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Thirdly, the conference considered how to advance agreement on a global framework for emissions reductions to build on the first Kyoto commitment period which finishes in 2012. This needs to be based on the core principle of the UN Climate Change
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Convention: common but differentiated responsibilities, with every country part of the drive to prevent dangerous climate change, and each country making a contribution according to their circumstances. The UK also argued strongly for global agreement to be reached in time to ensure that there is no gap between commitment periods.

In discussions under the Kyoto Protocol, those developed countries who have ratified the Protocol demonstrated their leadership in addressing climate change by establishing a substantial work plan for arriving at new reduction targets, which will send a clear signal to the carbon market that Parties are serious about reducing global emissions by at least 50 per cent. from 2000 levels. The Protocol (under Article 9) also provides for a review of implementation to be undertaken. An initial review took place at COP12 and there was further agreement on a process that would lead to a fully comprehensive review by 2008, which will look at how best we can build on the work that has already been done in implementing the Protocol to ensure that it remains fit for purpose.

COP 11 in Montreal established a Dialogue to enhance the implementation of the Climate Change Convention. The second workshop under the Convention Dialogue, held during COP12, focused on advancing development in a sustainable way and on realising the full potential of market-based opportunities. Sir Nicholas Stern also presented his report to the workshop. The Dialogue provided welcome space for further deliberation and exploration of key issues facing the international community.

During 2007, the UK will work across all fronts, including the EU, G8 and UN, to inject greater urgency and momentum into the process of driving down global emissions. The UK is committed to a 60 per cent. reduction in carbon dioxide emissions by 2050, and we are calling for an EU target of 30 per cent. greenhouse gas emissions reduction by 2020 and at least 60 per cent. by 2050. The science tells us clearly that action is needed urgently: the economics tells us that we cannot afford not to act to ensure that global emissions peak over the next 10-15 years.

Rural Payments Agency (Performance Targets) 2005-06

The Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (David Miliband): I have set the Rural Payments Agency the following performance targets for 2006-2007.


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Business processes


Council of Europe's European Landscape Convention

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Barry Gardiner): Today the UK ratified the Council of Europe's European Landscape Convention which aims to promote landscape protection, management and planning, and to organise European co-operation on landscape issues.

The ratification will apply at present only to England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. Ratification can be extended to the Crown Dependencies at a later date should any of those areas wish to be included.

Foreign and Commonwealth Office

General Affairs and External Relations Council (13-14 November 2006)

The Minister for Europe (Mr. Geoffrey Hoon): My right hon. Friend the Foreign Secretary, Sir John Grant (UK Permanent Representative to the EU) and I represented the UK at the General Affairs and External Relations Council (GAERC) in Brussels. My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Defence represented the UK at Defence Ministers’ discussions.

The agenda items covered were as follows:

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Foreign Ministers

Civilian Capabilities Improvement Conference

The presidency took note of the progress made on civilian military coordination, gender mainstreaming, and working with NGOs and expressed its gratitude to member states for providing personnel for ongoing civilian missions.

Commission Legislative Work Programme 2007

The Commission briefed the Council on its legislative work programme for 2007 under the following headings: modernising the European economy; addressing the challenges of European society; secure, competitive and sustainable energy; and making Europe a better place to live.

December European Council: Annotated Draft Agenda

The Council took note of the presidency's plans to group discussion at the European Council in Brussels on 14 and 15 December under 4 main headings: EU enlargement; justice and home affairs; innovation and energy and external relations.

Relations with Russia

The Council exchanged views on the draft negotiating mandate for the successor to the EU-Russia Partnership and Cooperation Agreement. The draft will be sent to COREPER (Permanent Representatives Committee) for further discussion before returning to the Council for approval ahead of the EU-Russia summit in Helsinki on 24 November.


The Council took note of a presentation by the Commission on the EU's enlargement strategy, a report on integration capacity, and progress reports on Turkey, Croatia and the Western Balkans.

Western Balkans

UN special envoy, Martti Ahtisaari, briefed the Council on the Kosovo status process.

Conclusions were adopted on the negotiating mandates for visa facilitation and readmission agreements with Bosnia and Herzegovina, Macedonia, Montenegro and Serbia.

Middle East

The Council adopted Conclusions expressing deep concern at the escalating violence in Gaza and in the West Bank and deplored the military operation in Beit Hanoun on 8 November and the firing of rockets on Israeli territory. It urged the Palestinians to work towards a government of national unity reflecting the Quartet principles. The Council underlined the importance of preserving and strengthening the capacity of Palestinian institutions, and expressed its readiness to provide enhanced support to a Palestinian Government that the EU can engage with. The Council also extended the border assistance mission in Rafah for a further six months.

On Lebanon, Conclusions called on all parties in the region to comply with UNSCR 1701, notably the arms embargo.


High Representative Solana briefed the Council on discussions in New York about a new Security Council Resolution.

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The Council adopted Conclusions underlining its profound concern at the human rights situation in Uzbekistan and renewing restrictive measures imposed after the Andijan massacre in May 2005. The Council agreed to reinstate technical talks with the Uzebkistan Government under the Partnership and Cooperation Agreement to promote Uzbek compliance with the principles of respect for human rights, the rule of law and fundamental freedoms.

Northern Uganda

The Council adopted Conclusions reaffirming its support for peace talks between the Government of Uganda and the Lord's Resistance Army and urging the parties to implement their obligations under the Cessation of Hostilities Agreement.

Defence Ministers

Military Capabilities

The Council took note of the Force Catalogue 2006: a list of military capabilities that member states have declared available for a European Security and Defence Policy operation.


The Commander of the EU military operation in the Democratic Republic of Congo, General Viereck, and High Representative Solana briefed the Council on recent events in Kinshasa and proposals for drawdown of the operation. The EU security sector reform and police missions would remain in place after the closure of the military mission.

High Representative Solana and Commander of the EU military operation in Bosnia and Herzegovina, General Reith, briefed the Council on proposals to reduce the number of troops. A decision to drawdown would be taken before the end of the year on the basis of the security situation.

High Representative Solana briefed the Council on the African Union Mission in Sudan/Darfur (AMIS) as well as prospects for a UN supporting package.

Civil-Military Coordination

The Council welcomed ongoing work on improving effective coordination of civilian and military crisis management instruments.

European Defence Agency

The Council took note of the report submitted by the head of the Agency on its activities, agreed the Agency's budget for 2007 and adopted Council Guidelines for the Agency's work in 2007.

The presidency postponed by 12 months the decision to set the Agency's three-year financial framework. The Joint Action establishing the Agency requires the setting of a three-year financial framework, but this has proved difficult to achieve over the past two years. The presidency postponed this decision following a failure to reach a consensus in the Council. The requirement to set a financial framework will be addressed in the review of the Joint Action, to take place in 2007.

Conclusions covering civilian and military capabilities, the European Defence Agency, Civil-Military Coordination and military response to disaster response were also agreed.

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Joint session with Defence and Foreign Ministers

Democratic Republic of Congo

The Council adopted Conclusions welcoming the generally peaceful and orderly conduct of polling in the second round of presidential elections on 29 October and called on the candidates to take all possible steps to prevent any further acts of violence following events in Kinshasa on 11 November.

AOB: Afghanistan

The Council exchanged views on EU engagement in Afghanistan and on action to reinforce the EU's presence, including a possible civilian mission under the European Security and Defence Policy.

The Council also recalled the EU's longstanding commitment to Afghanistan, including its major role in reconstruction and stabilisation efforts, working with international partners.

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Departmental Expenditure Limits and Administration Cost Limits 2006-07

The Secretary of State for Health (Ms Patricia Hewitt): Subject to the necessary Supplementary Estimate, the Department of Health's element of the Departmental Expenditure Limit (DEL) will be increased by £5,418,000 from £87,170,719,000 to £87,176,137,000 of which the Administration Cost Limit will be increased by £375,000 from £226,944,000 to £227,319,000. The Food Standards Agency DEL will be increased by £715,000 from £144,132,000 to £144,847,000. The overall DEL including the Food Standards Agency will be increased by £6,133,000 from £87,314,851,000 to £87,320,984,000. The impact on resource and capital are set out in the following table.

£ million
ChangeNew DEL

Department of Health

Resource DEL






Of which:

Administration budget(1)




Near-cash in Resource DEL






Capital DEL





Total Department of Health DEL










Total Department of Health spending (after adjustment)






Food Standards Agency






Of which:

Administration budget(1)





Near-cash in Resource DEL










Total Food Standards Agency DEL










Total Food Standards Agency spending (after adjustment)





(1) The total of "administration budget" and "Near cash in Resource DEL" figures may well be greater that the total resource DEL, due to definitions overlapping.
(2) Depreciation, which forms part of resource DEL, is excluded from the total DEL since the capital DEL includes capital spending and to include depreciation of those assets would lead to double counting.

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