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Ian Pearson: We are gravely concerned at the decision of the Government of Eritrea on 4 October to prohibit United Nations Mission in Ethiopia and Eritrea (UNMEE) helicopter flights and at additional restrictions imposed since then on the operations of UNMEE. We have urged the Government of Eritrea to remove these restrictions immediately.
We fully support the UN Security Council Presidential statement calling on Eritrea to immediately reverse its decision. We also call on both parties to
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implement completely and without further delay the decision of the Eritrea-Ethiopia Boundary Commission and to create the necessary conditions for demarcation of their border to proceed.
Mr. Douglas Alexander: The principal European Union committees established under the treaties to which the Government nominate individuals who are not members of the civil service are the European Economic and Social Committee and the EU Committee of the Regions. Both have a consultative role, advising the other institutions on a range of matters in their respective fields of competence. There are many working level committees under the comitology management procedures which contain member state experts who may not be civil servants.
Mr. Hayes: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will list the UK members of the (a) European Economic and Social Committee, (b) Committee of the Regions and (c) European Social Fund Committee since May 1997; and for what reason each was nominated. 
Mr. Douglas Alexander: I have made lists of the UK members of these committees available in the Library of the House. In the case of the Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of the Regions, the lists cover the period since 1997, but for the European Social Fund Committee only a list of current members is readily available. I will make a list of previous members of that Committee available in the Library as soon as possible. The civil servants who are members of the European Social Fund Committee are not listed, in accordance with established practice.
UK members of the employers' and trade unions' groups of the Economic and Social Committee (EESC) are nominated by the Department of Trade and Industry, and members of the other interests" (wider civil society) group are nominated by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, following consultation by both Departments with relevant civil society groups. In accordance with the EESC's purpose, candidates are chosen for their ability to represent the interests of UK civil society in the European Union.
UK members of the Committee of the Regions (CoR) are nominated after consultation with local authorities, and with the devolved Administrations. In accordance with the CoR's purpose, they are chosen for their ability to represent the interests of the UK's regions in the European Union. Like all CoR members, they must hold an elected mandate at local or regional level.
My right hon. Friends the Foreign Secretary and the Prime Minister approve the overall composition of the UK delegations to both committees, and take into account the candidates' level of expertise in their
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respective fields, as well as the UK delegations' overall balance, particularly with regard to their regional, political, ethnic and gender composition.
UK members of the European Social Fund Committee are nominated by the Department of Work and Pensions, the Confederation of British Industry and the Trades Union Congress. Each of these nominates two full members and one alternate, and chooses its representatives on the basis of their competence in the questions with which the committee deals under its mandate, which is to advise the Commission on the administration of the European Social Fund.
Mr. Douglas Alexander: The number of press officers employed by the principal bodies of the European Union fluctuates. Currently, the Council Secretariat employs 13, the Commission 27, the Parliament 53, including 20 in the Parliament's information offices in the member states, the Court of Justice eight, including the head of press service, the court of auditors one, and the European ombudsman one. The EU's advisory bodies, the Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of the Regions, employ one and two respectively. The member states of the council also, of course, employ their own press officers.
Mr. Hayes: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs how many UK nationals serve (a) in the Cabinets and (b) in senior posts in each Directorate General of the European Commission; and what proportion of the number of relevant posts this represents in each case. 
Mr. Douglas Alexander: In the Cabinets of the 25 Commissioners there are three British Heads of Cabinet, three British Deputy Heads and 17 British administrative grade members, about 12 per cent. of the total.
Of the 281 posts in the Commission at Director General, Deputy Director General and Director level, 38 (13.5 per cent.) are British. Of the most senior jobs, Director General and Deputy Director General level, seven out of 53 (13.2 per cent.) are British, including the Directors General of Directorate General (DG) Competition, DG Freedom, Security and Justice, DG Regional Policy and DG Health and Consumer Affairs and the Deputy Directors General of DG Budget, DG External Relations and DG Development.
Mr. Douglas Alexander: My right hon. Friend the Foreign Secretary has not held any direct discussions with the Chief Minister of Gibraltar, Peter Caruana, this year. However, I had talks with Mr. Caruna on 21 July. Mr. Caruna has also had regular meetings with senior officials from the Foreign and Commonwealth Office on various issues.
Mr. Binley: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will make representations to the United Nations Security Council to give greater power to the UN investigation team to determine whether Iran is attempting to build an atomic bomb. 
Dr. Howells: The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) is the responsible authority, under UN mandate, with the power to investigate outstanding questions in relation to the implementation of safeguards agreements under the Nuclear Non-Proliferation treaty to which Iran is party. It is because Iran's nuclear programme remains of serious concern to the international community that the IAEA are continuing their investigations, and will report their findings accordingly.
Mr. Binley: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will impose a full economic embargo on the Iranian regime until such time as it halts its progress on building an atomic bomb. 
Dr. Howells: The UK remains committed to working with its international partners for a diplomatic solution that provides objective guarantees that Iran's nuclear programme is for solely peaceful purposes. The UK continues to urge Iran to meet promptly, and in full, the requests made by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Board of Governors, and to return to talks with the E3/EU on the basis of the Paris Agreement. The IAEA Board of Governors resolution of 24 September found Iran non-compliant with its safeguards obligations, which under the IAEA Statute will require the Director-General to make a report to the UN Security Council at some point. The members of the Security Council should then decide what action is appropriate. We have made clear to Iran that it can by its actions influence the timing of any report to the Security Council and the climate in which it is received.
My right hon. Friend, the Foreign Secretary, last met his Iranian counterpart, Manoucher Mottaki, at United Nations General Assembly in New York on 21 September. The Foreign Secretary made clear his disappointment at Iran's public rejection of the E3/EU
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proposals and that Iran's resumption of uranium conversion was contrary to the requests of successive International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Board resolutions and in violation of the 2004 Paris Agreement. The Foreign Secretary urged Iran to reinstate the suspension, meet promptly and in full the requests of the IAEA Board of Governors and return to talks with the E3/EU on the basis of the Paris Agreement.
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