The Prime Minister: I understand that the Police Service Northern Ireland (PSNI) have employed a number of resources, including the PSNI underwater search unit, over the past year in the investigation into Lisa Dorrian's disappearance. This remains an on-going police investigation and my hon. Friend the Policing and Security Minister for Northern Ireland (Mr.Woodward) receives regular updates. Given the hon. Lady's interest in this case, I have asked my hon. Friend to keep her updated, within the necessary constraints given that this is an ongoing police investigation.
Ian Pearson: The Government has serious concerns about a wide range of human rights issues in China. These are set out in the Foreign and Commonwealth Office's Human Rights report. We raise our concerns with the Chinese Government regularly, including through the UK China Human Rights Dialogue, ministerial engagement and EU mechanisms. We acknowledge that the Chinese Government has recently done much to reduce poverty and promote economic development.
12. Colin Burgon: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what assessment he has made of the impact of the work of Caleb McCarry, US-Cuba Transition Co-ordinator, on UK-Cuban relations. 
Mr. Douglas Alexander: The UK, with EU partners, adopted a Common Position on Cuba in 1996. This has not changed. It is a clear statement of the UK/EU policy of constructive engagement to achieve political and economic reform in Cuba, including human rights.
Colin Burgon: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs pursuant to his answer of 20 January 2006, Official Report, column 1702W, to the hon. Member for Houghton and Washington East, on Cuba if he will name the main non-official Cuban human rights organisation referred to; where it is based; and from what sources it receives its funding. 
Mr. Douglas Alexander [holding answer 6 February 2006]: The main non-official Cuban human rights organisation referred to of 20 January 2006, Official Report, column 1702W, on Cuba, is the Comision Cubana de Derechos Humanos y Reconciliacion Nacional (CCDHRN). This is a long-standing, independent organisation, which presents up-to-date information on human rights in Cuba, particularly on political prisoners and the death penalty. CCDHRN is based in Havana and run by Elizardo Sanchez Santacruz, Cuba's best known human rights monitor and a former political prisoner. It is not recognised by the Cuban state. CCDHRN has developed close links with the international media and human rights NGOs, including Amnesty International, and we understand it has a number of funding sources although its running costs are very small.
15. Mrs. Ellman: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what account he has taken of the Hamas charter in assessing Hamas's acceptability as a partner for peace in the middle east. 
Dr. Howells: As my right hon. Friend the Prime Minister told the House on 1 February: We will not be able to take the process forward if one of the partners has in its constitution the desire to get rid of the other partner. Hamas faces a fundamental choice. If they choose democracy and peace, and work side by side with Israel, then we stand ready to take the process forward.
We are working hard, bilaterally and multilaterally through the EU and G8, to support democratic political and economic reforms in the middle east and strengthen civil society's role in public life. Almost every Arab country now has some form of democratic legislative assembly, and more women in Government positions. It is in our interest to promote democracy and freedom as essential ingredients for economic success and the reduction of poverty.
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19. Ian Lucas: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what discussions he has had with EU colleagues on the results of the elections in the Palestinian territories. 
The EU expects the new Palestinian Government to be committed to a peaceful and negotiated solution of the conflict with Israel based on existing agreements and the Roadmap as well as to the rule of law, reform and sound fiscal management.
Dr. Howells: Afghanistan has made remarkable political progress since 2001. Last year saw parliamentary and provincial elections and the inauguration of the National Assembly, building on the presidential election in 2004. This progress was recognised at last week's London Conference on Afghanistan. The Afghanistan Compact, launched at the Conference, commits the Afghan Government and international community to an ambitious progress of further reconstruction.
Dr. Howells: Afghanistan has made remarkable political progress since 2001. Last year saw parliamentary and provincial elections and the inauguration of the National Assembly, building on the presidential election in 2004. This progress was recognised at last week's London Conference on Afghanistan. The Afghanistan Compact launched at the Conference, commits the Afghan Government and international community to an ambitious progress of further reconstruction.
Mr. Ancram: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what the strength is of (a) the Afghan National Police and (b) the Afghan Border Police; what the expected rate is of annual increase in manpower for each; and what assessment his Department has made of what additional crime-fighting equipment will be required to meet the target of a fully functioning combined force of 62,000 personnel by 2010. 
Dr. Howells: As of 31 December 2005, 49,300 national police, 1,500 highway police, 5,600 border police, and 500 Counter-Narcotics police (CNPA) had been trained and deployed. At 31 December 2005, 2,367 national police, 79 highway police, 597 border police and 25 CNPA were undergoing training. On current schedules, by 1 June 2006, 55,650 national police, 1,850 highway police, 9,600 border police, and 600 CNPA will have been trained, a combined force of 67,380.
Germany, which is responsible for co-ordinating international assistance to the Afghan Government's police reform programme, the Afghan Government and Qatar, are co-hosting an international conference on police reform in Afghanistan, in Doha on
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2728 February. The focus of the conference is regional police co-operation and the role of the Afghan Border Police in managing Afghanistan's borders. The conference also aims to reach agreement on priority activities to support the further development of the combined Afghan National Police, in terms of institutional capacity-building and the provision of equipment to meet current and future needs. The UK will participate in the conference and will subsequently consider how it can continue to support reform of the Afghan National Police.
Dr. Howells: We have made no independent assessment of the numbers or strength of Illegal Armed Groups in Afghanistan. The Afghanistan New Beginnings Programme (ANBP), the mechanism through which the UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan, the United Nations Development Programme and the international community support the Government of Afghanistan's efforts to disarm, demobilise and reintegrate former Afghan Military Force members, estimates that there are 2,000 groups with a total strength of up to 100,000 members. 579 of these groups are already engaged in the disarmament and demobilisation programme. The UK is represented on the ANBP international co-ordinating body and has contributed over £12 million to the ANBP and separate weapons destruction programmes since 2002. Further information is available on the ANBP website at http://www.undpan.bp.org.
Dr. Howells: We estimate that the Counter Narcotics Police of Afghanistan and the Afghan Special Narcotics Force have seized around 165 tonnes of opiates since November 2004. However, seizure figures since 2001 have been unreliable, due to difficulties in collating data centrally within Afghanistan. Additionally, forensic facilities are not yet widely available in Afghanistan and so Afghan police are often unable to accurately identify substances or record the quantities. We are unable, therefore, to provide a breakdown of types of narcotics seized.
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