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Meg Munn: I have ongoing dialogue with trade unions, employers from both the public and private sector, and others including the Equal Opportunities Commission concerning the gender pay gap. I recently supported the launch of Opportunity Now's Benchmarking Report, which was a culmination of 159 in-depth assessments of UK organisations in the private, public and education sectors. The report contains case studies, advice, action plans and recommendations on how employers can address gender equality and diversity in the workplace, including tackling the gender pay gap.
The Government also warmly welcomes the report Shaping a Fairer Future from the Women and Work Commission and is in discussion with key stakeholders with a view to issuing an action plan to take forward recommendations on tackling the gender pay gap later this year.
Nick Harvey: Services provided to the House over the last two years by companies within the Capita group have included staff recruitment, training, pensions administration and other specialist advice. The total cash costs were:
The only specific long-term contract with Capita is for pensions administration at a cost of some £45,000 per year over five years. Recruitment, advertising and response handling contracts are in the process of being tendered.
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Mr. Amess: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development pursuant to the Answer of 21 March 2006, Official Report, column 182W, on abortion and poverty, (1) how (a) hon. Members, (b) Members of the House of Lords and (c) members of the public are able to obtain copies of the booklet Death and Denial: Unsafe Abortion and Poverty; and if he will make a statement; 
(2) what terms and conditions were set in requesting the International Planned Parenthood Federation to produce the booklet Death and Denial: Unsafe Abortion and Poverty; how many copies his Department obtained; to whom they were sent; how much was spent on (a) postage and packing and (b) officials' time in dealing with the publication; and if he will make a statement; 
(3) whom he consulted before requesting the International Planned Parenthood Federation to produce the booklet Death and Denial: Unsafe Abortion and Poverty; what views were expressed; and if he will make a statement; 
(4) when the statement by the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State in the foreword to the booklet Death and Denial: Unsafe Abortion and Poverty was drafted; by whom; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Thomas: I asked the International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF) to survey the global scene on unsafe abortion, which resulted in the report Death and Denial: Unsafe Abortion and Poverty". No specific terms and conditions were set in making this request. The report provides an overview of the current situation regarding unsafe abortion around the world. Without stopping unsafe abortion, which causes over 13 per cent. of all maternal deaths, the Millennium Development Goal to lower maternal mortality by 2015 is unlikely to be met.
DFID was not involved in the production or printing of the booklet which was undertaken by the IPPF. I agreed to write the foreword given the pressing need for an open and informed discussion on this issue. The foreword was written by officials and agreed by Ministers. No outside consultation was undertaken or required as the DFID policy position with regard to abortion is already established.
DFID obtained 150 copies of the booklet for internal distribution only. DFID is not involved in the distribution which is the responsibility of the IPPF from whom copies of the booklet can be obtained. I have arranged for copies of the document entitled 'Death and Denial; Unsafe Abortion and Poverty' which has been produced by the IPPF, to be placed in the Libraries of the House. I am sure that the IPPF would provide copies of the report to interested members of the public requesting it.
It is not possible to provide an estimate of the cost of officials' time in dealing with all aspects of the production of the booklet, from advice to Ministers, responding to correspondence and parliamentary questions, without incurring a disproportionate cost.
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Mr. Amess: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development if he will make a statement on the United Nations Population Fund's (a) country programme document and (b) sixth country programme in its application to China. 
UNFPA have successfully demonstrated that non-coercive family planning methods can be effective in China. The UNFPA's policy of constructive engagement with the Chinese Government should help further improve this. We look to the UNFPA to take forward its work with the Chinese Government within the framework of the new programme.
The UNFPA's activities in China, as in the rest of the world, are in strict conformity with the unanimously adopted programme of action at the International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD).
Mr. Amess: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development if he will discuss with the United Nations Population Fund the statements made by its spokesman in China that the government of China has solved its population problem; and if he will make a statement. 
Hilary Benn: We have been advised by the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) representative in China that they have not made any statements to the effect that the UNFPA consider that the Government of China had solved its population problem.
The UNFPA's rationale for their presence in China is to help the Government of China to live up to its international commitments, such as the International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD).
Mr. Amess: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development whether the United Nations Population Fund's (a) standard service delivery protocols and (b) quality of care principles include the right of individuals to refuse the use of contraception (i) in China and (ii) elsewhere without penalty; and if he will make a statement. 
Hilary Benn: The United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) assistance in China and other developing countries abides by the principles of the 1994 Cairo International Conference on Population and Development, which says that family planning should enable individuals and couples to exercise their human right to decide freely and responsibly on the number and spacing of their children and to have the information and means to enjoy that right. The principle of informed choice is essential to the long-term success of family planning programmes. Any form of coercion has no part to play.
The service delivery protocol used by the UNFPA office in China specifically provides free contraceptive choice and for clients to receive such service based on their informed consent. The UNFPA assistance in approximately 140 other developing countries is based on the same principle of free and informed decisions and consent.
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Mr. Amess: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development if he will make representations to the United Nations Population Fund that it refuse to operate in China if the Chinese government does not guarantee that all couples are free to determine the timing of child-bearing; and if he will make a statement. 
Hilary Benn: The United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) works in a number of provinces in China, that have agreed to comply with the principles from the International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD), where it promotes the principle of voluntary family planning. Any developments which are contrary to ICPD in counties that receive UNFPA assistance would be reported to the UNFPA Executive Board, which makes decisions on whether to continue UNFPA assistance in China and any other developing country.
The UK supported the approval of the new country programme for China at the January 2006 Executive Board, which is based on the above principles. We believe that the UNFPA's work in China improves policy and practice through advocacy and assistance.
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