|Previous Section||Index||Home Page|
Mr. Brady: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will make the establishment of a free trade area including the EU and the US a priority for the UK Presidency of the EU. 
Mr. MacShane: The UK Government intend to take forward during its Presidency of the EU the work being undertaken to deepen the economic partnership between the EU and the US. At the EU-US summit in Ireland in June 2004, both sides committed themselves
"to engage in a vigorous discussion of concrete ideas on how to further transatlantic economic integration to the fullest, spur innovation and job creation and better realise the competitive potential of our economies and enterprises"
Richard Burden: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what inquiries have been made of the Greek authorities by his Department about why the coroners office in Greece are confirming possession of only some of the organs of the late Russell Christopher Anderson of Birmingham; and if he will make a statement. 
Our consular staff maintained a regular dialogue with the Greek authorities during the investigation of Russell Anderson's case. In autumn 2003 they contacted the Greek pathologist who stated that he was holding parts of Russell's organs, but that the whole
13 Jan 2005 : Column 638W
organs were no longer available. Our staff forwarded a letter to Mrs. Anderson on 13 November 2003 confirming this.
During autopsies in Greece, organs can be removed for testing at the discretion of the doctor, without consent of the next of kin. Any organs removed are retained for the duration of the tests, after which they are normally destroyed. The Greek state does not recognise that organs, or parts of organs, removed in these circumstances belong to anyone other than the state, since they are removed and examined as part of a legal or criminal investigation.
I refer my hon. Friend to the reply I gave him on 15 December 2004, Official Report, column 1199W, which explained how Russell's family can apply for the return of the parts of his organs still held by the Greek authorities.
Mr. MacShane: The Government strongly believe that an international arms trade treaty should be negotiated. We are working to help build the broad international support which is necessary for negotiations to begin. We have already discussed the issue with other countries who have declared their support in principle for such a treaty, and others. We will continue to use our bilateral contacts and take action in multilateral fora where appropriate to pursue this objective.
Mr. Arbuthnot: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what responses he has received from his international counterparts regarding the proposed international arms treaty. 
Mr. Arbuthnot: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs whether a timetable has been drawn up for the (a) agreement and (b) implementation of the proposed international arms treaty; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. MacShane: No timetable for the agreement of an arms trade treaty has yet been agreed. The Government hope that negotiations could begin as soon as possible, once there is sufficient international support.
The UK supports the EU's policy of pursuing constructive discussion with Russia on issues relating to Kaliningrad. The EU and Russia agreed joint
13 Jan 2005 : Column 639W
statements on the Kaliningrad region on 11 November 2002 and 27 April 2004. Copies can be found at the following links:
The joint statements acknowledge the unique situation of the Kaliningrad region as part of the Russian Federation, but separated from the rest of the federation by other states, and agree to make a special effort to accommodate the concerns of both sides relating to the transit of persons and goods between the Kaliningrad region and other parts of Russia, and to intensify their co-operation to promote the social and economic development of the region as a whole. The UK supports the implementation of the commitments in the two joint statements.
Mr. Hayes: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will make a statement on the nature of planned EU assistance to ECOWAS for the establishment of a light weapons unit; what the role of EU personnel will be in such assistance; which EU directorate will take the lead; from which budget line such funding will be taken; and what the likely UK components of that assistance will include. 
Mr. MacShane: To assist with the Small Arms and Light Weapons (SALW) project the EU plans to give financial assistance to the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) amounting to €515,000 and to second one project director. The project director will provide advice on SALW issues and prepare regional contacts for a seminar on the possible transformation of the ECOWAS Moratorium on SALW into a regional convention by the end of December 2005. The Commission will conclude a financing agreement with ECOWAS regarding the conditions of use of the European Union contribution, which shall be in the form of non-repayable aid. The project will be funded from the Common Foreign and Security budget line within the External Actions categoryas such, member states will have the lead in overseeing the implementation of the project, supported by the Council Secretariat and in close co-operation with the Commission. The UK's share of the contribution from the Common Foreign and Security Policy budget will amount to €92,000.
Mr. Hayes: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what requirement there is for the EU contribution to ECOWAS for the establishment of a Light Weapons Unit to be separately accounted for in EU accounts. 
For the project to be separately accounted for in the EU accounts, it would require the creation of a separate budget line. The Government see no need for a separate budget line for this specific project as the financial details are scrutinised by all member states prior to adoption. The EU contribution towards the small arms and light weapons project of the Economic Community of West African States will be financed from the non-proliferation projects line of the Common Foreign and Security Policy budget line, part
13 Jan 2005 : Column 640W
of the external actions budget. The financial note detailing all financial expenditure was scrutinised by member states, and agreed by unanimity, who will retain oversight of the project. In addition, budget lines are created on a multi-annual basis for areas of activity not for individual projects.
Mr. George Osborne: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs how many pay television subscriptions the Department had in each year since 1997; and what the cost was in each year. 
Mr. Rammell: The majority of all pay television subscriptions are purchased overseas for the provision of 24-hour news coverage to the Department's global network of posts. On average, posts purchase two subscriptions each at an annual cost of £380 per subscription (200304 costs). The information is not held centrally but we estimate that the total costs for the UK and overseas to be around £200,000.
|Next Section||Index||Home Page|