Previous Section Index Home Page

10 Jan 2005 : Column 23W—continued

IT Projects

Mr. George Osborne: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will list his Department's IT projects in each year since 1997, broken down by (a) amount spent, (b) purpose, (c) cost of over-run and (d) time of over-run. [205791]

Mr. Rammell: The Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) has undertaken over a hundred IT projects since 1997, ranging in cost from a few thousand pounds to several millions, and in time from a few weeks to several years. There is no central record of historical cost/time information from which we could extract this information. Therefore we could not answer this question without incurring disproportionate cost. The FCO annual departmental report gives details of our major IT projects.


Llew Smith: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what steps he has taken to combat organised crime in Kosovo. [205896]

Mr. MacShane: The UK has taken a number of steps to fight organised crime in Kosovo, and in the Western Balkans region as a whole. The UK works closely with governments in the region, the UN mission in Kosovo (UNMIK) and other international organisations to combat this threat.
10 Jan 2005 : Column 24W

Since 2002 we have committed over £2.4 million to initiatives in this field throughout the region. We have provided expertise and equipment to increase the effectiveness of the Kosovo Organised Crime Unit and are currently helping UNMIK to set up a financial intelligence unit to combat money laundering in Kosovo.

The UK has provided around 99 officers to UNMIK to assist with law enforcement there. We also contribute almost 20 per cent. of the funding to the EU's external assistance programme to the Western Balkans (the Community Assistance for Reconstruction, Development and Stabilisation (CARDS) programme. The programme is worth €4.6 billion for the period 2000–06. Of the €51.5 million allocated for Kosovo for 2004. €6.5 million (12.5 per cent.) is devoted to justice and home affairs issues.

Llew Smith: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what co-operation his Department's officials in Kosovo have with representatives of the former Kosovo Liberation Army. [205897]

Mr. MacShane: Since the Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA) disbanded following NATO action in Kosovo in 1999, some of its former members have set up and joined new political parties. These parties have played prominent roles in subsequent governments and continue to do so. British officials in Kosovo continue to engage with representatives of these parties, and all parties that are committed to taking forward progress on standards and working towards a multi-ethnic Kosovo.

Llew Smith: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs which areas of Kosovo remain polluted or contaminated as a result of the NATO military action in 1999; what plans there are to remove and remediate this contamination; what resources have been set aside to carry out this clean-up; and if he will make a statement on the future of Kosovo. [205900]

Mr. MacShane: Data on residual mines and other unexploded ordnance in Kosovo is supplied to us by the United Nations interim administration Mission in Kosovo (UNMIK). At present there are 37 individual dangerous areas left to clear. These areas are mostly in the Dulje Pass close to the Prizren area or along the border with Albania. However, more contaminated areas are likely to be discovered as the population returns to areas which have not been occupied since the conflict.

Following NATO intervention in Kosovo to avert an immediate and overwhelming humanitarian disaster, the UK was the first country to have de-miners on the ground in Kosovo. The UK Government have spent over £10 million on de-mining activities in the Balkans, over £5 million of which was spent in 1999–2000 on de-mining in Kosovo. Their de-mining activities have included clearance of unexploded munitions such as cluster bomb submunitions but also cover residual mines and other unexploded ordnance laid (both in set minefields and scattered randomly) during the Serbian-Albanian conflict.
10 Jan 2005 : Column 25W

The UK Government provide funding to the HALO Trust which is one of the agencies involved in helping to clear the remaining mined areas that have been identified. UK Government funding is also provided to a Kosovo Protection Corps (KPC) capacity building project with Handicap International through the Global Conflict Prevention Pool. UNMIK has an Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) management team whose role is one of coordination, planning and management of the ongoing clearance by all the parties involved: KFOR, KPC and NGOs. The UNMIK EOD team is in effect the primary mine clearing authority.

There will be a formal review in mid 2005 of Kosovo's progress in meeting the standards laid down by the UN (Kosovo Standards Implementation Plan (KSIP)). If Kosovo has made the necessary progress, then a process will begin to determine its final status in accordance with UNSCR 1244 (1999). If progress is insufficient, then there will be another review at a later date.


Mr. Moore: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what discussions he has had with his European Union counterparts about the forthcoming election in the Maldives; and if he will make a statement. [205953]

Mr. Alexander: On 13 December EU Heads of Mission accredited to the Maldives released a statement on the Majlis elections scheduled for 31 December. The statement called for the Government of Maldives to ensure that the elections are free and fair, that those who wish to stand for election are permitted to do so and can campaign freely, that open public debate is an integral part of election campaigns and that state-owned resources are employed even-handedly in a way that does not advantage certain candidates over others. The EU Heads of Mission welcomed the Maldivian Government's invitation to the Commonwealth and South Asia Association for Regional Co-operation to send observer missions.

I met both the Maldivian ambassador to the UK and the Maldivian Foreign Minister recently to stress these points.

Marta Andreasen

Mr. Hayes: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will make a statement on the Government's position on the maintenance in European Communities' employment of Marta Andreasen. [207090]

Mr. MacShane: The employment of individuals by EC institutions is a matter for the institutions concerned.


Mr. Hancock: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what position was taken by the UK at the Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe meeting in Sofia on 6 to 7 December on the Russian occupation of part of Moldova; and if he will make a statement. [205376]

10 Jan 2005 : Column 26W

Mr. MacShane: The UK's position was set out in our statement at the Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) Ministerial in Sofia. We want Russia to fulfil commitments made when signing the Adapted Conventional Forces in Europe (CFE) Treaty at the OSCE Summit in Istanbul in 1999. These commitments include the full withdrawal of arms and ammunition from Transnistria, or their destruction in situ, and the withdrawal of Russian forces.

The full text of the UK's statement is available on the OSCE website at


Mr. Moore: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will make a statement on the recent parliamentary and presidential elections in Mozambique, with particular reference to the Renamo opposition party's claims of election fraud. [205904]

Mr. Mullin: Counting is continuing in Mozambique and no formal election results have yet been announced. We understand that Renamo's complaints have been passed to the electoral authorities for consideration. We are currently awaiting reports from both the EU's and Commonwealth's elections observers.


Mr. George Osborne: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will list the (a) newspapers and (b) periodicals taken by his Department in each year since 1997; and how much the Department spent on each in each year. [207649]

Mr. Straw: Expenditure is as follows (only combined figures are available prior to 2001):


A current list of newspaper and periodical titles taken by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office has been placed in the Library of the House. Lists of titles from previous years are not available.

Next Section Index Home Page