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Mr. Laws: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what assessment she has made of the impact on the people of Iraq of the US/UK military action in March 2003; and if she will make a statement. 
Dr. Howells: As a result of Coalition military action in 2003, the Iraqi people were freed from decades of brutal dictatorship. Iraq now has a democratically elected government, under a permanent new constitution. Over 12 million people, or 76 per cent. of the electorate, voted in the December 2005 election.
With UK and international help, Iraq is making progress on improving essential services and infrastructure. 4 million more Iraqis have access to potable water than before the conflict, and 9.6 million more have access to a sewerage system. 240 hospitals and 1,200 primary health care centres are functioning, 20 hospitals are being rehabilitated and one major hospital is under construction. Over 5 million children have received life saving vaccinations and there has been a resulting decline in malaria, measles, mumps, and polio. Around 5,000 schools have been refurbished and more than 70 million new textbooks have been distributed throughout schools. Electricity generation is currently struggling to meet demand, partly because so many Iraqis have bought new electrical appliances since 2003. However, major repair projects are underway to maintain a sustainable power grid and deliver increased output. The Department for International Department is managing a £40 million programme to improve power and water supplies in southern Iraq.
There are plainly major challenges aheadin particular the need to bring down the appalling levels of violence which some parts of Iraq are suffering. This is the Iraqi governments highest priorityand ours.
Dr. Howells: My right hon. Friend the Foreign Secretary and US Secretary of State Rice discuss Iraq on a regular basis. Their most recent meetings were during Secretary Rices visit to the UK on 6 October and in New York at the UN General Assembly during the week beginning 18 September.
The UN Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) has already begun deploying in strength under its new mandate set out in UN Security Council Resolution (UNSCR) 1701. Following the first phase of the expansion of UNIFIL, over 8,800 troops have been deployed. A second phase is in preparation, which
will take the numbers up to approximately 10,000. The ceasefire that was established on 14 August by UNSCR 1701 is continuing to hold and, with UNIFIL support, the Lebanese armed forces have deployed in the south of the country for the first time in many years. The UN Secretary General, in his 30 day report on the implementation of UNSCR 1701, said the co-ordination mechanism between the Lebanese armed forces, the Israel Defense Forces and UNIFIL was going well.
Mr. Hoon: 80 per cent. of all light bulbs purchased by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) in 2005-06 were of energy efficient types. 38 per cent. of all light bulbs purchased by the FCO were compact fluorescent bulbs. This information relates to our home estate. We do not hold data centrally on the purchase of light bulbs for our overseas estate.
Mr. Clifton-Brown: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what assessment she has made of the health implications to the people of Abidjan of the release of toxic liquid from the ship Proba Koala. 
Dr. Howells: The dumping of toxic waste in and around Abidjan at the end of August was a very serious and regrettable health risk, causing the deaths of seven local residents. Figures received by the EU in mid-September suggest that as many as 37,483 local residents sought some form of medical attention, although this figure does not necessarily reflect the total number of those affected. The UK, through the European Union Civil Protection Co-operation Mechanism, offered to provide an assessment of the impact of the toxic waste on the environment and population. In the event, however, this assistance was not required as the Ivorian authorities had sought the assistance of a private waste-management company.
Mr. Clifton-Brown: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what the outcome was of the United Nations discussion on the toxic spillage in Cote d' Ivoire on 20 September 2006. 
Dr. Howells: The meeting on 20 September at the UN regarding Cote d'Ivoire concentrated primarily on the current stalemate in the peace process, although we understand the toxic waste dumping was deplored by several speakers. In a statement on 15 September a spokesman for the UN Secretary-General had already expressed concern over the tragic consequences of the dumping. The full text of the statement can be found on the UN website at:
Dr. Starkey: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what estimate she has made of how many (a) Israelis and (b) Lebanese were killed during the Lebanese conflict between (i) 1 June and 17 August 2006, (ii) 17 and 27 August 2006 and (iii) 27 August and 28 September 2006. 
Dr. Howells: The recent conflict between Hezbollah and Lebanon began on 12 July and formally ended on 14 August 2006. The UN estimates that 1,187 Lebanese people were killed as a result of the conflict and the Israeli authorities have said that 115 Israeli Defence Forces (IDF) soldiers and 39 civilians were killed in the hostilities. The estimates on the Lebanese side are necessarily approximate, as bodies continued to be recovered and counted after the ceasefire ended and unexploded ordnance has continued to cause fatalities. Between 17 and 27 August 2006 we understand that one Hezbollah fighter was killed by the IDF. Between 27 August and 28 September we are not aware of any people on either side who were killed as a result of hostilities between Israel and Hezbollah.
Michael Gove: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs how much (a) financial support and (b) support in kind her Department and its agencies have given to the Muslim Council of Britain in each year since 1997. 
Mr. Clifton-Brown: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what representations she has made to each participant in the Six Party Talks on North Koreas recent nuclear test. 
Mr. Hoon: My right hon. Friend the Foreign Secretary spoke to Chinese Foreign Minister Li Zhaoxing on 9 October and again on 13 October. She spoke to US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and to Japanese Foreign Minister Aso on 9 October, and to South Korean Foreign Minister Ban Ki Moon on 10 October.
During these discussions, all parties agreed that the test carried out by the Democratic Peoples Republic of Korea (DPRK) was a clear example of a threat to international peace and security, that it necessitated a robust response from the UN Security Council and that the Six Party Talks are the way forward.
Mr. Clifton-Brown: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what recent representations she has made to the Governments of (a) the United States, (b) Japan and (c) South Korea on nuclear non-proliferation. 
Dr. Howells: My right hon. Friend the Foreign Secretary has had a number of discussions with her United States, Japanese and South Korean colleagues on non-proliferation issues. These have focused on the current situations in Iran and North Korea.
Mr. Clifton-Brown: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what recent representations she has made to the Secretary-General of the United Nations regarding (a) reform of the nuclear non-proliferation regime, (b) closer working with other multilateral organisations, (c) the United Kingdoms direct contribution to the United Nations and indirect contribution to funds and programmes, (d) individual member countries willingness to contribute to UN peacekeeping operations, (e) the effectiveness of the International Criminal Court and (f) reform of the Security Council and General Assembly procedures. 
Dr. Howells: There have been no recent discussions on the issues the hon. Member raises. At their last meeting in September, my right hon. Friend the Foreign Secretary discussed with the Secretary-General of the UN the situations in Darfur, the Middle East, Lebanon, Iran, Iraq, Afghanistan, Zimbabwe, the Democratic Republic of Congo and Kosovo.
The UK continues to support measures to strengthen the nuclear non-proliferation regime and the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT) which serves as its cornerstone. The UK looks forward to positive progress during the next NPT review cycle, which begins with the first Preparatory Commission in May 2007.
At the Security Council debate on 20 September on co-operation between the UN and regional organisations, I emphasised that the UN and other multilateral organisations should build stronger relationships, particularly on conflict resolution and prevention, terrorism, weapons proliferation, poverty, climate change and human rights.
The UK is committed to paying the UKs assessed contribution to the UN Regular Budget in full and on time in line with our obligations under the UN Charter. We maintain a rigorous approach in UN Budget negotiations seeking efficiencies and savings, while also ensuring the UN has the resources it needs to carry out the tasks we and other member states ask of it.
The UK is a strong supporter of the International Criminal Court and welcomes the transfer to The Hague of Thomas Lubanga, the first person to face
trial by the court.The establishment and consolidation of the court is an important development in international justice and the fight against impunity for those who perpetrate genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes.
The UK continues to support expansion of the UN Security Council, to make it more representative of todays world. At his foreign policy speech in Georgetown, my right hon. Friend the Prime Minister called for renewed momentum to the debate. The UK also supports a more effective General Assembly and welcomes measures adopted by UN member states, most recently in September, to streamline its work.
Mr. Gordon Prentice: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what recent representations have been made to the government of Pakistan concerning the position of Christians in Pakistan. 
Dr. Howells: I raised the issue of Christians in Pakistan during my meeting with the Pakistani Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz on 7 March and asked him to take action to protect religious minorities. In August, our Deputy High Commissioner in Karachi also raised this issue with the Pakistani Minister for Religious Minorities. We shall continue to look for suitable opportunities to repeat this.
Mr. Jim Cunningham: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what recent assessment she has made of the willingness of Hamas to move towards meeting the conditions of the international community for donor funding for Palestine. 
Mr. Clifton-Brown: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what representations she has made on human rights in the Philippines, with particular reference to the recent death of Bishop Alberto Ramento. 
Mr. Hoon: We are concerned about the reports of unexplained killings in the Philippines. Our embassy and successive EU Presidencies in Manila have raised human rights and the issue of unexplained killings with the Philippine Foreign Minister on several occasions. The case of Bishop Alberto Ramento has not been raised specifically.
Mr. Clifton-Brown: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what involvement her Department has had in the efforts of the Finnish presidency of the EU to obtain a long-term agreement with Russia on energy supply and trade with the EU. 
As my right hon. Friend the Prime Minister informed the House in a written ministerial statement on 23 October 2006, Official Report, columns 71-72WS, at the 20 October informal meeting in Lahti of heads of state or Government and President Putin, there was a constructive discussion of the EUs external energy relations, in particular our relationship with Russia. There was unity among EU partners on the need to build a close and legally binding partnership based on mutual, long-term benefits based on the principles of the energy charter treaty and the declaration agreed at the G8 summit in St. Petersburg in July this year. These principles include market-based rules, market opening, and transparency and reliability across the whole of the energy relationship. The EU will shortly start negotiations with Russia on a new comprehensive agreement to replace the 10-year-old partnership and co-operation agreement. The EU agreed that these principles should form the core of any new agreement. The Government stand by and will apply these principles firmly, and are counting on Russia, as a key energy supplier to downstream markets, to do the same. The Government see the energy relationship with Russia, and the way in which this relationship is likely to develop, including its EU dimension, firmly within the context of this principle-based relationship. For his part, President Putin stated his conviction at Lahti that energy co-operation should be based on principles of predictability of the energy markets and the mutual dependence of suppliers and consumers.
Russia applied to join the World Trade Organisation (WTO) in 1993. The European Commission negotiates in the WTO on behalf of the EU. Although the EU and Russia have concluded the terms of a bilateral agreement on market access arrangements for goods and services, other WTO members have yet to do the
same. There are also a number of issues that need to be resolved before Russia can accede to the WTO on the right terms and conditions to enable Russia to meet her obligations as a WTO member. It is unlikely that any long-term EU/Russia trade agreement will be negotiated before Russia accedes to the WTO.
Mr. Clifton-Brown: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what reports she has received on the recent expulsion of Georgian (a) students and (b) others from Russia. 
Mr. Hoon: Our embassies in Moscow and Tbilisi provide regular updates on the situation regarding the treatment of Georgians within Russia, as they regularly do on human rights issues. We are aware that there have been a number of flights that have been used to deport Georgians. We have asked both sides to de-escalate tensions. In this regard, we have directly raised with the Russians the desirability of their lifting the measures taken against Georgia and have urged Russia not to pursue measures targeting Georgians.
Mark Pritchard: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what recent discussions her Department has had with the Russian government on freedom of the press and media organisations. 
Mr. Hoon: We regularly discuss the progress of democratic reforms in Russia, including freedom of the press, with the Russian authorities. We have regular consultations on this question as part of our human rights dialogues, both on a bilateral basis and through the EU. This issue was raised at the EU-Russia Human Rights Consultations in Vienna in March 2006 and will form part of the next EU-Russia Consultations in Brussels on 8 November. My right hon. Friend the Prime Minister attended the informal Heads of Government meeting in Lahti on 20 October where the EU expressed its concerns about media freedom in Russia following the tragic murder of Anna Politkovskaya.
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