|Previous Section||Index||Home Page|
Mr. MacShane: The judges and Advocates-General of the European Court of Justice (ECJ) are appointed by common accord of the Governments of the member states and hold office for a renewable term of six years. The Court is composed of one judge per member state, so that all the EU's national legal systems are represented. If a judge or Advocate-General resigns or retires before the end of their term, the member state in question nominates a new candidate. Members of the ECJ are chosen from legal experts whose independence is beyond doubt and who possess the qualifications required for appointment to the highest judicial offices in their respective countries or who are of recognised competence.
Mr. Austin Mitchell: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs how many (a) directives and (b) regulations of the European (i)Communities and (ii) Union are in force; and how many have come into force since 1 May 1997. 
Mr. MacShane: Information relating to the number of European Community and European Union directives and regulations currently in force, and those which have entered into force since 1 May 1997, is not held centrally and could be provided only at disproportionate cost.
The Government welcome the Commission's recent Communication 'Better Regulation for Growth and Jobs', which promises further work on assessing the impact of new measures and on simplifying existing legislation.
My hon. Friend may also wish to consult Standard Note SN/IA/2888 in the Library of the House which gives details of the number of measures adopted and the number which have been repealed or have expired in any given year.
Pete Wishart: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what estimate he has made of the cost to public funds of (a) completed and (b) planned refurbishment and redecoration of (i) buildings and (ii)sites associated with the forthcoming G8 summit; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Rammell: In preparation for the G8 Summit in July, some refurbishment work and building of temporary structures will be necessary, but the work has not yet started and the cost has not yet been finalised.
Mr. Salmond: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what the cost to (a) the Scottish Executive and (b) his Department will be of completed or planned refurbishment and redecoration of buildings and sites for the forthcoming G8 summit; and if he will list (i) work completed, (ii) work planned and (iii) the buildings and sites involved. 
Mr. Rammell: In preparation for the G8 Summit in July, some refurbishment work will be necessary at facilities in Scotland, as well as the building of temporary structures at the Gleneagles hotel. The work planned by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office has not yet started and the cost has not yet been finalised. We understand that some limited refurbishment and redecoration (amounting to less than £500) has taken place in a number of police buildings. Other property costs are being incurred in connection with security but it is not Scottish Executive policy to comment on security aspects.
Llew Smith: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what the nature is of the complexities and difficulties to which reference is made in respect of international co-operation on security intelligence, at paragraph 7 of Cm 6492, Review of Intelligence on Weapons of Mass Destruction, implementation of its conclusions. 
Mr. Straw: The global nature of the current terrorist threat is such that groups and individuals from different countries may be involved in planning and supporting terrorist activity both in the country in which they are based and elsewhere. This presents challenges in managing investigations, prosecutions and other legal sanctions often simultaneously, across national boundaries, further complicated by other practical difficulties, such as different legal systems.
Mr. Dalyell: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what representations he has received concerning further steps to safeguard the archaeological heritage of Iraq; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Rammell: The Government take very seriously the need to respect Iraq's cultural heritage. As United Nations Security Council Resolution 1546 (June 2004)stressed, all parties need to respect and protect Iraq's archaeological, historical, cultural, and religious heritage.
Foreign and Commonwealth Office officials are in regular contact with the Iraqi Ministry of Culture. My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport (Tessa Jowell) has spoken with the Iraqi Minister of Culture and is kept closely informed of key cultural issues in Iraq. At the Iraqi Ministry's request we helped facilitate a British Museum visit to Babylon in December 2004.
4 Apr 2005 : Column 1232W
The Government are currently funding three Iraqi interns to receive training on site management techniques and museology, based at the British Museum. We continue to look at ways of supporting the museum's involvement in Iraq.
Mr. Dalyell: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will authorise Mrs.Elizabeth Wilmshurst to give a public account of her arguments and her reasoning on the legality of war in Iraq. 
Mr. Chope: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what representations he has made to the Irish Government about payments from the UK General Lighthouse Fund for the provision of navigational aids in Irish territorial waters; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. MacShane: My right hon. Friend the Foreign Secretary has had no contact with the Irish Government on this issue. However, Her Majesty's Ambassador to Ireland raised this issue with the Secretary-General of the Irish Department of Communications, Marine and Natural Resources on 17 June 2004. Officials at the Department of Transport have recently discussed with the Irish Government the principle of a review of the light dues system including the 1985 agreement. The Irish Government have indicated that it is willing for such a review to take place.
Mr. Drew: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will make a statement on the political situation in Kyrgyzstan; and what steps he is taking through diplomatic channels to find a peaceful settlement. 
Mr. Rammell: On 27 February 2005, Kyrgyzstan held parliamentary elections. On 4 March I made a statement noting that, while more competitive than previous elections, the elections had still not fully matched up to international standards.
In the course of the following week the number of protests against individual results escalated, and the demonstrations became increasingly assertive. By 21 March, the protesters had seized regional administrative buildings in the southern cities of Osh and Jalabad.
On 24 March a large demonstration took place in the capital Bishkek calling for President Akaev to resign. The demonstrators took control of the main Government building. The Government resigned and President Akaev left the country.
4 Apr 2005 : Column 1233W
The opposition figures have formed an interim Government and attempted to restore order to the streets of Bishkek and to the country as a whole. The old Parliament has now dissolved itself, so legitimising the newly elected Parliament. However, 13 out of the 75 seats remain disputed. New elections will be held for them in the future. New presidential elections have provisionally been called for 26 June.
Our ambassador was in Bishkek on 2428 March when the main action took place. With EU and Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) colleagues he met various members of the interim Government. They encouraged the Government to re-establish law and order, pursue a policy of national reconciliation and dialogue with all political forces in Kyrgyzstan and ensure continuity of reform programmes. In doing so they emphasised the need to respect fully democratic norms and human rights.
I reinforced these messages in a phone call to the acting Foreign Minister, Roza Otunbaeva, on 30 March. I noted that the upcoming elections would be crucial in determining the domestic and international credibility of the interim Government. I encouraged the interim Government to work closely with the OSCE and reaffirmed the willingness of the UK, with our EU partners, to co-operate with the interim Government in this respect.
|Next Section||Index||Home Page|