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The Minister for Climate Change and the Environment (Mr. Elliot Morley):
The 200405 annual report and accounts for the Pesticides Safety Directorate will be laid before Parliament today. Copies will be available in the Library of the House.
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The Minister for Europe (Mr. Douglas Alexander): The General Affairs and External Relations Council (GAERC) will be held on 1819 July in Brussels. My right hon. Friend the Foreign Secretary and I will represent the UK.
The Foreign Secretary will give a brief presentation on the GAERC work programme over the next six months. This is an information point only. His presentation will include a brief comment on presidency plans for the future financing negotiation and the future of Europe dossiers. Other key dossiers are: Africa/development, enlargement, UN summit, WTO ministerial and various EU summits (with India, China, Russia, Ukraine and Canada).
The Foreign Secretary will debrief partners on the most recent meeting of the Croatia taskforce where there was further consideration of Croatian co-operation with the international criminal tribunal for the former Yugoslavia. There was no change in the assessment. The Foreign Secretary will confirm our intention to return to this dossier in September. Commissioner Rehn will present the Commission's draft negotiating mandate for Turkey to the Council. We do not expect a substantive discussion.
Commissioner Ferrero-Waldner will present the Commission's communication on UN reform to the Council. Conclusions reiterating the EU's strong support for a successful UN Millennium review summit outcome are expected to be agreed. These will cover the full range of EU priorities at the UN on development, security and human rights.
Syria will be discussed over lunch and will include a briefing from Terje Roed-Larsen, the UN Secretary-General's special envoy on the implementation of UN Security Council Resolution (UNSCR) 1559. As presidency we will underline the importance on the full implementation of UNSCR 1559 and 1595; support the new Lebanese Government; and call on Syria to contribute to regional stability in Lebanon, Iraq and on the middle east peace process (MEPP).
High Representative Solana will debrief the Council on his recent (1014 July) visit to the region. We then expect discussion to focus on disengagement (due to begin on 17 August). As presidency, our priorities remain to work to ensure that disengagement proceeds as smoothly as possible and that Gaza should be left economically viable. In this context, we will call for continued EU support to the work of Jim Wolfensohn, quartet special envoy on disengagement. As presidency, we will also highlight the importance of increased coordination between Israel and the Palestinian
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Authority on disengagement and continue to urge both sides to continue to implement their road map and Sharm el-Sheikh commitments.
The Council will hold a brief discussion of the results of the presidential election, EU/Iran relations and the E-3 process. As presidency, we will call for a continuation of the existing foreign policy towards Iran and continuation of E-3 dialogue.
The Council will discuss the crackdown by the authorities in Zimbabwe, which has destroyed housing and targeted informal traders. As presidency, we will be aiming for the agreement of Council conclusions, which make clear the EU's condemnation of these events and include consensus on the need to maintain EU pressure.
The EU-China summit will take place in Beijing on 5 September. The GAERC will discuss preparations for the summit. As presidency, we will update partners on the progress of negotiations with the Chinese. The GAERC will provide an opportunity for partners to feed in their thoughts and to discuss the EU China Joint statement which will record the summit conclusions and set out aspirations for deepening the EU's relationship with China.
There will be a brief discussion and the Council is expected to reiterate its concern over the situation in Uzbekistan and to condemn the Uzbek authorities' refusal to allow an independent international inquiry into the recent events in Andizhan. At the 13 June GAERC the Uzbek authorities were given until the end of June to allow for an international inquiry. With this deadline now passed, the EU will be considering a range of restrictive measures.
There will be a brief discussion by the Council. Peter Mandelson will report back to Foreign Ministers on the mini-ministerial in Dalian (1213 July) and will give an assessment of how preparations are going in the run up to the end-July WTO General Council in Geneva. The main trade discussion will however take place during the informal trade ministers' dinner on 18 July.
The Estonians have asked for the Estonia/Russia border treaty to be placed on the agenda. They will outline to partners why the ratification of this treaty has stalled and how they hope to take matters forward with the Russian Federation. We do not envisage any substantial discussion.
The Minister for Trade (Ian Pearson):
The latest report on the implementation of the Sino-British Joint Declaration on Hong Kong was published today and copies have been placed in the Library of the House. A copy of the report is also available on the Foreign and
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Commonwealth Office website at: www.fco.gov.uk. The report covers the period from 1 January to 30 June 2005 and includes a foreword by my right hon. Friend the Foreign Secretary. I commend the report to the House.
The Minister of State, Department of Health (Jane Kennedy): I have received the annual report of the Medicines Commission for 2004, which has been laid before Parliament today in accordance with the requirements of section 5(2) of the Medicines Act 1968.
Bound volumes have been placed in the Library containing the 2004 reports of the Medicines Commission, the Committee on Safety of Medicines, the Advisory Board on the Registration of Homoeopathic Products, the British Pharmacopoeia Commission, the Independent Review Panel on Advertising, the Independent Panel for the Borderline Products and the Veterinary Products Committee.
I am glad to acknowledge the valuable work done by the distinguished members of the Medicines Act advisory bodies and thank them for the time and effort dedicated in the public interest to this important work.
Copies will be placed in the Library, but formal printing and publication will not take place for another six to nine weeks, pending preparation of a version in the Welsh language, as required by the Welsh Language Act.
The Minister of State, Department of Health (Jane Kennedy): For the health service bodies listed as follows, their annual accounts and any accompanying comptroller and auditor general reports have today been laid before the House of Commons pursuant to section 98(1C) of the National Health Service Act 1977. Copies have been placed in the Library.
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