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Daniel Kawczynski: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs whether he has had discussions with his counterpart in Norway to encourage that country to join the European Union. 
Mr. Douglas Alexander: My right hon. Friend the Foreign Secretary met his new Norwegian counterpart, Jonas Gahr St're, on 26 October. Mr. St're explained Norway's approach to EU membership. The United Kingdom would welcome Norway as a partner in the European Union, but the question of applying for EU membership is a matter for the Norwegian Government and people.
Ian Pearson: The sixth round of the inter-Sudanese peace talks on Darfur concluded on 20 October. Overall, the parties engaged more constructively than in previous rounds and some progress was made. All three areas identified for inclusion in a final peace agreement, power sharing, wealth sharing and security arrangements, were discussed. The parties agreed two out of the nine agenda items for negotiations on power sharing, adopted the agenda for wealth sharing negotiations to begin at the next round and held informal consultations on security arrangements.
But much greater progress needs to be made at the next round of talks, due to begin on 21 November. The African Union (AU) plans to hold workshops in between rounds on wealth sharing and security arrangements, to enable negotiations on these issues to take place in parallel with power sharing. We and our international partners will continue to co-ordinate our strategy in support of the AU, including through the provision of experts to these workshops. We are also working to help resolve the internal divisions within the Sudan Liberation Movement/Army.
The UK remains fully committed to the AU-led peace talks on Darfur. The UK observer will continue to attend the talks in support of the AU mediation and the parties to help them reach the political solution the people of Darfur need.
We enjoy a constructive political dialogue with the Yemeni Government on counter-terrorism. We also have an extensive programme of counter-terrorism capacity building of the Yemeni authorities in, for example, maritime security, investigative techniques, forensic and crime scene management. We spent £800,000 on counter-terrorism capacity building in Yemen in financial year 200405.
9 Nov 2005 : Column 575W
Daniel Kawczynski: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will discuss with the Governments of (a) Botswana and (b) Namibia steps they could take to encourage Zimbabwe to make their Government more democratic and accountable. 
Ian Pearson: Ministers will continue to take every opportunity to discuss with African Ministers, including from Namibia and Botswana, issues that affect the region, including the political situation in Zimbabwe. On 22 June my right hon. Friend the Foreign Secretary challenged African leaders to recognise the scale of the problem in Zimbabwe and we continue to urge them to press the Government of Zimbabwe to restore democracy, and respect human rights and the rule of law.
Ian Pearson: On 1 November my right hon. Friend the Foreign Secretary confirmed that we maintain full diplomatic relations with the Government of Zimbabwe, which is important for the consular protection of British passport holders and also ensures we have a full understanding about the situation in Zimbabwe. But the Government have made no attempt to disguise our abhorrence for Mugabe's policies which continue to diminish the quality of life for ordinary Zimbabweans. We continue to call for a return to democratic governance, full respect for human rights and the rule of law.
John Battle: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what representations the UK Government have made to (a) the UN and (b) the Government of Zimbabwe regarding the human rights record of the Zimbabwe regime; and if he will make a statement. 
Ian Pearson: My right hon. Friend the Foreign Secretary is in regular touch with the UN Secretary-General on Zimbabwe. The Secretary-General made a statement on 31 October, deploring Zimbabwe's refusal to accept UN assistance following his recent housing clearances (Operation Murambatsvina). The UK and our international partners have also ensured that Zimbabwe is raised at the UN Security Council, most recently on 27 July and 4 October. We will continue our work with the UN to build the pressure on Mugabe to reform. Our ambassador in Harare raises our concerns directly with the Government of Zimbabwe. In June he called on the Vice President to express our grave concern about the brutality of Operation Murambatsvina.
Andrew Rosindell: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what steps the Government are taking to try to stop the evictions of white Zimbabwean farmers; and if he will make a statement. 
The Government, together with EU and other international partners, have condemned the chaotic and brutal handling of the state-sponsored land grabs together with other flawed policies in Zimbabwe that have resulted in the fastest shrinking economy in
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the world. This has ruined the agricultural sector in Zimbabwe, impoverishing the farming community and destroying the livelihoods of local farm workers and their families.
Ian Pearson: The Government's views on human rights in Zimbabwe are set out clearly in the Foreign and Commonwealth Office Human Rights Annual Report. Since its publication in July, Operation Murambatsvina has made 700,000 Zimbabweans homeless and destitute, and new constitutional amendments allowing for passports to be withdrawn, thereby denying individuals their right to free movement, have underlined the Government of Zimbabwe's continued lack of respect for human rights. We will continue to work for the restoration of the rule of law and good governance in Zimbabwe.
Since April 2004, the CPS has recorded the reason for each decision to abandon proceedings on its Compass Case Management System. The attached table gives information drawn from the system for 200405 and for 200506 to date, showing outcome reasons numerically, and expressing each as a proportion of all cases completed during the year. Also shown are the number and proportion of cases acquitted by the courts, and the number and proportion resulting in conviction.
The various reasons are divided into: administrative finalisations (where the defendant cannot be traced by the police, has died, or has been found unfit to plead); evidential reasons; public interest reasons; cases in which a prosecution cannot proceed; and all other reasons.
It will also be seen that substantial numbers of cases are dropped unavoidably: for example where the victim, or another witness, refuses to give evidence, or fails to attend court, where key legal elements arc missing from the prosecution case; or where there is a conflict of evidence.
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|Number||As percentage of completed cases|
|Administrative finalisations (18)||51,589||4.3|
|E10 Key witness does not support case||1,503||0.1|
|E11. Unreliable/lack of identification||7,152||0.6|
|El Inadmissible evidenceBreach of PACE||330||0.0|
|E2 Inadmissible evidenceother than Breach of PACE||1,048||0.1|
|E3 Unreliable confession||152||0.0|
|E4 Conflict of evidence||6,504||0.5|
|E5 Essential medical evidence missing||454||0.0|
|E6 Essential forensic evidence missing||1,387||0.1|
|E7 Essential legal element missing||32,330||2.7|
|E8 Unreliable witness or witnesses||3,901||0.3|
|E9 Key victim does not support case||4,858||0.4|
|Total dropped for evidential reasons||59,619||5.0|
|P12 Effect on victim's physical or mental health||515||0.0|
|P13 Defendant elderly or in significant ill health||1,388||0.1|
|P14 Loss or harm minor and single incident||601||0.1|
|P15 Loss or harm put right||1,165||0.1|
|P16 Long delay between offence/charge or trial||2,839||0.2|
|P17 Very small or nominal penalty||2,878||0.2|
|P18 Other indictment / sentence||8,871||0.7|
|P19 Informer or other public interest immunity issues||1,731||0.1|
|P20 Caution more suitable||5,172||0.4|
|P21 Youth of offender||160||0.0|
|Total dropped for public interest reasons||25,320||2.1|
|U22 File not received from police adjournment refused||2,006||0.2|
|U23 CPS not readyadjournment refused||1,715||0.1|
|U24 Offence taken into consideration||535||0.0|
|U25 Victim refuses to give evidence or retracts||10,144||0.8|
|U26 Other witness refuses to give evidence or retracts||1,263||0.1|
|U27 Victim fails to attend unexpectedly||4,718||0.4|
|U28 Other civilian witness fails to attend unexpectedly||1,781||0.1|
|U29 Police witness fails to attend unexpectedly||1,479||0.1|
|U30 Victim intimidation||26||0.0|
|U31 Other civilian witness intimidation||33||0.0|
|U32 Documents produced at court||9,218||0.8|
|Total in which prosecution unable to proceed||32,918||2.7|
|O33 Bind over acceptable||15,929||1.3|
|O34 Acquittal after trial||717||0.1|
|Total dropped for other reasons||39,956||3.3|
|Number||As percentage of completed cases|
|Administrative finalisations (19)||22,216||3.3|
|E10 Key witness does not support case||945||0.1|
|E11 Unreliable/lack of identification||3,848||0.6|
|El Inadmissible evidenceBreach of PACE||163||0.0|
|E2 Inadmissible evidenceother than Breach of PACE||467||0.1|
|E3 Unreliable confession||47||0.0|
|E4 Conflict of evidence||3,975||0.6|
|E5 Essential medical, evidence missing||207||0.0|
|E6 Essential forensic evidence missing||743||0,1|
|E7 Essential legal element missing||20,563||3.0|
|E8 Unreliable witness or witnesses||2,248||0.3|
|E9 Key victim docs not support case||3,549||0.5|
|Total dropped for evidential reasons||36,755||5.4|
|P12 Effect on victim's physical or mental health||280||0.0|
|P13 Defendant elderly or in significant ill health||877||0.1|
|P14 Loss or harm minor and single incident||457||0.1|
|P15 Loss or harm put right||836||0.1|
|P16 Long delay between offence/charge or trial||1,417||0.2|
|P17 Very small or nominal penalty||1,829||0.3|
|P18 Other indictment / sentence||5,126||0.8|
|P19 Informer or other public interest immunity issues||818||0.1|
|P20 Caution more suitable||3,250||0.5|
|P21 Youth of offender||169||0.0|
|P36 Inappropriate to compel victim||74||0.0|
|P37 Inappropriate to compel witness||28||0.0|
|Total dropped for public interest reasons||15,161||2.2|
|U22 File not received from police adjournment refused||1,307||0.2|
|U23 CPS not readyadjournment refused||905||0.1|
|U24 Offence taken into consideration||255||0.0|
|U25 Victim refuses to give evidence or refracts||5,218||0.8|
|U26 Other witness refuses to give evidence or retracts||636||0.1|
|U27 Victim, fails to attend unexpectedly||2,750||0.4|
|U28 Other civilian witness fails to attend unexpectedly||1,053||0.2|
|U29 Police witness fails to attend unexpectedly||819||0.1|
|U30 Victim intimidation||8||0.0|
|U31 Other civilian witness intimidation||11||0.0|
|U32 Documents produced at court||4,340||0.6|
|Total in which prosecution unable to proceed||17,302||2.6|
|O33 Bind over acceptable||7,563||1.1|
|O34 Acquittal after trial||376||0.1|
|Total dropped for other reasons||12,762||1.9|
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