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In September 2005 the UN Millennium Review Summit will address recommendations on reform of the UN system put forward by the UN Secretary-General in his report In Larger Freedom: Towards Development, Security and Human Rights for All".
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The Government welcome these proposals and hope to build on them at the summit. My right hon. Friend the Foreign Secretary, in his meetings with the UN Secretary-General, has highlighted the importance that the UK attaches to improved governance at the UN.
In addition, we want to see a Security Council that reflects today's world and the contributions of the UN's members to its objectives. The UK therefore supports the expansion of both the permanent and non-permanent membership.
Damian Green: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs pursuant to the answer of 22 June 2005, Official Report, column 1083W, on visas, what meetings his Department has held with the (a) Department of Health and (b) Home Office about the issuing of visas to overseas doctors. 
Dr. Howells: UKvisas have not met directly with the Department of Health or the Home Office on this issue. However, they have been in contact with the Home Office about the fourthcoming Immigration Rules changes relating to postgraduate doctors and dentists.
Mr. Wills: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what legal advice he has received concerning the UK Government assuming responsibility for the payment to UK citizens of Zimbabwean government pensions. 
Mr. McGovern: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what discussions he has had with representatives of the South African Government regarding the situation in Zimbabwe in the past three months. 
We regularly discuss the crisis in Zimbabwe with South Africa and our other African partners. My right hon. Friend the Foreign Secretary raised it with South African Foreign Minister Zuma on 14 July. 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 (the Lord Triesman of Tottenham) discussed the situation in Zimbabwe with African leaders, including President Mbeki, at the recent African Union
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Summit in Sirte in Libya. Zimbabwe was also discussed at the G8 Summit in Gleneagles, attended by President Mbeki.
Mr. Hancock: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will list the key dates in the Armoured Vehicle Training Services project from prequalification questionnaire to the decision to abandon the project. 
Mr. Ingram: The Armoured Vehicle Training Services (AVTS) project has not been abandoned. As the ministerial statements on 15 June announced, we decided to seek an alternative to the current private finance initiative (PFI) solution. This decision was reached after a detailed assessment of the landmark bid concluded that the PFI deal did not offer an acceptable value for money solution. This change in direction will allow us to examine other procurement options. Key dates in the Armoured Vehicle Training Service project are provided in the following table.
|January 2000||Pre-Qualification Questionnaire issued|
|February 2001||Invitation to Negotiate (ITN) Issued.|
|October 2002||Final Bids received|
|November 2003||MOD/Industry agree to Best and Final Offer stage|
|July 2004||Intended Preferred Bidder announced|
|June 2005||Announcement to seek alternative to current PFI|
The United Kingdom has one of the strictest and most transparent arms export licensing systems in the world. All export licence applications are rigorously assessed on a case by case basis against the consolidated EU and National Arms Export Licensing Criteria. This assessment takes into account the prevailing circumstances and all other announced Government policies, including factors that are relevant if the goods are to be incorporated for re-export. The criteria demonstrate our commitment to take account of the risk that exports might be used for internal repression, prolonging conflict or external aggression. Where we judge that the proposed export might be used in contravention of the Consolidated EU and National Arms Export Licensing Criteria, those export licence applications are refused.
Andrew Mackinlay: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence (1) if he will list those of his Department's buildings containing asbestos, which have been demolished, which incorporated or accommodated radar equipment and which were operational between 1940 and 1969; what quantities of asbestos were removed; and if he will make a statement; 
(2) if he will list those of his Department's buildings from which asbestos has been removed that incorporated or accommodated radar equipment and which were operational between 1940 and 1969; what quantities were removed; and if he will make a statement. 
There is no central register of where asbestos has been removed from buildings, belonging to the Department or its agencies, whether demolished or still in existence, which at any time accommodated radar. Such a list could be compiled only with disproportionate cost and effort. In any case, no information is available before 1974, as the law did not require records to be kept prior to that date.
Ann Winterton: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence when Bowman will be fully operational throughout the UK armed forces; and what the (a) overall final cost and (b) cost per unit is expected to be. 
Mr. Ingram: The Bowman tactical communications and information system is being developed and introduced across the United Kingdom armed forces incrementally. As I have previously stated on 5 July 2005, Official Report, column 258W, this is having a direct and positive effect on the communications capability in theatre.
We have always planned for Bowman, like other complex programmes, to be developed and delivered incrementally over a number of years. We currently expect the complete capability to be delivered next year, and for the conversion programme to continue in 2008.
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The latest overall forecast cost for Bowman (as at 31 March 2005) is £2,007 million. Given the diverse nature of individual Bowman configurations, for accounting purposes, the average unit cost is expressed as around £43,000.
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