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Daniel Kawczynski: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will make it his policy not to give up the UK's EU budget rebate in return for Common Agricultural Policy reform. 
Mr. Drew: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what progress is being made in the Democratic Republic of Congo towards the electoral mandate agreed in the 2002 peace deal. 
Ian Pearson: Good progress is being made towards holding elections in the Democratic Republic of Congo by June 2006. Nearly 20 million Congolese have registered to vote, and the Congolese Parliament will shortly begin work on the electoral law. A referendum on the draft constitution is scheduled for 18 December.
The UK has contributed £10 million to the UN-administered trust fund for elections, and will contribute £8 million to election security. We and partners were successful in securing $103 million of additional UN funding for the UN peacekeeping force (MONUC)'s support to election logistics.
Mr. Drew: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will assess the effectiveness of MONUC in meeting its responsibility to protect civilians in the Democratic Republic of Congo. 
Ian Pearson: The UN peacekeeping force (MONUC) has conducted effective operations to disarm Ituri militias and disrupt the activities of foreign armed groups. However, armed groups in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo continue to persecute civilians.
Through UN Security Council resolutions, we have ensured that civilian protection is integral to MONUC's mandate. We continue to support MONUC's robust approach to protecting civilians and tackling armed groups in Ituri, which they have begun to replicate in the Kivu provinces. We are working with MONUC to ensure that it can fully implement its mandate.
Ian Pearson: Corruption remains endemic across Congolese society, including in politics, business and the military. The Security Council underlined the urgency of reducing corruption in the Democratic Republic of Congo in its resolution 1621 of 6 September 2005. Thus far, the Congolese Government have rejected international proposals to create a formal anti-corruption body.
We believe that corruption must urgently be addressed and continue to press for action, including on accountability in paying salaries to the armed forces and the transparent management of natural resources.
Ian Pearson: The UK continues to observe and support strongly the UN and EU arms embargoes on the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). Despite international efforts to enforce the embargoes, and the monitoring of the embargo by UN peacekeepers and by the UN Group of Experts, there is some evidence that rebel groups operating in eastern DRC continue to use illegally supplied arms and ammunition.
We continue to work to strengthen enforcement of the embargoes. We are close to securing agreement in the UN Security Council on identifying a list of arms embargo violators to be subject to assets freezes and travel bans.
Daniel Kawczynski: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will visit the Kaliningrad peninsula to promote the entry of this territory into the European Union. 
Mr. Douglas Alexander: My right hon. Friend the Foreign Secretary has no plans at present to visit the Russian region of Kaliningrad. The Kaliningrad region is part of the Russian Federation, which currently has no plans to seek membership of the European Union.
Mr. Douglas Alexander: The EU currently enjoys good relations with Liechtenstein through the European Economic Area Agreement. The question of applying for EU membership would be an issue for the people and Government of Liechtenstein.
Daniel Kawczynski: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will distance himself from US foreign policy towards North Korea; and if he will initiate discussions with the North Korean Government to promote good relations. 
Ian Pearson: The UK, alongside the EU, wishes to see the nuclear issue in North Korea resolved peacefully through negotiation in the Six Party Talks, leading to the verifiable dismantlement of North Korea's illicit weapons programmes and resumption of their engagement in the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty. The UK, in agreement with the EU, also wants to see an improvement in the human rights situation in North Korea. We discuss our concerns regularly with the US, as it is evident that US policy is directed towards the same goals.
Tribal allegiance has some influence on the organisation of the militias in Darfur, including the Arab militias and rebel movements. But there are many other factors, including political and financial gain, which motivate the formation and activities of these armed groups. In recent weeks Darfur has seen a worrying increase in violence, caused mainly by banditry. We condemn these attacks and have made clear that those responsible must be brought to justice.
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Mr. Drew: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what reports he has received of harassment, attacks and abductions of non-governmental organisation workers in Darfur; and if he will make a statement. 
Ian Pearson: The latest report by the UN Secretary-General on Darfur refers to frequent harassment and assaults on humanitarian aid workers during incidents of banditry, and states that these attacks have increased in cruelty and violence. We have made clear that these attacks are entirely unacceptable and that those responsible must be brought to justice. Any information on the perpetrators should be passed to the relevant bodies for consideration under United Nations Security Council Resolutions 1591 and 1593.
Mr. Drew: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what progress the International Criminal Court (ICC) is making in its investigations in Darfur; what assessment he has made of the response of the regime in Khartoum to the ICC; and if he will make a statement. 
Ian Pearson: The Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court, Luis Moreno Ocampo, will be making his second report to the Security Council in December as required under United Nations Security Council Resolution (UNSCR) 1593. He will have the opportunity at that time to up-date the council on the progress of his investigation and to let the council know the status of co-operation from the Government of Sudan and other involved states, groups and organisations. UNSCR 1593 imposes a legal obligation on the Government of Sudan to co-operate with the court.
Mr. Drew: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what recent discussions his Department has had with (a) the Sudanese Liberation Army and (b) the Justice and Equality Movement. 
Ian Pearson: We are in regular contact with the two main rebel movementsthe Sudan Liberation Movement/Army (SLM/A) and the Justice and Equality Movement (JEM) through officials in the Sudan unit in London and our embassy in Khartoum.
Most recently, on 20 October, Her Majesty's ambassador to Sudan travelled to Darfur to meet Minni Minnawi, Secretary General of the SLM/A, and urged him to resolve the internal divisions within the movement, abide by the ceasefire and reach a political solution as soon as possible.
The UK has committed £19 million funding this year to the African Union Mission in Sudan (AMIS). This brings our total contribution to AMIS, since its inception, to almost £32 million. We are using this money to help airlift the troops into Darfur; to
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provide equipment, including 950 vehicles, of which 450 have already been purchased; and to provide military and civilian policing advice, expertise and training.
The European Commission has provided €92 million from the African Peace Facility to AMIS. We also expect that the General Affairs and External Relations Council on 7 November will approve a further €70 million from this source. In addition, to date, bilateral contributions from the EU have totalled more than €70 million. The EU has provided its assistance to AMIS in terms of planning and management support, funding, and logistics.
Ian Pearson: Deployment of the UN peace support mission to Sudan (UNMIS) is continuing, with 3,639 personnel deployed as of 30 October. Deployment has been slower than expected due to the rainy season and delays from Troop Contributing Countries. The UN currently expects foil deployment of the mandated 10,000 military personnel and up to 715 civilian police by January 2006.
Mr. Drew: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what recent assessment he has made of whether the Government of Sudan are using helicopter gun ships to attack refugees in Darfur. 
Ian Pearson: We have received unconfirmed reports that the Government of Sudan airforce have been used in recent operations in Darfur. The African Union is currently investigating and we await their report. Offensive military overflights by the Government of Sudan would constitute a breach of their obligations under the Abuja Security Protocol and, under United Nations Security Council Resolution 1591, those responsible are liable to targeted sanctions.
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