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Swaziland

Chris Ruane: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what (a) multilateral and (b) bilateral aid has been given by the United Kingdom to Swaziland to tackle AIDS in each of the last 10 years. [17937]

Mr. Thomas: Since 2001 approximately £1.7million of DFID's contribution to the Global Fund to fight HIV, TB and Malaria was spent in Swaziland. We also have a current commitment (2005 to 2007) of £4 million to UNICEF and the Joint United Programmes on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) for regional HIV/Aids programmes that will benefit Swaziland. DFID is planning to spend an additional £3 million in Swaziland as part of a multi-country programme that will help to care and protect orphans and vulnerable children.

DFID has disbursed the following aid to Swaziland on HIV related projects, both bilaterally and regionally:
Bilateral (£)Regional (£)(3)Total (£)
1996–97112,516112,516
1997–98160,070160.070
1998–99109,598109,598
1999–2000115,578115,578
2000–01175,666370,000545,666
2001–0254,184370,000424,184
2002–0343,532370,000413,532
2003–0411,432370,000381,432
2004–05570,000570,000


(3) Estimated amounts disbursed in Swaziland through regional programmes


Our records indicate that all funding was disbursed through NGO's, the UN system or otherwise through multilateral organisations.

United Nations Population Fund

Mr. Amess: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development how many (a) males and (b) females are employed by the United Nations Population Fund in the counties in China where they operate; and what their core duties are. [16638]


 
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Mr. Thomas: The United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) does not employ staff to work at the sub-national level (county level) in China. The UNFPA staff in China are all employed in Beijing.

However, UNFPA's national staff do monitor in China. This includes regular visits to the counties where UNFPA support is provided, including household visits, and interviews with women's groups.

Mr. Amess: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development how employees of the United Nations Population Fund monitor the Chinese one child policy within the counties they operate in; and if he will make a statement. [16639]

Mr. Thomas: The United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) does not support or monitor the one child policy or its implementation.

The UNFPA works in China, to support the reform of family planning, in line with the principles of free and informed choice as set out at the International Conference on Population and Development in Cairo in 1994.

The UNFPA's monitoring in China includes regular visits by the UNFPA staff to the counties where the UNFPA support is provided, including household visits, and interviews with women's groups.

As a condition of UNFPA support the Chinese authorities have removed birth quotas and targets within the counties in which UNFPA provides support. The UNFPA programme in China is making a full range of reproductive health services available in 32 counties on a voluntary basis.

West Papua

Adam Price: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what assessment he has made of illegal logging and mining activity in West Papua. [17239]

Mr. Thomas: The scale of illegal logging and mining in Papua has, until recently, been poorly understood. An official Government of Indonesia investigation team in 2003 was turned away by the Governor of Papua. February 2005, however, saw the publication of a damning report The Last Frontier" by the Environmental Investigation Agency (EIA) and local NGO Telapak, supported by DFID. This resulted from several years of undercover investigations and reported that timber theft on a massive scale was taking place in Papua, to a value of $1 billion a year, mostly exported to feed the booming timber industries in China.

The report galvanised serious action from the Government of Indonesia, which sent a team of 1,500 people to investigate, but no high level convictions resulted. The investigation was closed after criticism in Parliament of its lack of focus, inability to reach powerful actors, and unfair scape-goating of poor rural communities. However, the Ministry of Forestry has now instigated a review of the timber licensing systems in Papua, which DFID is currently supporting.

There have been no systematic investigations into illegal mining in Papua. In 2001, the Indonesian environmental organization Walhi brought a successful
 
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conviction against Freeport Mines for breaking environmental law and misinforming the public about its responsibility for the inadequate construction and subsequent breach of a dam below its mine site that was filled with toxic waste. The dam's breach resulted in many deaths. The conviction was later overturned on appeal.

DFID has been supporting the work of EIA/Telapak for a number of years, through our Forestry Programme (MFP) in Indonesia. The programme is also supporting the review of current forest management systems with the Ministry of Forestry, the Papua Provincial Forest Department, local NGOs and community groups. More widely in Papua, the programme is supporting rural communities to strengthen local institutions and map their traditional land claims in order for them to better negotiate with government and private businesses over future forest land uses.

DFID also supports a bilateral Memorandum of Understanding on Illegal Logging with the Government of Indonesia, which aims to tackle illegal logging in a variety of ways but has no activities specific to Papua. The Forest Law Enforcement Governance and Trade (FLEGT) Action Plan, which DFID supports through the EU, foresees a voluntary partnership agreement with the Government of Indonesia that would restrict imports of illegal timber from Indonesia to the European Union member states.

DFID continues to support EIA/Telapak through a new grant to focus specifically on Papua, building the capacity of local NGOs to fulfil a stronger watchdog role over illegal logging activities.

DFID does not provide support to address the problems of illegal mining.

World Trade Talks

Andrew George: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what (a) discussions he has had and (b) agreements have been reached between his Department and (i) the Department for Trade and Industry, (ii) the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs and (iii) the EU Trade Commission in respect of objectives for desired outcomes from the World Trade Organisation talks in Hong Kong in December, with particular reference to less developed countries. [18727]

Mr. Thomas [holding answer 17 October 2005]: The UK's objectives for the World Trade Organisation (WTO) meeting in Hong Kong, and the current round of trade negotiations on the Doha development agenda (DDA), were set out to Parliament by the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, and by the Prime Minister to the European Parliament, on 23 June this year, while announcing the wider objectives the Government have for our current presidency of the European Union.

They are to work with our EU partners, the Commission and the European Parliament to achieve the best possible outcome which leads to global economic growth, including through better access to markets for developing countries, in particular for the
 
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poorest nations in the world. We want an outcome which reflects the millennium development goals, and which allows the DDA to be completed during 2006.

It is the European Commission that negotiates in the WTO, as in every other international trade policy forum, on behalf of the EU member states. The European Commission is fully aware of the UK's objectives.

HOME DEPARTMENT

Animal Experimentation

Mr. Drew: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what the Department's policy is on the setting up of a Royal Commission into Animal Experimentation. [18218]

Andy Burnham: In the light of the report of the House of Lords Select Committee on Animals in Scientific Procedures, published in July 2002, the Government do not believe that there is a pressing need for a Royal Commission into the issue of animal experimentation at the present time. The Select Committee's exhaustive inquiry lasted for over a year and took oral and written evidence from over 100 organisations and individuals, including participants from the scientific community, industry, regulators and animal welfare and animal rights organisations.

The Select Committee also visited universities, pharmaceutical and contract testing companies and research laboratories in the United Kingdom, France and the United States. The Select Committee concluded that it is morally acceptable to use animals in scientific procedures, but that it is morally wrong to cause them unnecessary or avoidable suffering. It also concluded that there is at present a continuing need for animal experiments both in applied research and in research aimed purely at extending knowledge. The Government share these views as, we believe, do the great majority of people in the United Kingdom.


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