|Previous Section||Index||Home Page|
Dr. Howells: The Government are fully committed to securing an international treaty on the trade in all conventional arms. Both my right hon. Friend the Prime Minister and my right hon. Friend the Foreign Secretary have recently reiterated the UKs commitment to securing agreement to a UN based process at the United Nations General Assembly later this year. With a range of partners we intend to bring forward a resolution at the UN First Committee to this end. In advance of this we are continuing to build further support for the initiative.
Andrew George: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what (a) terms of reference, (b) codes of practice and (c) editorial guidance govern the relationship between British Satellite News and her Department. 
The contract to supply British Satellite News (BSN) was awarded following an open tender. A number of respected news organisations submitted bids for the contract. Contract requirements specifically called for the service to be credible, accurate, newsworthy and
made to the highest standards of professional journalism. BSN has editorial independence. The decision on what to broadcast rests with its Chief Editor. Full details of the service to be provided are specified in the attached Statement of Service Requirements. This document will be placed in the Library of the House and I will arrange for a copy of the document to be sent to the hon. Member.
£2.2 million per year from financial years (FY) 2000-01 to 2002-03
£1.2 million in FY 2003-04 and 2004-05
£1.5 million in FY 2005-06.
Mrs. James: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what estimate she has made of the use of child labour in (a) China, (b) Bangladesh, (c) India, (d) Pakistan and (e) Zambia. 
Mr. McCartney: The Foreign and Commonwealth Office does not hold its own data on levels of child labour around the world. We draw on the expertise of the International Labour Organisation (ILO) and other relevant bodies for such information. On 4 May 2006, the ILO published a global report on child labour The End of Child Labour: Within Reach available on the ILO website at: www.ilo.org/dyn/declaris/DECLARATIONWEB.INDEXPAGE.
China: there is little hard statistical information on child labour trends, but the ILOs report assesses that child labour levels there are declining.
Bangladesh: 4.7 million children working in 2002-0313.4 per cent. of all children aged five-14.
India: the latest estimate we have of the level of child labour is 12.6 million. This figure is not from the ILO but taken from the last census carried out by the Registrar General of India in 2001.
Pakistan: 3.3 million children were economically active in 19968.3 per cent. of all children ages 5-14.
Zambia: 595,000 child workers, of whom 58 per cent. were 14 or younger (no date given).
Mr. Djanogly: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what recent assessment her Department has made of the merits of establishing representative missions in the Peoples Republic of China. 
Mr. McCartney: The United Kingdom currently has diplomatic representation in five Chinese cities to ensure the effective conduct of UK-China relations: in Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou, Chongqing and the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region. The Government keep the UKs diplomatic representation, including in China, under regular review.
Mr. Hayes: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs pursuant to the answer of 27 February 2006, Official Report, column 298W, on departmental resource accounts, what the cost was of writing off the stockpile of out-of-date visa vignettes; and from which budget line the funds were found. 
Dr. Howells: The cost associated with writing off the stockpile of out-of-date visa vignettes in 2004-05 was £1.325 million. After UKvisas accepted £424,000 in compensation from the manufacturers for a proportion of the vignettes which were faulty, the net write-off was £901,000. This write-off was borne by UKvisas stationery budget which is funded by visa application fees.
Mr. Hayes: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what the criteria are by which non-civil servants can be appointed to diplomatic postings; and if she will make a statement. 
Mr. Hoon: Non-civil servants are eligible for appointment to Diplomatic Service or Foreign and Commonwealth Office posts when these are publicly advertised; and at the discretion of the Secretary of State under the Diplomatic Service Order in Council.
Mr. McCartney: The promotion of human rights, good governance and democracy is one of the foundations of British foreign policy, forming part of the Strategic International Priorities, published as a Command Paper (Cm 6762) in March this year. Respect for these rights and values underpins the global security, stability and prosperity on which the UKs own well-being relies.
The Foreign and Commonwealth Office produces an annual report on human rights. This report provides an overview of the main challenges to human rights around the world and explains the Governments activities, policies and progress made to address those challenges. The last such report was published on 21 July 2005 as a Command Paper (Cm 6606) and laid before Parliament. A copy has also been placed in the Library of the House. We aim to publish the next report in October 2006.
Mr. Hayes: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs how many (a) UK and (b) foreign nationals have been convicted of fraud involving European Communities funds since May 1997. 
Mr. Hayes: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs how many officials of the European Commission have been (a) investigated for and (b) convicted of fraud involving European Communities funds since May 1997. 
Andrew Rosindell: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what operations are taking place to bring the former Bosnian Serb leaders Ratko Mladic and Radovan Karadzic to justice. 
Mr. Hoon: The Government strongly supports the work of the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia (ICTY) and full co-operation with the ICTY is a condition of progress towards membership of the EU for Serbia, Bosnia and Herzegovina and Montenegro. The EU and NATO military missions in Bosnia and Herzegovina are also mandated to support ICTYs work. It would not be sensible to comment on operational matters.
Mr. Keith Simpson: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs pursuant to her answer of 27 June 2006, Official Report, columns 352-53W, to the right hon. Member for Richmond, Yorks (Mr. Hague), on human rights, what the Governments position is on the establishing of a commission of inquiry to investigate possible human rights violations that transcend national borders. 
Dr. Howells: As we have found no evidence of detainees being rendered through UK territory or airspace where there were substantial grounds to believe there was a real risk of torture, we do not see the case for such an inquiry. My right hon. Friend the then Foreign Secretary (Mr. Jack Straw) set out in his Written Ministerial Statement of 20 January 2006, Official Report, columns 37-38WS, the results of the extensive review of official records back to May 1997. We have also fully co-operated with international inquiries on this matter; the Governments replies to the Council of Europe Secretary Generals requests for information are available in the Library of the House.
Richard Burden: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what assessment she has made of the likelihood of extended Israeli military action in the West Bank following the military incursions into Gaza which commenced on 27 June 2006; and what representations she is making on the issue. 
Dr. Howells: We are not aware of any plans for extended military action in the West Bank by Israel. My right hon. Friend the Foreign Secretary spoke to Israeli Foreign Minister Livni on 6 July and made clear her concern that military action was not extended into the West Bank. Our embassy in Tel Aviv and officials in London continue to engage with Israel on the issue.
We call for the immediate and unconditional release of Corporal Shalit, and for the Palestinian Authority to prevent all acts of terrorism against Israel. We urge the Israeli military to do everything in its power to avoid civilian casualties, and abide by international law. All military action should abide by the principle of proportionality.
Richard Burden: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what information she has received regarding the possible use by Israel of military aircraft containing head-up display units made in the UK during airstrikes into Gaza since the start of May. 
Richard Burden: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs pursuant to the answer of 5 July 2006, Official Report, columns 1158-9W, on Israel, whether any information has come to light that military equipment or components supplied by the UK have been used in a manner inconsistent with the consolidated criteria during the military incursions by Israel into Gaza; what methods are used for such monitoring; what proactive steps the British Embassy in Tel Aviv has taken in relation to monitoring since 27 June; and if she will make a statement. 
Relevant information from the media, civil society, our diplomatic missions and other relevant sources all form part of our monitoring of the situation in the region. Any information that UK-supplied military equipment may have been used in a manner inconsistent with our consolidated criteria is always taken fully into account when assessing any future export licence applications.
Mr. Keith Simpson: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs with which countries in the (a) Middle East and (b) Gulf region the UK engages in annual bilateral dialogue on security issues; and if she will make a statement. 
Dr. Howells: The Foreign and Commonwealth Office does not yet engage in annual bilateral dialogues on security issues with Gulf or Middle East countries. We participate in multilateral meetings including the International Institute of Strategic Studies Gulf Dialogue, attended by Cabinet level delegations in 2004 and 2005.
The Ministry of Defence engages in regular defence staff talks with the United Arab Emirates, Oman, Bahrain, Qatar, Kuwait, Jordan, Egypt and Israel. The talks cover a number of issues including regional security.
Mr. Clifton-Brown: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what assessment she has made of the reports by the (a) United States ambassador to Nepal and (b) United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights that the Maoist rebels are breaking the ceasefire with the Government. 
These acts of violence are a clear breach of the Code of Conduct to which the governing Seven Party Alliance and Maoists agreed to govern the ceasefire, and prepare the way for free and fair elections to a Constituent Assembly.
We believe that a third party, such as the United Nations, is needed to monitor the implementation of the Code of Conduct and to support the work of the Nepalese ceasefire monitoring committeewhose terms of reference have been agreed by both the Maoists and the Government.
Damian Green: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what her estimate is of the number of applications from non-EU foreign students for entry to the United Kingdom to study on a non-degree course in (a) 2007 and (b) 2008. 
Dr. Howells: UKvisas made assessments in March 2006 of the lowest likely demand, the highest likely demand and a best estimate of the level of demand in 2006-07, based on the provisional data for the previous financial year. We do not make separate forecasts for degree and non-degree students or for EU and non-EU students.
Using a provisional figure of 281,494 student applications in 2005-06, our low forecast estimates no growth in demand and our assessment of the highest likely demand would be an increase of 10 per cent. resulting in a total of 309,643 student visa applications this financial year. Our best prediction would be a 5 per cent. increase or 295,569 applications for student visas. We currently do not have a forecast for student demand for 2007-08.
We remain committed to supporting my right hon. Friend the Prime Ministers Initiative on International Students to encourage increasing numbers of students from other countries to study in the United Kingdom and will be using marketing to encourage genuine students to apply for visas.
Mr. Hoyle: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what contribution is being made by each governor to talks on the constitutional development of the UKs overseas territories. 
Mr. Hoon: The governor of each overseas territory, as Her Majesty the Queens representative in the territory, has been providing advice in those territories where constitutional reviews are or have been taking place with a view to promoting the successful conclusion of these talks.
|Next Section||Index||Home Page|