Previous Section Index Home Page

16 Feb 2006 : Column 2286W—continued

Russia

John Bercow: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what recent discussions he has had with his counterparts in the EU regarding human rights and the use of torture in Russia. [52162]

Mr. Douglas Alexander: My right hon. Friend the Foreign Secretary and I regularly discuss relations with Russia with our EU counterparts, including human rights. The most recent discussion of Russia by all 25 EU Foreign Ministers took place at the General Affairs and External Relations Council on 3 October. At this meeting, the EU's objectives for the 4 October EU-Russia summit were agreed. On the human rights situation, these related to Chechnya, judicial reforms, human rights defenders and media freedom. These points were raised by my right hon. Friend the Prime Minister with President Putin at the summit.

The human rights situation in Russia is the subject of regular discussions at Council Working Group meetings, including to prepare for EU- Russia human rights consultations. The specific issues of torture and combating immunity for perpetrators of torture were discussed during the March 2005 consultations.
 
16 Feb 2006 : Column 2287W
 

Sugar Regime

Derek Conway: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs when the allocation of €190 million per annum to sugar protocol nations under the EU financial perspectives will be considered by (a) the EU Council and (b) the European Parliament. [36491]

Mr. Douglas Alexander: Following agreement at the December 2005 European Council to the overall ceiling for the 2007–13 Financial Perspective, the European Commission is expected to publish its proposal for a breakdown of expenditure for different instruments on 16 February. The Council and the European Parliament will take forward discussion of individual allocations on the basis of that proposal.

Venezuela

Mr. Galloway: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs pursuant to the Prime Minister's answer of 8 February 2006, Official Report, column 873, what rules of the international community the Government considers to have been broken by the Government of Venezuela; and if he will make a statement. [51713]

Mr. Douglas Alexander: I have nothing further to add to the answer my right. hon. Friend the Prime Minister gave to my hon. Friend the Member for Elmet (Colin Burgon) at Prime Minister's Questions on 8 February 2006, Official Report, column 873.

Western Africa

Daniel Kawczynski: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what discussions he has had with authorities in (a) Mauritania and (b) Western Sahara about stopping the flow of illegal immigrants into Europe from these areas. [51275]

Dr. Howells: My right hon. Friend the Foreign Secretary has not held discussions with the Mauritanian authorities on this subject. The Government regard the status of Western Sahara as undetermined, and as a result we do not recognise any 'Western Saharan authorities'.

The Government takes the issue of illegal migration very seriously. We are currently engaged in dialogue with EU partners, and both source and transit countries, on how best to meet this challenge. Substantial progress was made during the UK presidency to implement EU initiatives to tackle illegal migration across the Mediterranean and to strengthen co-operation with transit countries in North Africa. The 10th anniversary Euromed summit in November 2005 adopted a five-year work programme covering enhanced co-operation on all aspects of migration, including reducing illegal migration and trafficking in human beings. A Euromed ministerial meeting on migration will be held in 2006 to drive forward this agenda.

The conclusions of December's European Council included a pledge to address illegal migration
 
16 Feb 2006 : Column 2288W
 

Building on our presidency achievements, we will continue to encourage the EU to work in closer partnership with transit and source countries to tackle illegal migration across the Mediterranean and for improved migration management globally.

Mr. Hancock: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will support an amendment in the Fisheries Council to the EU-Morocco Fisheries Partnership Agreement to exclude the territory of Western Sahara from the agreement. [51622]

Dr. Howells: Article 2 of the fisheries agreement initialled on 28 July 2005 indicates that it applies to the Moroccan fisheries zone under the sovereignty or jurisdiction of the Kingdom of Morocco". This delimitation of the geographical scope of the agreement is identical to the delimitation in the previous agreement, which expired in 1999.

The Government will consider its position on the draft agreement as part of the approval process, and in order to do so is currently awaiting further information from the Commission.

HEALTH

"Our Health, Our Care, Our Say"

Mr. Baron: To ask the Secretary of State for Health for what reason patient and public involvement was not mentioned in her Department's White Paper Our Health, Our Care, Our Say". [51040]

Ms Rosie Winterton [holding answer 13 February 2006]: The White Paper contains some very clear messages about how a stronger voice can be achieved by strengthening arrangements for patient and public involvement.

Chapter seven sets out a series of principles which will underpin the strengthened voice for patients and the public in health and social care.

Alzheimer's Disease

Mike Penning: To ask the Secretary of State for Health if she will publish a short version of the appraisal consultation document produced by the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence on the use of Alzheimer's disease drugs for distribution to those who responded to the consultation; and if she will make a statement. [51712]

Jane Kennedy [holding answer 14 February 2006]: No. The National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) has published the appraisal consultation document on its website at www.nice.org.uk. I understand that at the start of the consultation process, NICE sent copies of its consultation document to all those who had responded to its earlier consultation.
 
16 Feb 2006 : Column 2289W
 

Mr. Lansley: To ask the Secretary of State for Health whether her Department has submitted a formal response to the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) in connection with its appraisal of donepezil, rivastigmine, galantamine and memantine for the treatment of Alzheimer's in addition to that submitted to NICE by her Department in March 2005. [51895]

Jane Kennedy: Yes. The Department submitted a formal response to the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) on 13 February. We will publish a copy of our response on the Department's website and will place a copy in the Library.

Ambulance Service

Bob Spink: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what use the ambulance service made of public mobile communications networks during the response operation to the incidents on the London Underground and bus network on 7th July 2005. [43781]

Ms Rosie Winterton: The London Ambulance Service National Health Service Trust uses an analogue radio system and mobile phones to communicate with and between front-line staff. Our understanding is that both were used on 7 July 2005.

Mr. Jenkins: To ask the Secretary of State for Health if she will make a statement on plans to restructure ambulance services in Staffordshire. [51420]

Ms Rosie Winterton: A 14-week consultation, led by strategic health authorities, is currently being held on the future organisation of ambulance trusts. The Department proposes that there are 11 trusts, including one that would incorporate the existing West Midlands, Staffordshire, Hereford and Worcester, and Coventry and Warwickshire National Health Service Ambulance Trusts. Any changes to the organisation of ambulance trusts will only happen following local consultation and discussion with relevant parties in the local area.

Mr. Stewart Jackson: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what representations she has received on plans to restructure ambulance service provision in Cambridgeshire; and if she will make a statement. [52328]

Ms Rosie Winterton: A 14-week consultation, led by strategic health authorities, is currently being held on the future organisation of ambulance trusts. The Department proposes that there are eleven trusts, including one that would incorporate the existing East Anglian, Essex and Bedfordshire and Hertfordshire National Health Service Ambulance Trusts. Any changes to the organisation of ambulance trusts will only happen following local consultation and discussion with relevant parties in the local area.
 
16 Feb 2006 : Column 2290W
 


Next Section Index Home Page