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28 Nov 2006 : Column 605W—continued

Legislative Programme

Lembit Öpik: To ask the Secretary of State for Wales if he will make a written ministerial statement on the Application of the Government's Legislative Programme to Wales setting out the significant measures of relevance to Wales and their likely impact. [103093]

Mr. Hain: A Welsh Grand debate on the UK legislative programme has been arranged for 13 December 2006 where there will be opportunity to discuss the Government’s legislative proposals and implications for Wales.

Public Appointments

Charles Hendry: To ask the Secretary of State for Wales which public appointments have been made by his Department to former Ministers who have served in the Government since May 1997. [104575]

Mr. Hain: None.

Renewable Energy

Charles Hendry: To ask the Secretary of State for Wales how much energy consumed by his Department is acquired from renewable sources. [106154]

Mr. Hain: In June 2003 the Wales Office became a separate entity within the Departmental of Constitutional Affairs (DCA) and as such our energy is supplied under DCA contracts. Since 2003-04 at least 10 per cent. of all electricity supplied to the DCA comes from renewable sources.

Valuation Office Agency

Mrs. Spelman: To ask the Secretary of State for Wales if he will place in the Library a copy of each Wales Council Tax Revaluation Circular
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produced by the Valuation Office Agency since January 2003. [104028]

Mr. Hain: I have asked the Valuation Office Agency to provide the documents requested. Copies will be placed in the Library, and I will notify the hon. Member as soon as they become available.

Foreign and Commonwealth Office

Afghanistan

Paul Flynn: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs how much was spent by the United Kingdom in compensating Afghan farmers after the elimination of poppy crops in each of the past four years; and how much has been received by the farmers. [106094]

Dr. Howells: The Government provided £21.25 million in support of the Afghan interim administration's 2002 compensated eradication programme. The Afghan government considered it appropriate to offer farmers one off payments in 2002 because the 2002 crop was planted before the administration came to power. We provided support because we believed it was important to support a new administration determined to take tough decisions to tackle drugs, but it was the responsibility of the Afghan authorities to implement the programme and to make payments to farmers. Eradication in 2003-06 has not been compensated.

Paul Flynn: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs how much has been paid by the UK Government to the Government in Afghanistan in each of the last four years; and what the purpose was of each such payment. [106095]

Dr. Howells: Based on the Development Aid Committee aid categories of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, the following table details the non-military funds committed to Afghanistan over the past four years by the Department for International Development, the Foreign and Commonwealth Office and the Global Conflict Prevention Pool. 70 per cent. of this UK assistance to Afghanistan is channelled through the line ministries of the Afghan government.


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£ million
2002-03 2003-04 2004-05 2005-06 2006-07

Social-administrative infrastructure

Water supply and sanitation

3

Government and civil society

26

100.1

108.8

60

78

Economic infrastructure

Communication

0.5

0.5

0.5

Business and private sector

0.3

1

0.55

1

Production

Agriculture, forestry and fishing

0.3

6.3

7.8

46

30

Industry, mining and construction

0.6

1

1

Trade and tourism

0.005

Other

Counter-narcotics

1.6

10

48.6

51

Environmental protection

2.41

2

Women in development

—-

0.8

0.7

Debt relief

12.7

Emergency assistance

44.5

10

3

Total

83.5

118.3

134.7

159.87

164.2


African Union (Peacekeeping Forces)

Mr. Clifton-Brown: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what discussions she has had with the Nigerian Government on (a) renewal of the mandate to provide peacekeepers to the African Union (AU) in Darfur and (b) whether the UN should pay a per diem amount for each soldier deployed by the AU. [101757]

Mr. Hoon: We engage regularly with Nigeria on matters relating to the African Union (AU) Mission in Sudan (AMIS), most recently at a high level meeting on the future of AMIS held in Addis Ababa on 16 November. That meeting, which was chaired by Kofi Annan and Alpha Oumar Konare and attended by the permanent members of the UN Security Council and key African states, agreed on the way forward for AMIS, on the clear understanding that its mandate would need to be renewed. As part of this, it agreed on the need for UN funding of the force. Once finalised, this financial arrangement should enable the AU to pay per diems to AMIS troops on a more regular basis. There are no current plans for the UN to pay per diems directly to AU soldiers.

Bolivia

Mr. Clifton-Brown: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what assessment she has made of civil liberties and political freedom in Bolivia; and what assessment she has made of the actions of certain of Bolivia's regional governors vis- -vis the central government. [103039]

Dr. Howells: We welcomed the democratic election of the Government of President Morales last December and recognise the clear mandate for change that this signalled. Bolivia faces many challenges as it undergoes this process of change and we are aware of strong criticism, including from some regional governors, of President Morales' approach. It is important that any process of change should take account of the views of all sectors of Bolivian society, and respect all the democratic institutions within the country, including both houses of Congress and regional governors. We call on all parties to maintain an open and constructive dialogue to ensure the future prosperity of Bolivia.

Cuba

Colin Burgon: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what assessment she has made of the classified section of the updated US Commission for Assistance to a Free Cuba report. [104530]

Dr. Howells: The US Commission for Assistance to a Free Cuba report is a US report to the US President. The classified section has not been released and the Foreign and Commonwealth Office has not seen it.

Colin Burgon: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what assessment she has made of the announcement by the US State Department on 13 October 2006 of a working group of EU nations to accelerate regime change in Cuba. [104531]

Dr. Howells: The US State Department announcement of 13 October 2006 referred to an informal grouping called “Friends of Democratic Cuba”, including Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland, Slovakia, Lithuania and Slovenia, supporting a peaceful transition to democracy in Cuba. This is not an EU working group.

The UK/EU is committed to encouraging a process of peaceful transition towards a pluralist democracy in Cuba - in line with the EU Common Position of 1996. The existing EU working group on Latin America regularly discusses implementation of this policy.

Colin Burgon: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what assessment she has made of the compatibility of the extra-territorial activities of the US Commission for Assistance to a Free Cuba with the EU common position on Cuba. [104532]

Dr. Howells: The US Commission for Assistance to a Free Cuba recommends continued application of the US Helms-Burton (Libertad) Act, which includes extra-territorial provisions affecting those who engage in travel and trade with Cuba. The UK/EU continue to make clear our opposition to this US embargo through our vote in favour of the United Nations General Assembly Resolution on the necessity of ending that embargo. In particular, the UK/EU opposes the extra-territorial extension of the US embargo.

Colin Burgon: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what assessment she has made of (a) the compatibility of the policies of the US Commission for Assistance to a Free Cuba with Article 2 of the Charter of the United Nations and (b) the impact of those policies on states acting in accordance with them. [104533]

Dr. Howells: The Commission for Assistance to a Free Cuba consists of senior US politicians and consideration of its recommendations is a matter for the US government. UK/EU policy on Cuba continues to differ from that of the US. Whilst US policy
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continues to favour sanctions against Cuba, the UK is committed to the 1996 EU Common Position which seeks constructive engagement and dialogue with both government and civil society in Cuba.

Departmental Staff

Dr. Cable: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs whether people employed (a) through employment agencies and (b) on a consultancy basis are included in the calculations for the full-time equivalent staff mentioned in her Department's annual report. [102986]

Mr. Hoon: The staff figures given in the Foreign and Commonwealth Office's annual departmental report do not include members of staff employed through employment agencies or on a consultancy basis.

East Asia

Mr. Clifton-Brown: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what assessment she has made of the influence of Jemaah Islamiyah on stability in East Asia. [103036]

Dr. Howells: Jemaah Islamiyah continues to pose a threat in Indonesia. We have a close and effective working relationship with the Indonesian Government on counter terrorism.

EU Constitution

Mr. Brady: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what progress has been made on the Government's thinking on the future of the Constitutional Treaty for the European Union since 26 October 2006; and when the Minister for Europe will set out the underlying principles of the Government's approach. [106059]

Mr. Hoon: The German Presidency will present a report on the state of discussion with regard to the Constitutional Treaty to the European Council in June 2007, based on extensive consultations with the member states. I will make a statement shortly on the broad principles that will underpin our approach to these discussions.

Iran

Mr. Drew: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what representations she has made to the Iranian authorities on Iran’s use of the death penalty; and if she will make a statement. [104207]

Dr. Howells: We have serious concerns about the continued use of the death penalty in Iran. According to international non-governmental organisations, in 2005 Iran was second only to China in terms of total number of executions carried out and Iran was the only country known to have executed those under the age of 18. We are particularly concerned that basic standards surrounding the application of capital punishment are absent in Iran and that death sentences are often
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carried out in public. The execution of minors is in clear contravention of Iran’s obligations under the Convention on the Rights of the Child and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.

We make frequent representations to the Iranian authorities about the use of the death penalty. On 5 May, the EU presidency in Tehran issued a statement expressing its


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