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Mr. Jim Cunningham: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will make a statement on the social and political situation in Vietnam. [6989]

Ian Pearson: Vietnam is a one-party state in which the Communist Party of Vietnam (CPV) decides all major policy issues. The country's current leadership was confirmed by the last major 9th Communist Party V Party Congress in 2001. Vietnam is expected to continue its successful doi moi (renovation) economic reform programme at the next CPV Party Congress in 2006. No significant changes to Vietnam's political system are expected. Vietnam's next major challenge is to join the World Trade Organisation, possibly late this year, which should further consolidate and spur its economic reforms.

We remain concerned about the human rights situation in Vietnam and have an increasingly open dialogue with the Vietnam Government on such issues. We are also working with Vietnam and its neighbours on their efforts to tackle terrorism, illegal immigration and organised crime in the region.

Other major challenges facing Vietnam include regional economic disparity, stubbornly high poverty in remote ethnic-minority regions and the influx of unregistered internal migrants to major cities. The Department for International Development's (DFID)
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support to Vietnam is one of the fastest growing UK aid programmes in the world, assisting Vietnam's social and economic development including the transition to a market-based economy.


Mr. Hollobone: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what steps he is proposing to encourage the international community to take action to address the political situation in Zimbabwe. [6405]

Ian Pearson: We condemn the Zimbabwe authorities' forcible destruction of housing and small businesses, which has rendered hundreds of thousands of people homeless and without livelihoods.

We are working actively to end the violence and help the victims. Britain has protested strongly to the Zimbabwean authorities; is providing humanitarian assistance to those in greatest need; and is encouraging all members of the international community to follow suit.

With our strong support, the EU has condemned Mugabe's actions and has agreed to ban from Europe and freeze the assets of another 25 of his henchmen. We are in regular contact with the US, Canada, Australia and others, who have joined us in speaking out. We are encouraging other African Governments to engage. And we are in close touch with the UN Secretary-General, who is despatching his own special envoy to Zimbabwe, Anna Tibaijuka, to report on the situation there.

We will continue to work with the international community for a return to democratic governance and the rule of law in Zimbabwe.
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2011 Census

Mr. Paul Goodman: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what his policy is in relation to recognising Kashmiris as an ethnic group in the 2011 census. [7039]

John Healey: The information requested falls within the responsibility of the National Statistician who has been asked to reply.

Letter from Len Cook to Mr. Paul Goodman, dated 27 June 2005:

Birth and Death Records (Digitisation)

Dr. Pugh: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how much of the digitisation of the UK's birth and death records will be carried out abroad. [6609]

John Healey: The information requested falls within the responsibility of the Registrar General, who has been asked to reply.

Letter from Len Cook to Dr. John Pugh, dated 27 June 2005:

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Computer Crime

Mr. Burstow: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how many cases of computer (a) hacking, (b) fraud and (c) theft his Department recorded in each year since 2001–02; and for each year, on how many occasions computer systems have been illegally accessed by computer hackers (i) within and (ii) outside his Department. [7180]

John Healey: The Department has recorded the following incidents.
(to date)
(a) Hacking11010
(b) Fraud00000
(c) Theft2241041
(i) Illegal access from within00000
(ii) Illegal access from outside11010


Mrs. Dean: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what plans he has to issue guidance on effective commissioning for those in the public and voluntary sectors who are commissioning work from external consultants. [7033]

John Healey: The Office of Government Commerce offers best practice advice to the public sector through its web-based product, the Successful Delivery Toolkit ( This guidance is aimed at public sector organisations and complies with Government policy and regulations for procurement but is not specifically tailored to the voluntary sector. The guidance encompasses:

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