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Dr. Howells: Our High Commission in Islamabad is continuing not to accept applications from first time visitors under the age of 25 until such time as it is operationally viable to recommence this part of the service. At this stage, it is not possible to say when that may be.
Applications for visitors under the age of 25 who can demonstrate previous travel to the UK, USA, Canada, Australia and New Zealand are being accepted. All straightforward visit applications that meet the criteria are being processed within seven working days.
When a change is made to this policy, the information will be contained on both the UKvisas website: www.ukvisas.gov.uk and on the High Commission website: www.britainonline.org.pk.
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Dan Norris: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will list the (a)organisations and (b) projects operating in (i) Israel and (ii) the Palestinian territories being (A) funded and (B) partially sponsored by his Department. 
Ian Pearson: The projects listed are funded by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) through the Global Opportunities Fund (GOF), the Global Conflict Prevention Pool (GCPPwhich is jointly funded by FCO, MOD and DFID) and the Foreign and Commonwealth Office Directorate Programme Budget (DPB).
Mr. Henderson: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs how much was spent by his Department and public bodies and agencies for which he is responsible on security contracts with Group 4 Securicor in 2004-05; and if he will list (a) the nature and location of services provided and (b) the start and end dates of such contracts. 
Mr. Straw: The Foreign and Commonwealth Office in London has not spent any money on contracts with Group 4 Securicor in the past year. Inquiries with our diplomatic missions overseas have shown that 14 missions have contracts from local budgets worth £844,000 per annum with companies in the Group 4 Securicor group. Services contracted included: security guards; rapid response teams; alarm surveillance of offices and residences; direct line push button response alarms to the local police; and alarm, closed circuit television and fire system maintenance.
David T.C. Davies: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs how many days the Department has lost due to sickness in the past five years for which figures are available. 
Data collection over this period has been complicated by the introduction of new Pay and Management Information systems. It is therefore possible that the figures given do not reflect consistent recording methods. FCO is currently working to improve both accuracy and detail in this area.
Per capita sickness absence in the FCO has been consistently below the public sector average. In 2003 it was recorded at 5.6 days per person. The date showed a slight rise in 2004 to six days per person. This is likely to be the result of better management control/reporting and the introduction of new IT systems.
The FCO is fully committed to implementing the recommendations in the recently published Managing Sickness Absence in the Public Sector". A new FCO health care contract which started in April 2005 includes a comprehensive occupational health service aimed at better and more proactive management of long and short-term sickness absence.
Andrew Mackinlay: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs when Sir Michael Jay was asked to adjust his duties in relation to the G8; whether this constituted a formal redeployment; when he will return to his principal duties as Permanent Under-Secretary; and if he will make a statement. 
My right hon. Friend the Prime Minister appointed Sir Michael Jay as his G8 Sherpa on 17January 2005 for the duration of the UK presidency.
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Sir Michael took on this duty in addition to his duties as Permanent Under-Secretary at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office and Head of HM Diplomatic Service. There was no formal redeployment.
Mr. Drew: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what representations he has made to the Sudanese authorities on the provisions of the new interim conditions that provide immunity against prosecution for the highest levels of the Government. 
Ian Pearson: Under the Interim National Constitution (INC), which came into force on 9 July 2005, the president and first vice-president shall be immune from any legal proceedings during their tenure of office, except in cases of high treason, gross violation of the constitution or gross misconduct in relation to state affairs, where they may be charged if three quarters of the National Assembly agree.
In line with the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA), which we strongly support, the INC was drawn up by the National Constitutional Review Commission, which included representatives of the parties to the agreement and other political forces in Sudan.
We have made no representations on this issue. However, we regularly press the Government of Sudan on the need to establish an open, transparent and fair judicial system; and we plan to support the comprehensive review of the judiciary provided for by the CPA.
The International Criminal Court is currently conducting investigations into allegations of crimes in Darfur. Though Sudan is not a state party to the ICC statute, it was referred to the court by the UN Security Council Resolution 1593 (2005) which was made pursuant to Chapter VII of the United Nations charter. Sudan is therefore legally obliged to co-operate with the ICC including by surrendering any Sudanese nationals indicted by the ICC, irrespective of the individual's position under Sudanese domestic law.
Mr. Rob Wilson: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what recent discussions he has had with EU and African counterparts on (a) increasing the size and (b) improving the effectiveness of the international forces in Darfur. 
Ian Pearson: We hold regular discussions with the African Union (AU), African nations and the EU about the African Union's Mission in Sudan (AMIS). At the recent Gleneagles summit, G8 and African leaders discussed the issue and adopted a joint declaration on Sudan which commended the work of the AU in Darfur, and called upon the parties to scrupulously respect the ceasefire and negotiate constructively to reach a political settlement.
My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for International Development (Hilary Benn) and my noble Friend the Minister for Africa (Lord Triesman of Tottenham) also discussed Sudan with AU Chairperson Konare, during their visit to the AU summit in Sirte on
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4 July. The Secretary of State for International Development also held detailed discussions with the AU during his visit to Sudan on 12-14 June.
Sudan and AMIS in particular are regularly discussed in the EU. The 18 July General Affairs and External Relations Council agreed the terms for the EU's comprehensive support to AMIS II in the civilian and military fields.
Ian Pearson: We hold regular discussions with the African Union (AU) about the monitoring of the ceasefire in Darfur. At the recent Gleneagles summit, G8 and African leaders discussed the issue and adopted a joint declaration on Sudan which commended the work of the AU in Darfur, and called upon the parties scrupulously to respect the ceasefire and negotiate constructively to reach a political settlement.
My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for International Development (Hilary Benn) and my noble Friend the Foreign and Commonwealth Office Minister for Africa (Lord Triesman of Tottenham) also discussed Sudan with AU Chairperson Konare, during their visit to the AU summit in Sirte on 4 July. The Secretary of State for International Development also held detailed discussions with the AU during his visit to Sudan on 1214 June.
Mr. Rob Wilson: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what support the Government are giving to the International Criminal Court chief prosecutor to aid his investigations into human rights abuses in Darfur. 
Ian Pearson: The UK has concluded a generic witness relocation agreement with the Court and is negotiating agreements on sentence enforcement and information-sharing. The Court will carry out its investigations in Darfur and elsewhere in an entirely independent capacity. Because of the need to respect this independence, and to protect the integrity of the Court's operations, it would not be appropriate to comment on the operational aspects of specific ICC investigations, nor to reveal what support the UK is providing in that regard. The UK remains ready to consider any specific request put forward by the Court.
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