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The Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs (Mr. Jack Straw): On 26 October, President Mahmud Ahmadinejad of Iran addressed a conference in Tehran on "A World Without Zionism". In his speech, he is reported to have called for "Israel to be wiped from the map", and said that "the Islamic world will not let its historic enemy live in its heartland", "the new wave of (attacks) in Palestine . . . will erase this stigma from the Islamic world" and that "anybody who recognises Israel will burn in the fire of the Islamic nation's fury".

As my right hon. Friend the Prime Minister said in his press conference at the European Council at Hampton Court on 27 October, these sentiments are completely unacceptable. I welcome the clear condemnation by the United Nations Security Council on 28 October and the statement by the UN Secretary-General, Kofi Annan, expressing his dismay. They have spoken for the world. Israel is a long-standing member of the United Nations with the same rights and obligations as every other. Under the United Nations Charter, Iran, like other members of the organisation, has undertaken to refrain from the threat or use of force against the territorial integrity or political independence of any state.

Mr Annan has also said he intends to place at the top of his agenda when he visits Iran in the next few weeks the Middle East Peace Process and the right of all states in the area to live in peace within secure and recognised boundaries free from threats or acts offered. I welcome that.

At the informal summit of European Union Heads of Government at Hampton Court on 27 October, the Presidency issued the following statement:

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In addition, on 27 October, the Foreign Office summoned the Iranian Chargé d'Affaires in London on behalf of the European Union to protest at the remarks. Many of our European partners and other countries have done likewise.

We welcome too the international community's forthright condemnation, and their reaffirmation of the right of Israel to exist. We welcome particularly the statements by officials of the Palestinian Authority and other governments in the region.

We remain profoundly concerned at Iran's links to groups trying to undermine peace in the Middle East through violence, including Palestinian Islamic Jihad which claimed responsibility for the horrific attack at Hadera in Israel on 26 October. The EU has said that Iran's policies towards the Middle East Peace Process and terrorism are among the factors it will consider when formulating its policy towards Iran.

President Ahmadinejad's remarks also underline the imperative for Iran to take steps to address international concerns about the intentions of its nuclear programme, and to provide objective guarantees that that programme is for solely peaceful purposes. We call on Iran to meet urgently and in full the requests of the International Atomic Energy Agency's Board of Governors, to suspend fully all of its uranium enrichment-related and reprocessing activities, and return to talks with the E3/EU on the basis of the Paris Agreement.


Meeting of Health Ministers in Ottawa on 24–25 October 2005

The Minister of State, Department of Health (Ms Rosie Winterton): The Canadian Minister of Health, Ujjal Dosanjh, convened an international meeting of Ministers of Health in Ottawa on 24–25 October to discuss global pandemic influenza readiness. I attended for the United Kingdom.

There were Health Ministers and delegates from 30 countries covering all parts of the world.

There was participation at the highest level from a number of UN and other international agencies dealing with various sectoral aspects of preparing for pandemic flu, including the World Health Organisation (WHO), the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations (FAO), World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE), World Bank, and the recently appointed UN Coordinator for pandemic influenza. The European Commission was also represented.

The purpose of the meeting was to raise the political priority attached to international collaboration in preparing for a human influenza pandemic, to stress the need for transparency between countries and institutions, and to give full support to the leading role of multilateral institutions.

Four themes were discussed:

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A communiqué was agreed. A copy has been placed in the Library. It sets out in more detail the priority areas agreed on for further action, and lists some key current and forthcoming activities round the world. A list of all participating Ministers is attached to the communiqué.

The main conclusions were:

Ministers recognised the need to build capacity and plan in all countries, facilitated by appropriate national and international investments and resource sharing. But all stressed the need to work through and with multi-lateral organisations. In particular, they welcomed the upcoming WHO/FAO/World Bank meeting on avian and pandemic influenza in Geneva from 7–9 November, where many of the issues they managed to highlight in a relatively short meeting will be looked at further.

The meeting was successful in raising political awareness and commitment across all WHO regions of the need both for avian influenza control measures as well as the need to strengthen preparedness for pandemic influenza in humans.

Ministers noted a number of activities already ongoing or planned in regions around the world, and some additional activities were proposed, including a meeting next year of Regulatory Authorities to address common regulatory challenges to expedite vaccine registration and availability.


Police Grant Amending Reports

The Minister for Policing, Security and Community Safety (Hazel Blears): I have today placed in the Library a copy of the draft Police Grant Report (England and Wales) 2004–05 (Amending Report 2005–06) and the draft Police Grant Report (England & Wales) 2005–06 (Amending Report 2005–06). Last year we laid before the House an Amending Report for 2003–04 to take account of changes to Office of National Statistics (ONS) population data. I also announced that there would be a further Amending Report for 2004–05 this year that would similarly take account of changes to ONS population data. The purpose of the 2005–06 Amending Report is to take account of adjustments to pensions' projections for Derbyshire and Lancashire used to determine 2005–06 pension allocations.
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The consultation period on the proposed Amending Reports will end on the same date as the consultation on proposals for the 2006–07 police and local government finance settlements to be put before Parliament later this year. This will allow local police authorities some additional time to consider the effects of the Amending
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Report in their budgeting proposals. My hon. Friend, the Minister for Local Government, will make a statement in due course about the Government's proposals for Local Government Finance in 2006–07. Authorities may wish to take this into account in considering their response to this consultation.
Police Authority2004–05 OriginalAllocation 1 2004–05 AmendedAllocation 1 Change between originaland amended 2004–05
English Shire forces
Avon & Somerset162.2162.20.00.0%
Devon & Cornwall166.7166.70.00.0%
North Yorkshire72.772.70.00.0%
Thames Valley212.6212.60.00.0%
West Mercia107.7107.70.00.0%
English Metropolitan forces
Greater Manchester393.2394.00.80.2%
South Yorkshire178.0176.9-1.0-0.6%
West Midlands399.3400.10.80.2%
West Yorkshire298.9299.50.60.2%
London forces
City of London 2 106.6106.60.00.0%
English Total6991.66997.05.40.1%
Welsh forces
Dyfed-Powys 3 50.950.90.00.0%
Gwent 3 71.871.5-0.3-0.4%
North Wales3,76.476.1-0.2-0.3%
South Wales 3 168.2168.30.10.0%
Welsh total367.3366.9-0.4-0.1%

1. Rounded to the nearest £100,000. Grant as calculated under the Local Government Finance Report (England) and Local Government Finance Report (Wales). This includes the Metropolitan Police special payment, and the effects of floors and ceilings.
2. RSG figures for the City are allocated to the Common Council of the City of London as a whole in respect of all its functions.
3. Welsh figures are provisional. Allocation figures are inclusive of floor payments for Dyfed-Powys, Gwent, North Wales and South Wales.

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Police Authority2005–06 OriginalAllocation 1 2005–06 AmendedAllocation 1 Change between originaland amended 2005–06
English Shire forces
Avon & Somerset170.0169.9-0.1-0.1%
Devon & Cornwall173.0173.00.00.0%
North Yorkshire75.475.40.00.0%
Thames Valley220.6220.60.00.0%
West Mercia111.8111.80.00.0%
English Metropolitan forces
Greater Manchester412.5412.80.30.1%
South Yorkshire185.7184.6-1.1-0.6%
West Midlands426.5426.50.00.0%
West Yorkshire313.6313.80.20.1%
London forces
City of London 2 112.5112.5-0.10.0%
English Total7329.17329.20.10.0%
Welsh forces
Dyfed-Powys 3
Gwent 3 74.173.8-0.3-0.4%
North Wales 3 78.378.0-0.2-0.3%
South Wales 3 174.5174.60.10.0%
Welsh total379.1378.7-0.5-0.1%

1. Rounded to the nearest £100,000. Grant as calculated under the Local Government Finance Report (England) and Local Government Finance Report (Wales). This includes the Metropolitan Police special payment, and the effects of floors and ceilings.
2. RSG figures for the City are allocated to the Common Council of the City of London as a whole in respect of all its functions.
3. Welsh figures are provisional. Allocation figures are inclusive of floor payments for Dyfed-Powys, Gwent, North Wales and South Wales.

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