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14 Jun 2005 : Column 333W—continued

Race Relations (Amendment) Act

Keith Vaz: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs how many and what percentage of staff in his Department have received training on the general and specific duties of the Race Relations (Amendment) Act 2000, broken down by (a) ethnicity and (b) grade. [3531]

Mr. Straw: The Foreign and Commonwealth Office's (FCO) Valuing Diversity course includes a section on the Race Relations (Amendment) Act 2000. This course is mandatory for all FCO staff. The course is delivered twice a month. In addition, staff who take on specific roles, for example heads and deputy heads of our overseas posts, and new staff joining the FCO, are briefed on diversity issues including the RR(A)A. Guidance for FCO staff on the RR(A)A is available on the FCO's internal intranet. This guidance includes the FCO's new Race Equality Scheme 2005–08, which is being circulated to all FCO departments and posts, and is available on our website,

In the 2004–05 financial year, 340 members of staff, 5 per cent. of the total number of UK based FCO staff, attended. This is broken down by grade in Table 1.
GradeNumbers attendedHCS grade equivalent
D629Grade 7 (Principal)
D78Grade 6 (Senior Principal)
SMS23SCS pay bands 1–4

Under the employment duty of the RR(A)A we are required to monitor employment factors such as recruitment and promotion. It has not yet been possible to collect data on staff applying for and attending training courses broken down by ethnicity. However, we are working to establish a mechanism to monitor training using the FCO's information management system, Prism. We have asked the development team for a standard report to be available on Prism which will enable ethnicity data to be taken from staff records for all training courses attended. This report should be available in about four months' time.


Daniel Kawczynski: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what plans he has to visit Romania; and what assessment he has made of the likely timetable for Romania becoming an EU member. [3651]

Mr. Douglas Alexander: My right hon. Friend the Foreign Secretary would like to visit Romania when his diary permits.

Romania signed its Accession Treaty with the EU on 25 April this year and is scheduled to join in January 2007 provided it fulfils its EU commitments. The Commission will produce a report for the Council of Ministers assessing Romania's progress against its EU obligations in autumn 2005.
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Mr. Drew: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what the UK's position is on the US State Department's citing of (a) Kuwait, (b) Saudi Arabia, (c) the United Arab Emirates and (d) Qatar for their responsibility for trafficking; and if he will make a statement. [3097]

Dr. Howells: Human trafficking is a global crime involving many source, transit and destination countries. We welcome the US State Department's 2005 Trafficking in Persons Report for raising awareness of the problem and seeking to promote action to resolve it. The UK is committed to doing all it can to combat trafficking, including working closely with governments around the world. We encourage those governments cited to increase their efforts to eliminate it.


Absence without Leave

Mr. Moore: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many trained personnel have gone absent withoutleave in each of the services in each of the last five years. [4253]

Mr. Touhig: The number of service personnel 1 who have gone absent without leave in each of the last five years is as follows:

Calendar yearTotal number reported AWOL (rounded to the nearest 5)

Royal Marines

Calendar yearTotal number reported AWOL (rounded to the nearest 5)

Figures include trained and untrained strength.

Calendar yearTotal number reported AWOL (rounded to the nearest 5)

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Financial yearTotal number reported AWOL (rounded to the nearest 5)

Recording absence differs between the Naval Service, the Army and the RAF. The Naval Service and the Army record multiple periods of absence by the same person. However, the RAF registers an individual once, regardless of how many times they are absent within a financial year.


Andrew George: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how much has been spent by (a) the UK and (b) other allied countries in support of military and security efforts in Afghanistan since 2002–03. [3637]

Mr. Ingram: The net additional costs of operations in Afghanistan are published each year in the Ministry of Defence's Annual Report and Accounts. Costs for financial year 2002–03 were £311 million and for 2003–04 £46 million. Costs for financial year 2004–05 will be published in the MOD's next Annual Report and Accounts in the autumn.

Costs incurred by other allied countries are a matter for them.


Mr. Amess: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what role is envisaged for NATO in the Darfur region; and if he will make a statement. [3750]

Mr. Ancram: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence (1) whether it is the Government's policy that coordination of the EU and NATO efforts in Darfur should be done through NATO's military headquarters in Mons, Belgium; [3969]

(2) what resources his Department plans to make available to (a) the EU and (b) NATO for operations in Darfur; [3970]

(3) which European countries have declared resources available to (a) the EU and (b) NATO for operations in Darfur; [3971]

(4) what form of assistance and support (a) NATO and (b) the EU plan to offer in order to support the African Union in its mission in Darfur. [3972]

John Reid: The Government continue to support the international community's efforts to support the African Union mission in Darfur, notably through the UN, NATO and the EU. All these organisations have an important and complementary role to play in providing support to the work of the AU. What matters is that this support is provided through the most effective means, is in line with African Union requirements, and respects African ownership, through close co-operation between the supporting bodies.
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NATO will support the AU mission through provision of airlift and the training of AU personnel. Individual contributions of airlift under the auspices of NATO will be clarified following a joint NATO/EU Donor Airlift Nation Movement Planning Conference on 15 June. The provision of training will be from within NATO's command structure.

The EU has supported the AU mission since its inception: the European Commission has allocated €92 million and provided logistical and planning support. The EU is now in the process of bringing together a further consolidated offer of assistance to support both the military and police aspects of the AU mission, including provision of equipment and assets, planning and technical assistance, and training. It is supporting the development of a police unit within the AU. Some member states also want to provide their airlift support under EU auspices.

The African Union is leading the operation and managing offers of assistance. There is no operational command and control role for either the EU or NATO. As the EU's support is a co-ordinated civil-military effort, the Government do not believe that it can be co-ordinated using NATO's military headquarters at Mons. However, both organisations are working closely together to co-ordinate their military offers, including through joint support to a single AU co-ordination cell for airlift at Addis Ababa.

On 13 June the Secretary of State for International Development announced that the UK will increase its contribution to the expansion of the AU mission to £19 million. This brings the UK Government's total contribution to the AU mission since its inception to almost £32 million. The Ministry of Defence has contributed to this support, which includes the purchase of vehicles, training for military observers, advice on logistics, and airlift. As part of the support to the expansion of the AU mission, the Ministry of Defence is offering two logistic planners within the EU's support to the AU's Joint Logistic Operation Centre at El Fashir, Sudan; and a mobile air movements team of up to 15 people to NATO if required.

European countries including Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and Turkey have all pledged financial assistance and/or declared other resources available for operations in Darfur. Many of these offers are still being finalised and may be made through the EU or NATO depending on the nature of the offer.

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