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Comparable data for periods before October 2002 are only available at disproportionate cost. Information on ill health retirement in the civil service, alone (excluding non-civil service bodies which participate in the PCSPS) for the period to 2001-02 is available for each year in the annual publication Civil Service Statistics which is available on the Cabinet Office website at:
Mr. Heald: To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster pursuant to the answer to my hon. Friend the Member for Surrey Heath (Michael Gove) of 16 October 2006, Official Report, columns 995-6W, on the Ripley Building, how many civil servants from (a) the Cabinet Office, (b) the Department for Communities and Local Government and (c) the Deputy Prime Minister's Office work in the Ripley Building. 
There are approximately 45 civil servants from the Cabinet Office and the Department
for Communities and Local Government who work in the Ripley Building. For information relating to the staff providing support to my right hon. Friend the Deputy Prime Minister, I refer the hon. Member to the answer given on 9 October 2006, Official Report, column 72W.
Mr. Heald: To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster how much was spent on business rates for the Ripley Building in Whitehall in the most recent year for which figures are available; and what the rateable value is of the building. 
Mr. Heald: To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster what the total cost to her Department of special advisers accompanying Ministers on visits (a) abroad and (b) within the UK was in the last 12 months. 
Hilary Armstrong: All travel is undertaken in accordance with the Ministerial Code and Travel by Ministers. The Government publish an annual list of overseas travel costing more than £500 by Cabinet Ministers along with the total cost of all ministerial travel overseas. The total cost figure includes the cost of accompanying special advisers. Information for 2005-06 was published on Monday 24 July 2006. Information for 2006-07 will be published as soon as possible after the end of the financial year.
Mr. Heald: To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster what the cost to her Department of provision of office facilities to (a) special advisers and (b) press officers (i) was in the last 12 months and (ii) has been since 1997-98. 
Hilary Armstrong: Information on the cost of providing office facilities to special advisers and press officers in the Department in the last 12 months is not readily available and could be obtained only at disproportionate cost. Information on the cost of providing office facilities to special advisers and press officers since 1997-98 is not available.
Mr. Heald: To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster how many (a) special advisers and (b) press officers work for the (i) Social Exclusion Task Force and (ii) Better Regulation Executive. 
Hilary Armstrong: The two special advisers appointed by me provide advice and assistance on the full range of Cabinet Office business, including work relating to the Social Exclusion Task Force and the Better Regulation Executive. No special advisers work directly for either unit.
Mr. McFadden: The Strategy Unit works on a broad range of domestic policy and allocates resources flexibly between a number of activities according to the needs of the current work programme. The Unit does not account for spend by project.
Mr. Clifton-Brown: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what recent progress has been made with Afghanistans Justice for all strategy, with particular reference to (a) the building of gaols, (b) an impartial judiciary and (c) securing convictions. 
Mr. Hague: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what recent assessment she has made of the threat to the authority of the Government of Afghanistan posed by the Afghan insurgency. 
Mr. Hague: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what arrangements exist for the co-ordination of US and UK counter-narcotics strategies in Afghanistan; and if she will make a statement. 
Mr. Hague: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what assessment she has made of the implications of the findings of the UNODCs Afghan Opium survey 2006 for the counter-narcotics strategy in Afghanistan. 
This years increase in cultivation detailed in the UN Office on Drugs and Crime survey is very disappointing. The increase is due to a substantial increase in planting in Helmand and other Southern Provinces. 70 per cent. of the 61,000 hectare increase is in Helmand Province and 92 per cent. in the Southern Provinces of Helmand, Uruzgan, Dai Kundi and Zabul. This is worrying, but reflects the very difficult security situation and limited law enforcement capability in these provinces. Elsewhere, where access to governance, security and development has improved, reductions achieved last year have been sustained and in some cases fallen. This year has also seen the adoption of vital counter narcotics legislation, the
conviction of over 280 traffickers, an increase in drugs related seizures and the completion this autumn of a high security prison for serious drug offenders. This is encouraging and shows that the Afghans National Drug Control Strategy is starting to have an impact. We must continue to help the Afghans sharpen delivery on the ground in order to bring about a sustainable reduction in cultivation and trafficking across the country as a whole.
Mr. McCartney: Elections in Bangladesh are scheduled for January 2007. It is vital for the future of Bangladesh that these elections are seen to be free, fair and peaceful, and that the result reflects the will of the Bangladeshi people. International observers will have an important role to play in validating the outcome of the electionsthe UK expects to participate in an EU observation mission. We shall continue to take a close interest in preparations for elections and stand ready to help where we can. But ultimately it is for the parties and the people of Bangladesh to make their elections a success. We look to the new caretaker government to carry out its functions in an impartial manner, in line with Bangladeshs constitution and in the best interests of the Bangladeshi people. We look to the Election Commission to act in a competent and independent manner. We call on the political parties to demonstrate leadership by publicly calling for peace and restraint. We expect the security forces to perform their duties with respect for human rights and the rule of law.
Chris Ruane: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what help and assistance her Department has given to the Belize Government in their border dispute with Guatemala. 
Mr. McCartney: Belize and Guatemala signed an Agreement on Framework for Negotiations and Confidence Building Measures in relation to their territorial dispute on September 2005. Regular negotiations, facilitated by the Organisation of the American States (OAS), have been taking place and are currently focussing on maritime issues.
The UK is strongly supportive of this OAS-facilitated process and since 2002 has spent over£3.5 million from the Governments Global Conflict Prevention Pool to fund associated confidence building measures. We have supported a variety of projects including: the OAS office in the adjacency, or border, zone which promotes interchange, verifies any cross border incidents and diffuses tensions; a language exchange project bringing together Ministers, officials and civil society from both sides; and a project improving commercial linkages which has resulted in a partial scope free trade agreement. We very much hope
that negotiations, supported by these confidence building measures, will allow both sides to resolve this dispute.
John Bercow: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what assessment she has made of which Burmese exports are the main generators of income for the government of that country. 
Mr. McCartney: According to State Peace and Development Council figures, energy sector exports, principally to neighbouring states, account for approximately half of Burmas export earnings. Other key sectors are agricultural products, timber and gemstones.
John Bercow: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs for what reason Myanmar Timber Enterprises is not included in the list of Burmese state-owned enterprises annexed to the EU Common Position on Burma. 
John Bercow: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what the Governments policy is on whether to add Myanmar Timber Enterprises to the EU list of Burmese state-owned companies during the forthcoming review of the EU Common Position on Burma. 
John Bercow: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what representations she has made to the government of China on trade in unsustainably logged timber across the China-Burma border. 
The Government have provided £21,540 to support the ongoing work of the British non-governmental organisation Global Witness in raising awareness of deforestation and illegal logging in Burma with particular focus on the border trade with China. Their reports have been presented to government officials in both Burma and China. With our support, Global Witness are making efforts to promote effective action by EU and international governments, with a specific focus on in-country initiatives and donor coordination.
The Government have also contributed £575,000 to support a three-year joint research programme with Chinese institutions to quantify the current magnitude and trends in Chinas timber trade. This work is building up confidence for dialogue on sensitive issues concerning the nature of this trade and its impact on China's neighbours, with emphasis on border areas, including Burma.
John Bercow: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what assessment she has made of whether an EU ban on the import of Burmese timber would contravene World Trade Organisation rules. 
Mr. McCartney: Any measures taken by the EU against Burma would have to satisfy relevant World Trade Organisation rules on imports of goods and services. For example, a unilateral ban on imports of timber from Burma would be a prima facie breach of general agreement on tariffs and trade (GATT) rules. It would therefore, if challenged by Burma, have to be justified under either the general or security exceptions set down in the GATT Agreement.
Colin Burgon: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what assessment her Department has made of the report of the UN Secretary General of 27 October 2006 on the effect on Cuba of the US blockade. 
Mr. McCartney [holding answer 6 November 2006]: On 8 August 2006, the UN Secretary-General published a report (no. A/61/132) relating to the draft UN Resolution on the Necessity of ending the economic, commercial and financial embargo imposed by the United States of America against Cuba. This report contains entries from certain Governments and UN agencies who believe that the Cuban economy has been damaged by the US embargo. We agree that, alongside Cuban domestic policies, the US embargo has hampered the economic development of Cuba. We have made this clear through our vote every year against the US embargo on Cuba at the UN General Assembly. In particular, the UK/EU opposes the extraterritorial extension of the US embargo.
Colin Burgon: To ask the Secretary of Statefor Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what representations she has made to the US Administration on the recent intensification of the blockade of Cuba. 
Mr. McCartney [holding answer 6 November 2006]: The US has recently announced its intention to more rigorously enforce its trade embargo against Cuba, primarily by setting up a task force to penalise those who engage in US prohibited activities (e.g. travel, trade) with Cuba.
The UK/EU policy towards Cuba continues to differ from that of the US. We make our opposition to the US embargo on Cuba clear through our vote every year against it at the United Nations General Assembly and in discussions with US officials. In particular, the UK/EU opposes the extraterritorial extension of the US embargo.
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