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Mr. Drew: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what the Government's policy is on the proposals in the Trade-Related aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) Council to introduce a requirement for the declaration of origin of the use of genetic resources and associated knowledge into the TRIPS Agreement. [72241]

Mr. Thomas: The Government support the principle of developing countries' demands to disclose country of origin or source of genetic material within patent applications. This could assist these countries to keep track of patent applications linked to the use of their resources and check whether appropriate benefit sharing agreements are in place. The Government therefore supported the EU proposal submitted to the World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO) Intergovernmental Committee (IGC) in December 2004 which suggests that disclosure of country of origin or source in patent applications could be introduced on a global basis in national, regional and international patent applicants. We judged that this proposal strikes a good balance between achieving the
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objective of supporting developing countries' request to include disclosure of origin provisions in international patent law while ensuring that patents are not undermined and patent applicants are not overly burdened.

We must however, ensure that the system is workable in practice and achieves the desired outcome (i.e. benefits are generated and shared appropriately). Therefore, we have so far focused our efforts on discussions in the WIPO IGC, where the technical expertise resides.

Mr. Drew: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what sanctions are in place to penalise intellectual property applicants who have illegally obtained genetic material or knowledge which forms all or part of their application. [72242]

Mr. Thomas: There are no measures under the laws of the UK, but a person violating the access laws of another country would be subject to any sanctions which may be provided for under those laws.

Mr. Drew: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what measures are in place to inform countries named as the source of traditional knowledge or genetic resources in patent applications that such an application has been made. [72243]

Mr. Thomas: There are no official measures in place to do this in the UK. Countries can of course use the “Espacenet” database which is a publicly available free of charge service which lists over 45 million patent specifications at:

This issue is currently subject to discussions in the World Intellectual Property Organisation Inter-Governmental Committee on Traditional Knowledge, Folklore and Genetic Resources. The EU proposed a system of disclosure of origin of genetic resources and associated traditional knowledge to this committee in 2005, suggesting that

Countries of source could then check with this clearing house to see which patent applications have named them as source. This proposal has not yet been adopted by the committee however.

Mr. Drew: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development whether the Government have instigated a system for informing the World Intellectual Property Organisation about the origins of traditional knowledge or genetic resources named in patent applications. [72244]

Mr. Thomas: The Government have contributed to and fully support an EU proposal for such a system. This issue is currently subject to discussions in the World Intellectual Property Organisation Inter-Governmental Committee on Traditional Knowledge, Folklore and Genetic Resources (IGC). The EU proposed a system of disclosure of origin of genetic resources and associated traditional knowledge to this committee in 2005 suggesting that

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Mr. Drew: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what steps his Department has taken to assess the impact on developing countries of geographical indications of traditional knowledge and genetic resources under trade-related aspects of Intellectual Property Rights. [72245]

Mr. Thomas: DFID has been funding several efforts aiming at improving the understanding of the impact of international intellectual property rights protection on developing countries, starting with providing support to the 2002 UK Commission on Intellectual Property Rights (CIPR). In its work, the CIPR extensively investigated the impact on development of traditional knowledge and genetic resources protection. The CIPR published its findings in Chapters 3 and 4 of the report, which can be freely accessed at:, a website maintained by DFID. The report concludes that a disclosure requirement should be necessary.

DFID has since been supporting analytical work and dialogues on these issues mostly through Geneva-based governmental and non governmental organisations, notably the expert work carried out jointly by the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) and the International Centre for Trade and Sustainable Development.

Sub-Saharan Africa

Chris Ruane: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development how many (a) successful and (b) unsuccessful bids there were by each sub-Saharan country for grants from the Trade Related Capacity Building Fund in each of the last eight years; and how much was allocated to each successful bid. [67819]

Mr. Thomas: DFID provides Trade Related Capacity Building (TRCB) support to sub-Saharan African countries through its bilateral programmes and multilateral institutions. It does not have a stand alone TRCB Fund to which sub-Saharan African countries can bid. Therefore, we are unable to provide information on bids and their success.

Our support for Trade Related Capacity Building for sub-Saharan African countries is allocated according to their TRCB needs as identified in their Poverty Reduction Strategy Papers or national development plans and in fulfilment of the World Trade Organisation (WTO) criteria for TRCB.

For the period 1997-2005, DFID's financial records show that countries in sub-Saharan Africa received £16.2 million in support for trade and investment activities, through bilateral programmes and DFID supported multilateral institutions. Trade and investment activities are one aspect only of DFID's complete TRCB programme which includes private sector development, agricultural development, compliance with standards etc. Therefore, DFID's
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overall support to TRCB in sub-Saharan Africa is larger than the figure given. The difficulty in isolating the TRCB elements within large economic growth or regional programmes prevents us from providing further financial details on TRCB expenditure. Annexe A provides details per sub-Saharan African country of the DFID trade and investment expenditure for the period 1997-2005.

In terms of specific TRCB programmes in sub-Saharan Africa, DFID currently runs an £11 million Regional Trade Facilitation Programme. The programme supports two regional economic communities, the Southern African Development Community and Common Market of Eastern and Southern Africa, and their members in negotiations with the WTO and the European Commission and implementing regional integration.


Mr. Hollobone: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what steps he is taking to promote good governance in Uganda. [72933]

Hilary Benn: I recently visited Uganda where I met with President Museveni. In this meeting I emphasised the importance of good governance to our development partnership with Uganda. I noted in particular the importance of further deepening democracy following Uganda’s first multi-party elections in 25 years in February, and action on corruption.

DFID’s programme in Uganda is promoting good governance. We are leading members of donor groups which have regular discussions with the Government about corruption, public service reform and public financial management and we are helping to establish the institutions required to fight corruption in Uganda. We are financing the Government’s public service reform programme which is improving Government effectiveness, and the public financial management and accountability programme which is strengthening public financial management systems in both central and local government. We are also providing support to both Parliament and civil society which is helping to improve Government accountability.

UN Disaster Relief Operations

Andrew George: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what steps his Department plans to take to strengthen the capacity of the UN system for (a) leading and (b) co-ordinating multilateral disaster relief operations. [71590]

Mr. Thomas: In December 2004, my right hon. Friend, the Secretary of State for International Development, proposed a package of six key reforms to improve the effectiveness of emergency response, with a particular focus on the UN as the global lead. The six reforms are:

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The United Nations is taking forward these reforms with the support and participation of the wider donor community, including DFID, NGOs and the Red Cross movement. In December 2005, a new UN Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF) was approved by the UN General Assembly. It was launched on 9 March 2006 with $254 million from 38 donors, including $70 million from DFID. Under the direction of the UN's Emergency Relief Co-ordinator, the CERF is now enabling UN humanitarian agencies to respond rapidly to sudden disasters, such as earthquakes; time-critical responses in slow-onset disasters, such as drought; and essential life-saving actions in ongoing but under-funded crises such as in the Democratic Republic of Congo and Chad.

A number of proposals for strengthening the UN Humanitarian Co-ordinator system are being taken forward, including developing a pool of suitable candidates and associated training. Currently there are 21 trained humanitarian co-ordinators, including some from NGO or Red Cross backgrounds. Alongside this, DFID is leading seven other donors in piloting pooled country-level funding, to be used as directed by the resident humanitarian co-ordinator, in Sudan and the Democratic Republic of Congo during 2006. DFID is also providing support to the World Health Organisation (WHO) and the UN Children's Fund (UNICEF) in developing performance benchmarks for mortality, nutrition, and health. DFID has supported progress over the last 12 months in reforming the UN International Strategy for Disaster Reduction and in March this year we launched our new Disaster Risk Reduction Strategy.

In September 2005, the UN Inter-Agency Standing Committee, which deals with humanitarian issues, established a new ‘cluster’ system to deliver more accountable and predictable humanitarian responses. Named agencies have responsibility for co-ordinating responses in key sectors such as water and sanitation (UNICEF), protection (the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), Logistics (the World Food Programme (WFP), and Health (the WHO), and developing networks or clusters of other agencies and NGOs to work together to improve capacity, performance, and effectiveness. DFID is currently considering, along with other donors, how best to support this initiative.

In January 2006, my right hon. Friend, the Secretary of State for International Development, called for further reform of the international humanitarian system by improving the quality and focus of UN Flash Appeals. This involves developing agreements for the use of military assets; and for better accountability in humanitarian funding, performance, and outcomes for beneficiary communities. We are working along with other donors, the UN, and other humanitarian organisations to develop these initiatives.

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Unemployment (West Bank)

Norman Baker: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what percentage of Palestinians on the west bank he estimates were (a) unemployed and (b) living below the poverty line in each year since 1997. [71948]

Hilary Benn: According to the Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics the unemployment and poverty rates in the occupied Palestinian territories since 1997 were as follows:

Unemployment rate (ILO definition) Poverty rate (national poverty line)




























(1) No annual figures available.

World Food Programme (North Korea)

Mr. Drew: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development if he will make a statement on the UK’s contribution to plans for food aid in North Korea to be carried out by the World Food Programme; and if he will make an assessment of malnutrition in that country. [71902]

Mr. Thomas: In 2005, DFID committed over £1.2 million of humanitarian assistance to the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK). £1 million was channelled through UNICEF for water, sanitation and health care, and a further £200,000 through the International Federation of the Red Cross for disaster risk deduction.

In late 2005, the DPRK said that it would no longer accept international humanitarian assistance. Furthermore, it has increased the already significant restrictions it places on the humanitarian community, with the consequence that DFID can no longer feel confident that programmes of assistance are appropriate and are reaching those who need it most. All World Food Programme (WFP) operations are funded solely from voluntary contributions and the UK is not contributing to the one in the DPRK.

The UK has no plans to conduct a survey of malnutrition in the DPRK. Obtaining nutritional information is hampered by the constraints placed on the operations of international humanitarian agencies. The last international survey was carried out in 2004.


Aircraft Routes

Mr. Liddell-Grainger: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what the (a) current and (b) proposed
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aircraft corridors are across (i) West Somerset and (ii) Sedgmoor district council areas. [70245]

Gillian Merron: On 16 March 2006 there were widespread changes to the civil aeronautical route structure over the West of England and Wales.

Prior to 16 March 2006 the air route in the vicinity of West Somerset and Sedgmoor was Airway N864 with an axis 190°/010°, a lateral extent of 10 nautical miles and with the centreline approximately over Blue Anchor Bay. The vertical limits of the route extend from FL55 (5,500 feet above mean sea level) to the north of the coastline and FL65 (6,500 feet amsl) over land to an upper limit of FL245 (24,500 feet amsl). The volume of airspace within the airway is defined as controlled airspace. Above FL245 is the Upper Airspace Control Area, which covers the whole of the United Kingdom. Within the Upper Airspace Control Area above West Somerset and Sedgmoor existed the routes UN864, UN862, UM140, UM17 and UW501.

The changes on 16 March did not affect N864, UN864, UM140, UM17 and UW501. However, a new route called N90 was introduced to the east of N864 for use between Friday evenings and Monday mornings. The lateral extent of the new controlled airspace is 12 nautical miles from the eastern boundary of N864 and with a lower limit of FL105 (10,500 feet amsl). In the Upper Control Area UN90 was introduced above N90 and UN862 was moved two nautical miles to the east to be above N862. A new Upper Air Route called UN22 was introduced parallel to and 12 nautical miles west of UN864.

Additionally, there are proposed changes to controlled airspace associated with Bristol and Cardiff airports, which are intended to introduce new controlled airspace over part of West Somerset and Sedgmoor. It should be noted that aircraft operations associated with these airports occur today and the proposed new controlled airspace is designed to provide additional protection to these flights. The proposals have been the subject of public consultation, which included Members of Parliament, local authorities, representatives of areas of natural beauty and other interested parties within the areas affected. These changes are currently subject to regulatory consideration by the CAA.

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