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22 Jun 2006 : Column 2139Wcontinued
Mrs. Iris Robinson:
To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland how many former police officers
retired on medical grounds had their (a) degree of disability and (b) disability band reduced following reassessment in the last 12 months; and how many former police officers there are in each band of disability. 
Paul Goggins: During the period 1 April 2005 to 31 March 2006 the Selected Medical Practitioner (SMP) completed 184 Injury on Duty percentage award reviews. Of the 184 reviews, 80 awards were reduced, 89 were increased and 15 remained unchanged. In respect of the 80 reduced awards, 24 resulted in the ex-officers Injury on Duty Disablement pension band being lowered. Information relating to the number of former police officers in each band of disability is not readily available and would require a manual trawl of records and could be obtained only at disproportionate cost.
David Simpson: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland pursuant to the answer of 23 May 2006, Official Report, column 1605W, on security forces (Republic of Ireland), if he has been informed of any occasions on which security forces from the Republic of Ireland have crossed into Northern Ireland without the consent of UK authorities in each of the last 10 years. 
Paul Goggins: I refer the hon. Member to my previous answer dated 23 May 2006, Official Report, column 1605W, and wish to advise him that the PSNIs position regarding this issue remains the same.
Rev. Ian Paisley: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what the estimated total cost is to the Northern Ireland economy of terrorist activity in the last 30 years. 
Mr. Hain: It is not possible to determine the direct total costs associated with terrorist activity in Northern Ireland but it is recognised that the impact is considerable in terms of business confidence and investment. Furthermore, the economy has significantly improved since the initial Provisional IRA ceasefire of 1994. Employment is currently close to its highest recorded level at 754,000 in 2006 (from 607,000 in 1994) and unemployment has fallen by 7 percentage points between 1994 and 2006 (from 11.9 per cent. in 1994 to 4.9 per cent. in 2006).
Mr. Peter Robinson: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland how many (a) motorcycles and (b) cars were newly registered in Northern Ireland in each year since 1998. 
David Cairns: The number of motorcycles newly registered in Northern Ireland in each year since 1998 is as follows:
The number of cars newly registered in Northern Ireland in each year since 1998 is as follows:
Mrs. Iris Robinson: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland how many times in each of the last five years he has met (a) each victims group, (b) individual families of victims and (c) victims of major shooting and bombing incidents which led to large numbers of deaths; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Hain: The information you seek is not held in the format in which it was requested and to attempt to gather such information could be done only at a disproportionate cost. I would however advise the hon. Member that since my appointment as Secretary of State for Northern Ireland in May 2005 I have had several meetings with victims groups and their families. Indeed the hon. Member was present at a recent meeting I had with one such group.
Mr. Hague: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs how many police officers have been trained in Afghanistan in each year since 2002; and if she will make a statement. 
Margaret Beckett: The latest confirmed figure available for the total number of police trained in Afghanistan is 56,900, dated 31 December 2005. Since this time, however, the figures reported have been baselined to reflect the number of Afghan police both trained and equipped. On 24 April 2006 this figure stood at 30,263.
Mr. Hague: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what progress has been made in setting up a Joint Co-ordination and Monitoring Board for the implementation of the political commitments in the Afghanistan Compact. 
Margaret Beckett: The Joint Co-ordination and Monitoring Board (JCMB) sat for the first time, in Kabul, on 30 April 2006 and will reconvene on a quarterly basis until 2011. The board consists of 28 members.
Eight consultative groups and five cross-cutting thematic groups have also been established to help deliver recommendations on sectoral issues to the JCMB.
Mr. Hague: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs how many (a) Afghan national police and (b) Afghan border police officers have been trained in each year since 2003; and how many deserted after training in each year. 
Margaret Beckett: The latest confirmed figures available for the number of Afghan police trained are dated 31 December 2005. At that time, the total number of trained officers stood at 56,900. Since then, however, the figures compiled have been re-baselined to reflect the number of Afghan police trained and equipped. On 24 April 2006, this figure stood at 30,263: 23,000 uniformed police (Afghan national police); 1,700 highway police; 5,200 border police; and 300 counter-narcotics police.
Figures showing the number of officers trained and deserted after training are not held centrally by either the German Police Programme Office or the Ministry of Interior, and are not therefore available.
Mr. Hague: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs how many UK representatives sit on the Joint Coordination and Monitoring Board for the implementation of the political commitments made in the Afghanistan Compact. 
Margaret Beckett: The Joint Co-ordination and Monitoring Board consists of a total of 28 members, seven representatives of the Afghan Government and 21 representatives of the international community. The UK occupies one of the 21 seats on the board allocated to the international community.
Gregory Barker: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs how much soya bean crop for export has been certified under the Amazon Deforestation Soya Certification Project in Santarem, within the Amazon state of Para. 
Mr. McCartney: The independent Amazon soya certification scheme, being funded by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office's Global Opportunities Fund, is currently under development. No soya bean crop has yet been exported under the certification scheme.
Dr. Cable: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what services will be offered for travel directly between Ascension Island and St. Helena after the airport on St. Helena opens. 
Mr. Hoon: I refer the hon. Member to the answer given by my noble Friend the then Foreign and Commonwealth Office Minister of State, Baroness Symons of Vernham Dean, on 17 November 2003, Official Report, column WA245. It will be for commercial operators to decide whether to take the opportunity to operate a service between the islands. The Foreign and Commonwealth Office keeps access needs in the South Atlantic under review.
Dr. Cable: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what recent discussions have taken place between the Ascension Island Administrator and her Department regarding relations with the Ascension Island council. 
Mr. Hoon: The Foreign and Commonwealth Office's (FCO) Overseas Territories Department is in regular communication with the Ascension Island Administrator. During the Administrator's recent leave in the UK, and in accordance with normal practice, he met FCO officials on 21 March. Relations with the Island council were among the wide range of issues discussed.
Dr. Cable: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, pursuant to the reply of 5 June 2006, Official Report, column 308W, on Ascension Island, what notice the Crown would need to give (a) residents of domestic dwellings on Ascension Island if it wished to take possession of those dwellings as the freeholder and (b) the Users of Ascension Island if it wished to take possession of their sites as the freeholder. 
Mr. Hoon: There is no statutory requirement for the Crown to provide any notice to take possession of a domestic dwelling or a User site. However, should the Crown need to take possession of land currently used for a domestic dwelling or a User site, it would aim to take individual circumstances into account and provide appropriate warning.
Mr. Hague: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what representations she has made to the Belarus Government following the statement of the Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe that the presidential elections there were seriously flawed; what action the Government propose to take with EU partners on this matter; and if she will make a statement. 
My right hon. Friend the then Minister for Europe (Mr. Alexander) made a statement on 20 March following the Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE)/Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights International Election
Observation Mission preliminary conclusions on the Belarusian election. He expressed our deep regret that the Belarusian authorities chose to conduct the elections in this way and the clear breach of its OSCE commitments. This statement has been brought to the attention of the Belarusian authorities.
The Government supported EU declarations on 20 and 22 March agreeing with the OSCEs assessment of a fundamentally flawed election, deploring the arbitrary use of state power, the absence of a level playing field and the pattern of intimidation and harassment of the opposition. The EU urged the Belarusian authorities to allow the people of Belarus to exercise their right of assembly and freedom of expression in line with their OSCE commitments and called upon the Belarusian authorities to immediately release those currently detained for exercising their political rights. This declaration was brought to the attention of the Belarusian authorities during the OSCE Permanent Council meeting 23 March.
Under the UK presidency, the EU made it clear that it would be ready to take further restrictive measures against those responsible for the violations of international electoral standards. On 10 April, EU Foreign Ministers agreed a travel ban against 31 individuals deemed responsible for the fraudulent election and the subsequent crackdown on the opposition. On 18 May, EU Foreign Ministers agreed to impose further restrictive measures in the form of asset freezes on 36 individuals (including five people subject to earlier travel bans as a result of their involvement in the disappearances of opponents of the regime in 1999-2000 and the fraudulent parliamentary elections). Both the travel ban and asset freeze lists include Lukashenko.
Together with EU partners, we will continue to put pressure on the regime to improve its performance on democracy and human rights while maintaining contact with the Belarusian people by securing better-focussed EU assistance for civil society in Belarus.
The full texts of all three statements are available on the following websites:
Mr. Hancock: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what recent discussions she has held with the governments of (a) Russia, (b) China and (c) Japan on (i) the political situation in Burma and (ii) a binding resolution about Burma at the UN Security Council. 
Mr. McCartney: My right hon. Friend the Foreign Secretary has had no discussions about Burma with these governments.
I discussed Burma separately with the vice Foreign Ministers of China and Japan on 20 June. I asked the Chinese Minister that China use its influence to encourage the Burmese Government to meet its human rights
responsibilities, and that China supports a Security Council debate and resolution on Burma. I encouraged the Japanese Minister to use any influence that Japan may have to put pressure on the Burmese Government, and asked that Japan support a Security Council debate and Resolution on Burma.
Officials regularly discuss Burma with Russia, China and Japan both in capitals and in New York.
Kate Hoey: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs (1) what steps her Department is taking to secure the release of Aung San Suu Kyi by the Burmese Government; and if she will make a statement; 
(2) what steps her Department is taking to secure a binding resolution at the UN Security Council calling for (a) the restoration of democracy and (b) the release of all political prisoners by the Burmese Government; and if she will make a statement. 
Mr. McCartney: We support all action by the UN which will help initiate a genuine process of democratic reform in Burma. We therefore support the current proposals by the United States for a substantive discussion of Burma at the UN Security Council which we hope will lead to a Resolution.
We condemn the Burmese regime's recent decision to extend Aung San Suu Kyi's house arrest for another year. We have repeatedly called for her release and that of all other prisoners of conscience, most recently when I met the Burmese ambassador on 15 June.
My right hon. Friend the Prime Minister issued a statement on 19 June expressing the Government's concern about the continued detention of Aung San Suu Kyi. It can be found on the following website:
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