|Previous Section||Index||Home Page|
Andrew Rosindell: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what recent diplomatic contact the UK Government have had with the Governments of (a) the Cook Islands, (b) Niue, (c) Tokelau, (d) the Coral Sea Islands, (e) the Heard and MacDonald Islands, (f) the Cocos Islands, (g) Christmas Island and (h) the Ashmore and Cartier Islands. 
Our high commission in Canberra has had no recent contact with the Government of Australia with regards to the Australian dependent territories of the Coral Sea Islands, the Heard and MacDonald Islands, the Cocos Islands, Christmas Island and the Ashmore and Cartier Islands. Our high commission in Wellington has recently had contact with the high commissioner of Niue, the New Zealand administrator for Tokelau and with the high commissioner of the Cook Islands and members of the Cook Islands Government.
Mr. Martyn Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what assessment she has made of the effectiveness of the implementation of the United Nations arms embargo on militia groups in the Democratic Republic of Congo; and if she will make a statement. 
Dr. Howells: The Democratic Republic of Congos (DRC) long and porous borders make full enforcement of the arms embargo very difficult But it has contributed to the containment of militia groups by preventing their regional backers from openly supplying them with weapons.
The embargo, together with the threat of the UNs targeted sanctions, has also helped persuade some leaders of militia groups to turn themselves in, or to sign agreements with the Government of the DRC. Other instruments of pressure such as the UN Mission in the DRC have of course also contributed.
We are deeply concerned over reports that Eritrean Defence forces have moved troops and tanks into the Temporary Security Zone contrary to the Agreement on Cessation of Hostilities of 18 June 2000. Together with our Security Council partners, we have urged Eritrea to withdraw immediately its troops from the Temporary Security Zone and to extend its full and unconditional cooperation to the UN Mission in Eritrea and Ethiopia, particularly to maintain the ceasefire arrangements in place. We join Security Council partners in calling on both parties to show maximum
restraint and to refrain from any threat or use of force against each other. The UK remains committed to the full and expeditious implementation of the Algiers Agreements and implementation of the final and binding decision of the Ethiopia-Eritrea Boundary Commission.
The UK contributes assets to European Border Agency (Frontex) operations on a case-by-case basis. The Frontex Management Board is currently considering its work plan and budget for 2007. Once it is finalised, we will consider the added value that UK participation could bring to planned operations and their value to the UK. We will then discuss and agree with Frontex appropriate financial and operational contributions.
Mr. Martyn Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what recent assessment she has made of progress in the hunt for Radovan Karadzic and General Ratko Mladic; and if she will make a statement. 
Mr. Hoon: The UK remains a firm supporter of the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia (ICTY). The chief responsibility for the location and transfer of the remaining ICTY indictees, including Radovan Karadzic and Ratko Mladic, rests with the Governments of Serbia and Bosnia and Herzegovina. We note the most recent assessment by the ICTY Chief Prosecutor, Carla del Ponte, relating to Serbia, delivered on 16 October, which stated that there remain grave deficiencies in Serbias efforts, both at operational and political levels. We understand the Chief Prosecutor also feels that the authorities of the Republika Srpska within Bosnia and Herzegovina should be doing more to co-operate with the ICTY. We urge all the countries of the region to co-operate fully with the ICTY.
Andrew Rosindell: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs why the Cervantes Institute was included in discussions during the tripartite talks in Spain and Gibraltar. 
Mr. Hoon: The trilateral forum has an open agenda. All sides are therefore free to raise any issue they wish. Spain chose to raise the establishment of a branch of the Cervantes Institute in Gibraltar. As this was acceptable to the Gibraltar and UK sides, it was agreed.
Andrew Rosindell: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs why flights from Gibraltar to Spanish airports are deemed under the Tripartite Agreement to be internal flights. 
Mr. Hoon: Under the Tripartite Agreement people flying from Gibraltar to Spain are not deemed as being on an internal flight. Passengers from Gibraltar, which is outside of the Schengen area, flying to a Spanish airport (i.e. inside the Schengen area) will be given advance Schengen clearance before boarding their aircraft. Passengers accessing the terminal from north of the frontier, i.e. from inside the Schengen area will be considered as transit passengers on the basis of an administrative waiver by the Gibraltar authorities of controls.
Dr. Cable: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs which information technology projects are being undertaken by (a) her Department and (b) its agencies; what the (i) start date, (ii) original planned completion date, (iii) expected completion date, (iv) originally planned costs and (v) estimated costs are of each; and if she will make a statement. 
Mr. Hoon: The Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) has currently a very wide range of IT enabled projects, the scale cost, time scales and complexity of these projects vary enormously. However those projects and groups of projects marshalled together around a significant business change cost and complexity are defined as Programmes. The information requested by the hon. Member is provided in the following table:
|Current information technology projects > £2 million|
|Start date||Original planned completion date||Expected completion date||Originally planned costs (£million)||Estimated costs (£million)|
|(1) Implementation of the Prism system was completed in May 2006, two months later than originally planned, and the managed service contract with the contractor to run the system was extended from 2009 to 20 10.|
(2) To be determined.
Mr. Clifton-Brown: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what assessment she has made of the likely effect of further sanctions against North Korea on levels of poverty. 
Mr. McCartney: The sanctions imposed by UN Security Council resolution 1718 (2006) which was adopted unanimously on 14 October, are aimed at bringing the Democratic Peoples Republic of Korea (DPRK) into compliance with the demands set out clearly in that resolution. They are targeted at specific areas such as the DPRKs nuclear and ballistic-missile programmes and not at ordinary citizens. We do not expect them to have any impact upon the level of poverty among the general population.
Mr. Hoyle: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs whether formal guidance is given to governors of the overseas territories for the purposes of engagement with local press and media. 
Mr. Hoon: No formal guidance is given to governors of overseas territories for the purposes of engagement with local press and media. Governors are expected to engage with the local press and media on local issues as a matter of course and they would normally only consult the Foreign and Commonwealth Office on matters of wider interest.
Mr. Hoyle: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs whether there is a requirement for governors of overseas territories to request approval before engaging with local press and media. 
Mr. Hoon: There is no requirement for governors of overseas territories to request approval before engaging with the local press on local issues, but they would normally consult the Foreign and Commonwealth Office on matters with wider interest and those relating to international affairs.
Mr. Tyrie: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs how much has been spent by her Department on Private Finance Initiative projects postponed pending further consideration or stopped in the last 12 months. 
Mr. Hoon: The Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) has no Private Finance Initiative projects that have either been postponed pending further consideration or stopped in the last 12 months. The FCO has therefore incurred no expenditure on such projects.
Mr. Tyrie: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs whether she supports the Secretary-General of the Council of Europes proposals to develop standards aimed at preventing (a) secret detention, (b) enforced disappearances and (c) rendition; and when she expects the Council of Europe Committee of Ministers to discuss the issue next. 
Mr. Hoon: The Government have a duty to protect the United Kingdom from international terrorism. In this, as in other areas, the Government are fully committed to the protection of human rights. Measures taken to counter terrorism must be legal and proportionate
The UK co-operated fully with the Secretary-Generals requests for information under Article 52 of the European Convention of Human Rights earlier this year on rendition and with the inquiry held by the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe. The Secretary-General has proposed three new legal instruments concerning the regulation of the security services, civil and state aircraft, and state immunity. The Government have significant reservations about the proposals tabled by the Secretary-General. No date has yet been set for a meeting of the Committee of Ministers on the proposals.
Mr. Martyn Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what reports she has received regarding recent clashes between rival militia groups in Somalia; and if she will make a statement. 
Dr. Howells: We are concerned about reports that forces of the Union of Islamic Courts (UIC) continue to pursue armed conflict in Somalia. We urge all parties, in Somalia and across the region, to commit to dialogue and reject confrontation. We also urge the UIC and the Transitional Federal government to remain committed to the agreement reached in Khartoum earlier this year. Along with our international partners, we believe that the Transitional Federal Charter and the institutions created under it are the only existing mechanisms for restoring democratic governance in Somalia.
|Next Section||Index||Home Page|