such as those on hazardous chemicals and biodiversity, to promote progress internationally on our climate change and other environmental objectives.
There are too many resolutions to list individually. However the relevant UNGA and ECOSOC texts can be found at the following website: www.un.org.documents, referring to "Resolutions" under the appropriate body. CSD documents can be found at the same website under "Economic and Social Council: Bodies by thematic area: Sustainable Development". Decisions of UNEP's Governing Councils can be found on www.unep.org under "About UNEP: Governing Bodies".
Mr. Bercow: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what discussions were held at the recent EU-Russia Summit on the need to (a) respect human rights and (b) uphold democratic values. 
Mr. Rammell: The EU-Russia Summit on 25 November discussed human rights in the context of the on-going dialogue on the Four Common Spaces agreement, where the EU continues to insist on a human rights dialogue as an integral part of the Common Space on Freedom, Security and Justice. We hope this will result in an on-going and more structured dialogue on human rights between the EU and Russia.
Democratic values are also an important part of the Common Space on Freedom, Security and Justice, and were discussed in this context at the summit. There were also separate discussions of democratic values in the context of recent Russian internal political reforms and developments in Ukraine.
Glenda Jackson: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs pursuant to his Oral Answer of 29 November 2004, Official Report, column 372, on the Middle East and Ukraine, if he will request that Prime Minister Allawi furnish him with the date upon which he requested that US troops begin to prepare for a possible attack upon Fallujah. 
Glenda Jackson: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs pursuant to his Oral Answer of 29 November 2004, Official Report, column 372, on the Middle East and Ukraine, if he will request that Prime Minister Allawi furnish him with the date upon which he requested the assistance of British troops in preparation for a possible attack upon Fallujah. 
The request for British forces to deploy to North Babil in support of Iraqi and Coalition operations in central Iraq originated with the US military authorities, not Prime Minister Allawi, on 10 October 2004.
Mr. Carmichael: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what representations the Government have made to Iranian authorities regarding the case of the Afghan national Feyz Mohammad who has been sentenced to death. 
With our strong support, the European Union has urged the Iranian authorities to review the sentence imposed on Feyz Mohammad. We have on many occasions made representations about the use of the death penalty in Iran, and the sentencing to death of juvenile offenders. The UK, along with all other EU member states, co-sponsored a resolution adopted by the UN General Assembly Third Committee on 17 November, which called on Iran 'to comply with its obligations under article 37 of the Convention on the Rights of the Child and article 6 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights not to impose the sentence of death for offences committed by persons below 18 years of age'.
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Mr. Purchase: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what plans he has to meet his Iranian counterpart to discuss the UN call for human rights reform in Iran; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Rammell: My right hon. Friend the Foreign Secretary has no immediate plans to meet his Iranian counterpart. He discussed a number of human rights concerns with the Iranian Ambassador on 8 November, including the use of the death sentence for juvenile offenders. The UK, along with all other EU member states, co-sponsored the resolution on human rights in Iran adopted by the United Nations General Assembly on 17 November.
Mr. Soley: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what discussions he has had with the Moldovan ambassador concerning the arrest of Mr. Serafim Urechean, Mayor of Chisinau, on his return from the UK after an official visit; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. MacShane: Our ambassador in Moldova has met with Mr. Urechean since he was summoned for questioning, which we understand was in relation to allegations of corruption in the municipal budget, and remains in regular contact. We have had no discussions on the issue with the Moldovan chargé d'affaires in London.
Mr. Drew: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will make a statement on the conflict in the Niger Delta; and what discussions he has had with the Government of Nigeria on seeking a peaceful outcome. 
Mr. Mullin: We are concerned about a number of problems associated with the Niger Delta: governance; organised crime, including illegal oil bunkering; proliferation of arms; high unemployment; poverty, environmental degradation (including gas flaring) and ethnic unrest. I raised the Niger Delta with the Nigerian Vice President, Atiku Abubakar, in July. The British High Commissioner and his officials are regular visitors to the region and regularly discuss the issues with the Federal and State governments and legislatures.
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