|Previous Section||Index||Home Page|
John Bercow: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs when the British ambassador to Burma last met with (a) Aung San Suu Kyi and (b) members of the democracy movement. 
Ian Pearson: We are concerned about the deterioration in relations between the Governments of Chad and Sudan and its potential negative impact on the Darfur peace talks in Abuja. Our non-resident ambassador to Chad met the Chadian Foreign Minister in N'Djamena on 4 April. He made clear that the UK expects Chad to do its utmost to reduce tensions on the border with Sudan. We continue to call on all sides to show restraint and on the Governments of Chad and Sudan to resolve their differences and restore calm to the region without the use of violence.
John Bercow: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs (1) what assessment he has made of the extent of involvement of the Government of Sudan in rebel movements operating in Chad; 
Ian Pearson: We are aware of reports concerning the Government of Sudan's alleged support for Chadian rebels. We welcome the African Union's (AU) initiative to send a mission to Chad to examine the political situation and investigate such allegations. This mission arrived in N'djamena on 21 April 2006 and will report to the AU Peace and Security Council this week.
John Bercow: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what discussions he has had with the Government of Chad about the protection of refugees from the conflict in Darfur. 
Ian Pearson: We are concerned about the impact of the current political and security situation in Chad on over 200,000 refugees from Darfur, now sheltering in camps in eastern Chad. Our non-resident ambassador to Chad met the Chadian Foreign Minister on 4 April 2006. He made clear that the UK expects Chad to do its utmost to reduce tensions on the border with Sudan. Nothing should be done to threaten the lives or safety of either the refugees in Chad or the displaced persons in Darfur. We welcome President Deby's announcement on 17 April 2006 that none of these refugees would be forcibly relocated back into Darfur.
John Bercow: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what assessment he has made of statements by the President of Chad that oil revenues are needed to pay for weapons. 
Ian Pearson: We believe that African oil revenues should be used for sustainable development and poverty reduction, not for weapons purchases. We do not contest the Government of Chad's need to pay and equip the Chadian army for legitimate self-defence. But we believe the immediate priority should be efforts through negotiation to tackle Chad's internal instability and its dispute with Sudan.
John Bercow: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what discussions he has had with the Governments of (a) Nigeria, (b) Sierra Leone and (c) Liberia on the prosecution of Charles Taylor. 
Ian Pearson: My right hon. Friend the Foreign Secretary and other Ministers have discussed Charles Taylor with the Nigerian authorities and a range of other Governments. The UK has worked hard with international partners to achieve his transfer to the Special Court for Sierra Leone.
My right hon. Friend the Prime Minister has written to the Presidents of Nigeria, Liberia and Sierra Leone to thank them for their role in achieving this outcome. We remain in close touch with them and with our international partners on managing the next steps of the trial process, and stand ready to continue to assist as best we can.
John Bercow: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what recent discussions he has had with the Government of Colombia about (a) respect for human rights, (b) progress towards democracy, (c) the freedom of the press and (d) tackling corruption in Colombia. 
Mr. Douglas Alexander:
My noble Friend the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, Lord Triesman of Tottenham, last met Colombian Vice President Santos in November 2005 in London to discuss a number of issues, including the human rights situation, democratic development and the fight against corruption. Our ambassador in Bogota and other British officials regularly meet Colombian government Ministers and officials, both bilaterally and through the EU and other
26 Apr 2006 : Column 1148W
international groupings, to discuss progress in implementing the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights recommendations on human rights.
Embassy officials in Bogota have recently discussed the question of freedom of the press with the Vice President's Office. In addition, under the UK Presidency, the EU carried out a lobbying campaign to raise awareness of the importance of freedom of expression in Colombia, particularly in relation to human rights defenders. As Presidency we talked with senior government representatives, including the Fiscal General and the Head of the Armed Forces Human Rights Unit, as well as with non-governmental organisations and the media.
Mr. Gregory Campbell: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs whether recent discussions have taken place between Colombian and UK authorities in relation to those citizens travelling on British passports in Colombia during August 2001 who were subsequently convicted by a Colombian court. 
Mr. Douglas Alexander: There have been no recent discussions between the British and Colombian authorities about the case of those individuals who were convicted in 2004 by the Colombian authorities of travelling on false Irish and British passports within Colombia. The individuals concerned are Irish nationals and have returned to Ireland. The case is a matter between the Irish and Colombian governments.
Norman Baker: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will list individuals who have served as the UK Permanent Representative to the Conference on Disarmament since 1992; on what date each (a) began working for his Department, (b) took up this post, (c) left this post and (d) left employment with his Department; and what post each of those still employed by his Department now holds. 
Dr. Howells: Sir Michael Weston was UK Permanent Representative to the Conference on Disarmament (CD) from April 1992 to July 1997. Rejoined the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) in 1961 and retired from the service in 1997.
Dr. John Freeman was UK Permanent Representative to the CD from September 2004 to March 2006. He joined the FCO in 1986, following a three year secondment, and is currently seconded as Deputy Director General to the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons.
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will list each honour bestowed since 1 May 1997 on present and
26 Apr 2006 : Column 1149W
former holders of the post of UK Permanent Representative to the Conference on Disarmament; and on what date each honour was bestowed. 
|Next Section||Index||Home Page|