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Mr. Hague: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what steps she is taking to strengthen the Departments institutional capacity in the area of climate change policy; and if she will make a statement. 
Margaret Beckett: The Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) has for years been instrumental in driving forward international work on climate change. It has worked with Europe, the G8 and through the UN to raise the political profile of climate change issues, and to generate practical actions to counter it. To boost the FCOs input into the Governments climate change agenda, I announced on 8 June 2006 that
achieving climate security by promoting a faster transition to a sustainable, low carbon global economy
Mr. Hague: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs which countries she identified as priority countries in the context of the appointment of the special representative for climate change. 
Margaret Beckett: John Ashton, the special representative for climate change, will support Ministers in delivering a step-change in the international response to climate change. His initial view is to engage with major developed and developing countries, including the G8 plus five: China, India, Brazil, Mexico and South Africa. He will also look to build close relationships with the rest of the 20 major energy consumers of the future which are involved in the Gleneagles dialogue on climate change, including Australia, Indonesia, Nigeria and South Korea. EU partners will continue to be very important.
Mr. Hague: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what practical steps will be taken by the special representative for climate change to achieve the aims of building a stronger political foundation for international action on climate change, and working to build consensus among key governmental and non-governmental actors in priority countries. 
Margaret Beckett: The special representative will work closely with cross-Whitehall colleagues and the Foreign and Commonwealth Office's overseas network. He will engage with major developed and developing countries, including China, India, Brazil, Mexico and South Africa, to help drive forward the Gleneagles dialogue on climate change, clean energy and sustainable development, agreed at last year's G8 summit. He will work closely with dialogue partners to encourage them to deploy clean technologies, create incentives for large scale private sector investment, explore a new model for co-operation between developed and developing countries and for action on adapting to the impacts of climate change. He will also engage with many international non-governmental actors, particularly the business community, to listen, probe and explore common ground to build the political foundation needed to support forums like the EU, United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, G8 and Gleneagles dialogue and our bilateral relationships.
Our embassy in Bogota consulted with a wide range of civil society and other groups, including EU partners, in observing the lead up to and the conduct of the Colombian presidential elections on 28 May. British officials were not involved in direct election monitoring, nor was there an official EU observation mission. The Organisation of American States followed the election process closely, as did the Centre for Electoral Advice and Promotion (CAPEL), a branch of the Inter-American Institute of Human Rights. The assessment of CAPEL was that the elections had been conducted in a fair manner. We fully support the EU declaration issued on 31 May 2006, which welcomed the holding of free elections and committed the EU to continue its full support for the democratic, economic and social
development and the return to peace in Colombia. The full text of the 31 May EU declaration can be found on the following website: http://www.diplomacymonitor.com /stu/dm.nsf/dn/dn6F81A8FDE57805BB85257180003 EAA52.
Andrew Mackinlay: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs pursuant to the answers of 12 June 2006, Official Report, column 1000W, on departmental finance, what information she relied on for her statement that the account payable module closed promptly in April and May; why this information was not used to answer question 75958; and if she will make a statement. 
Mr. Hoon: The information contained in the reply given by my hon. Friend the Minister for the Middle East (Dr. Howells) to my hon. Friend on 12 June 2006, Official Report, column 1000W, concerning the prompt closure of the accounts payable module, was provided by officials in the resource accounting department. They confirmed that the accounts payable module was closed promptly at the end of April and May and was available to users the day after the April closure, and on the same day following the May closure.
I also replied to my hon. Friend on 12 June 2006, Official Report, column 1000W, that information about delays in the input and processing or invoices, and late payment of invoices was not held for invoices processed at overseas missions. The information could only be obtained centrally by contacting each mission and this could be done only at disproportionate cost.
David Simpson: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs how many people over the age of 55 years have been recruited into her Department in each of the last three years. 
Mr. Drew: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what her assessment is of the readiness of each potential new entrant into the EU; and what the expected timetable for entry is for each. 
Romania and Bulgaria are scheduled to join the EU on 1 January 2007 provided that they address the outstanding issues outlined in the European Commission's report of 16 May. The
Commission will report on both countries progress no later than early October. Accession can be postponed until 2008 on the basis of a decision by Council following a recommendation from the Commission.
Turkey and Croatia have opened membership negotiations with the EU. The European Commission is currently screening Turkey and Croatias legislation to assess their alignment with the acquis communautaire. The Science and Research chapter for both countries was provisionally closed at the Accession Conference on 12 June. Before joining the EU, both countries must close the remaining 34 chapters of the acquis and meet the political and economic criteria for membership outlined in the conclusions of the Copenhagen European Council in 1993.
The Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia is a candidate country. However, it has not opened negotiations for membership. The European Commission will report on further progress this year. The EU has offered all the other countries of the Western Balkans, none of which is yet a candidate country, the perspective of ultimate EU membership through the Stabilisation and Association process.
Neither the EU nor the UK has set a timetable for any countrys entry to the EU beyond Romania and Bulgaria. The progress of each candidate or potential candidate towards membership depends on their success in meeting EU standards.
Mr. Brady: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what response her Department has made to the concept paper on EU foreign policy published by the President of the EU Commission. 
Mr. Hoon: Although the Government do not agree with all of the proposals in the Commission communication (Europe in the WorldSome Practical Proposals for Greater Coherence, Effectiveness and Visibility), it welcomes the paper as a helpful contribution to an important workstream. It is right that the EU should be considering ways of making its external policies more co-ordinated and effective, within the framework of existing treaties. And we agree that better strategic planning, and better co-operation between the EU institutions and the member states can help this.
Mr. Hague: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what assessment she has made of US proposals for a fissile materials cut-off treaty; and if she will make a statement. 
The UK welcomes the US initiative made in Geneva in May to table a draft treaty text and draft mandate for negotiations. We hope that all Conference on Disarmament (CD) member states are able to accept the very broad mandate proposed and agree to open negotiations towards a treaty
without delay. UK officials and experts are assessing the implications for the UK of the draft US text for a fissile material cut-off treaty.
The UKs, and the wider EUs, support for such a Treaty is well known. In the Common Position negotiated in advance of last years Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty Review Conference, the EU appealed to the CD for the immediate commencement and early conclusion of a non-discriminatory, universally applicable Treaty banning the production of fissile material for nuclear weapons or other nuclear explosive devices.
Mr. Hague: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what recent discussions she has had with her EU counterparts on co-ordination and engagement with source and transit countries to investigate and dismantle human trafficking. 
Margaret Beckett: My right hon. Friend the then Foreign Secretary (Mr. Straw) most recently discussed human trafficking at the European Council meeting in December 2005 at which the draft European Action Plan on Trafficking was approved. My hon. Friend the Minister of State for the Foreign and Commonwealth affairs, Dr. Howells, also visited Romania and Bulgaria (accession states) to discuss human trafficking.
Mr. Hayes: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs how many illegal immigrants have been discovered to be employed by her Department in each year since 2001; in what capacities they were employed; how many were discovered as part of a criminal investigation; and what the nature of the charges brought against them were. 
Mr. Hague: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what the UKs financial contribution to the International Atomic Energy Agency will be in 2006-07; and if she will make a statement. 
Two payments were made to the Regular Budget. At IAEAs request these payments were made in different currencies. One of €13,095,000 (£8,974,000) and a second payment of US$3,483,000 (£2,020,000). Together these payments amount to £10,994,000.
The UK made a single payment of US$4,581,000 (£2,657,000) to the Technical Co-operation Fund.
The UKs Regular Budget and Technical Co-operation Fund payments are fixed by reference to slightly reduced standardised UN contribution rates. The slight reduction
is because one member of the IAEA is not a member of the UN. The UKs IAEA base rate is 5.911 per cent. However, under a long standing agreement developing countries are currently shielded from paying the full costs of the safeguards component of the Regular Budget. The UK accordingly pays 6.137 per cent. of the total Regular Budget.
In addition in 2006, the UK made voluntary contributions to support the IAEAs Nuclear Security Fund (US$704,000 or £485,000), and to support IAEA work to improve internal management processes (€85,000 or £58,000).
Mr. Hague: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what discussions she has had with her US counterparts about measures designed to limit the access of the Iranian Government to international financial markets; and if she will make a statement. 
Margaret Beckett: Foreign and Commonwealth Office officials and I are in regular contact with our counterparts in the US and other countries about policy towards Iran. We have discussed possible benefits available to Iran in a long-term agreement on the nuclear issue if Iran complies with its obligations, and the likely costs to Iran of greater isolation if it chooses to pursue a course of confrontation.
Ministers and officials have discussed with their counterparts in general terms the measures that the international community might have available, including in the economic and financial sphere, in the event that Iranian behaviour makes sanctions necessary. But the international community is united in wanting Iran to take the steps required by the International Atomic Energy Agency Board and return to a diplomatic process on the basis of the ideas presently being proposed by the UK, France, Germany, Russia, China and the US. All our efforts are being directed to that end.
Mr. Hoon: We have not made a specific assessment of the impact of the activities of the US National Endowment for Democracy. We work with a number of partners in the EU and across the region to promote democracy and good governance in Latin America.
Mr. Hoyle: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if she will list the British Overseas Territories which have governors; how long the period of office is of each; what powers each has; and to whom each is accountable. 
Mr. Hoon: Governors are appointed to the Overseas Territories of Anguilla, Bermuda, British Virgin Islands, Cayman Islands, Falkland Islands, Gibraltar, Montserrat, Pitcairn, St. Helena and its dependencies and Turks and Caicos Islands. With the exception of our high commissioner in Wellington, the non-resident governor of Pitcairn, who serves a four year tour, all governors are appointed for a Foreign and Commonwealth Office standard tour of three years, which may in some cases be extended. The constitutional powers and responsibilities of the governor are set out in the constitution of each territory. The governor of each territory is appointed by Her Majesty the Queen. As Her Majestys representative the governor is accountable to her through my right hon. Friend the Foreign Secretary.
Margaret Beckett: We are unable to provide a figure for the number of British citizens employed by private military companies. We estimate that there are around 40 private military and security companies registered in or operating from the UK who are engaged in activities overseas. Many companies operate with a core staff and employ others to fulfil contracts as and when required. They do not necessarily employ only British citizens. These factors make it difficult to give an accurate estimate of the numbers employed.
Andrew Mackinlay: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs pursuant to the answer of 24 November 2006, Official Report, columns 2246-47W, on the royal visit (USA), what the total costs were of (a) gifts made by HRH the Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall and reimbursed to the royal household by her Department and (b) other reimbursements made by her Department to the Prince of Waless household in connection with his visit to the United States in 2005. 
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