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John Bercow: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what recent assessment she has made of the level of corruption in the (a) Government and (b) public sector in Kenya. 
Grand-scale corruption continues in Kenya. Kenya was ranked 142 out of 163 countries in the recently published 2006 Corruption Perceptions
Index by Transparency International. By comparison Uganda was at position 105 and Tanzania at 93.
We want to see action taken over the major corruption scandals, e.g. the Anglo-Leasing and Goldenberg investigations, and the anti-corruption institutions strengthened. We stand ready to assist in any way we can, including through Mutual Legal Assistance to recover stolen assets, but the Government need to demonstrate their commitment to their citizens to take action.
John Bercow: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what assessment she has made of the potential effects of recent ministerial appointments by the Government of Kenya on (a) corruption and (b) good governance in that country. 
Mr. McCartney: The stepping aside of three Ministers in early 2006 following allegations of their involvement in corruption was unprecedented in Kenya. This move was welcomed by all those supporting the Kenyan Government's stated objective to tackle widespread corruption.
Two of the Ministers, George Saitoti and Kiraitu Murungi, were re-appointed to Government on15 November. These appointments have raised further concerns about the Government's commitment to fully address corruption and improve the wider governance environment.
Dr. Howells: We have received no reliable information on the treatment of detainees. However, we are concerned at reports that at least 120 Maldivian Democratic Party activists have been detained in recent weeks, 20 of whom may now have been released. We call on the Maldivian Government to resolve promptly the cases of those still held in detention through due process and with regard for their human rights.
John Bercow: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what recent discussions she has had with the Government of the Maldives on (a) human rights, (b) freedom of expression and (c) the right to peaceful assembly. 
Dr. Howells: In Male on 2-3 December, our high commissioner accredited to Maldives, but resident in Colombo, raised our concerns with President Gayoom, the Foreign Minister, and senior Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) leaders, and during an address to the MDP National Council. Foreign and Commonwealth Office officials also discuss such issues with the Maldivian Government. Most recently senior officials met with the Foreign Minister, Dr. Shaheed in London on 1 December.
We are concerned about human rights in Maldives, which acceded to the UN International Convention on Civil and Political Rights on 19 September 2006. We
continue to underline to the Maldivian Government that all allegations of human rights violations must be effectively investigated. We trust that the recently reconstituted Human Rights Commission of Maldives will be appropriately empowered and resourced todo so.
Mr. David Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what assessment she has made of the effect of the Military Commissions Act of 2006 on British citizens in custody in (a) the United States and (b) United States dependent territories. 
John Bercow: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs (1) what recent discussions she has had with the US Administration on the Military Commissions Act passed in September 2006; 
James Duddridge: To ask the Secretary of Statefor Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what visits Ministers and officials from her Department made to (a) Israel and (b) the Occupied Palestinian Territories in each of the last 12 months; and if she will list the Ministers and officials involved in each case. 
Dr. Howells: I visited Israel and the Occupied Territories in July 2006. There have been a number of visits by officials from the Foreign and Commonwealth Office throughout 2006, but it is not our policy to provide specific details about visits made by officials.
Mr. McCartney: We advise against all travel to Bakassi Peninsula and to the riverine areas of Bayelsa, Delta and Rivers States because of the current security situation in Nigeria. Riverine areas are generally classed to be those accessible only by boat. We advise against all but essential travel to Akwa Ibom State and the rest of Bayelsa, Delta and Rivers States and that those travelling to these states should take full, appropriate security advice and ensure that robust precautions are in place.
Our general assessment of the security situation in Nigeria can be found under Safety and Security on the Foreign and Commonwealth Offices (FCO) travel advice page for Nigeria. We update this regularly in the light of events on the ground. Among other things, it covers terrorism, crime, road and air safety and the general political situation. The travel advice page for Nigeria is available on the FCO website at:
Mr. Dai Davies: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what discussions she has had with (a) other permanent members of the United Nations Security Council, (b) the non-nuclear armed members of NATO, (c) India, (d) Pakistan and (e) Israel on the merits of the United Kingdom decommissioning its nuclear weapons (i) unilaterally and (ii) via multilateral negotiations. 
Dr. Howells: The Foreign and Commonwealth Office holds frequent and regular discussion with all the above-mentioned countries and the wider UN membership on the full range of disarmament issues through our participation in, inter alia, the Non-Proliferation treaty, the Conference on Disarmament, the UN Disarmament Committee and the UN First Committee. The UK strongly believes that the best way to achieve our goal of a safer world, free from nuclear weapons, is through consensus.
Mr. Dai Davies: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what discussions she has had with her United States counterpart on taking forward the multilateral nuclear disarmament proposals contained in the United Nations General Assembly Resolution A/RES/54/54Q (1999) on the follow-up to the advisory opinion of the International Court of Justice on the legality of the threat or use of nuclear weapons. 
The UN General Assembly Resolution calls for the early conclusion of a nuclear weapons convention. The Government consider the treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT) as
the cornerstone of the global nuclear non-proliferation regime and the framework for nuclear disarmament. The UK has an excellent record in implementing its disarmament obligations under Article VI of the NPT and, in this regard, continues to press for multilateral negotiations towards mutual, balanced and verifiable reductions in nuclear weapons. The Government do not support any new process, including a nuclear weapons convention, which could risk cutting across the existing NPT regime.
Mr. Dai Davies: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if she will publish the legal advice received by the Government that underpins the policy position that retention and renewal of the UK's nuclear weapons is consistent with the UK's international legal obligations set out in the White Paper, The Future of The United Kingdom's Nuclear Deterrent, CM 6994. 
Mr. Clifton-Brown: To ask the Secretary of Statefor Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs which Governments have made representations on the future chairmanship of the Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe; and whether the United Kingdom has declared its support for a candidate. 
Dr. Howells: Spain and Finland will chair the Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) in 2007 and 2008 respectively. Kazakhstan has expressed interest in chairing the OSCE in 2009, Greece and Lithuania in 2010, Albania in 2012 and Bulgaria in 2013. The chairmanship for 2009 will be decided at the latest at the Ministerial Council in Madrid in 2007.
The issue of a Kazakhstan chairmanship was discussed with my right hon. Friend the Prime Minister during President Nazarbayev's visit in November 2006. The UK position is that any future chair will needto exemplify the standards and commitments of the organisation. Our support will be based on this criterion.
Any country with a reactor has the ability to produce polonium 210 and therefore carry out experiments with it. However, polonium 210 is not subject to International Atomic Energy Agency safeguards and does not have to be reported to the agency, so even countries without a reactor could carry out experiments if they had a supply from a producing country. The UK, Russia, US and France are
recognised as producing sealed polonium 210 sources for commercial use; as a neutron source, for eliminating static charges in textile mills, used on brushes for removing dust from photographic films, thermoelectric power in space satellites, etc.
John Bercow: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what recent discussions she has had (a) at the UN and (b) with the US Administration about implementing (i) a no-fly zone over Darfur, (ii) an arms embargo against Sudan and (iii) targeted sanctions, travel bans and asset freezes against those suspected of involvement in illegal mass killings in Darfur. 
Mr. McCartney: The UK holds regular discussions with the UN and US, as well as with other UN Security Council partners, about all of these issues. We continue to consider, along with our Security Council partners, any action which may help resolve the conflict in Darfur.
Mr. Drew: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what assessment she has made of the extent to which the security situation in the Central African Republic is a consequence of the fighting in Sudan and Chad; what plans she has to try to prevent a further spread of the violence; and if she will make a statement. 
Mr. McCartney: The north-eastern province of Vakaga in the Central African Republic has increasingly been used as both a conduit and base for Sudanese and Chadian rebel groups, over the last eight months. This has created further instability. Central African Republic rebel groups have become increasingly active within this region, capturing three towns within Vakaga during November, and in the north-west of the country. The Central African Republics armed forces, assisted by forces from the French and FOMUC, the EU-funded African peace mission, have now stabilised the Vakaga region, although the situation remains tense.
We press the Government of Sudan regularly on the need for a viable ceasefire in Darfur, and to stop supporting Chadian rebel groups. We have pressed both the Chad and Sudan Governments to fulfil their obligations under the Tripoli agreement, and will continue to do so. Officials from the Foreign and Commonwealth Office met with the Chadian ambassador on 20 November and raised our concerns over the security situation in both Chad and the Central African Republic, particularly in the border regions.
We also continue to raise our concerns over the situation in the Central African Republic through the EU and the UN. The UN is expected to report shortly on prospects for a mission in Chad and the Central African Republic, as mandated under UN Security Council Resolution 1706.
Mr. McCartney: Since signature of the Darfur Peace Agreement in May 2006, we have been in regular contact with the Government of Sudan, Minni Minnawi and the non-signatory rebel groups. We are pressing for an immediate and strengthened ceasefire; a process to secure the support of the non-signatory groups for the agreement; and an effective peacekeeping operation. The international community and the Government of Sudan agreed a way forwardon these issues at the Addis Ababa meeting on16 November, which my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for International Development attended. My right hon. Friend the Prime Minister telephoned President Bashir on 22 November to urge him to accept this package, which has since been endorsed by the Peace and Security Council of the African Union. We continue to call on him to do so. We remain committed to finding a peaceful resolution to this appalling conflict.
Mr. McCartney: My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for International Development attended a high-level meeting on the future of the African Union (AU) Mission in Sudan (AMIS) in Addis Ababa on16 November. The meeting agreed that the UN should provide a light support package followed by a heavy support package to AMIS. The meeting agreed that this would be the precursor to the force becoming a joint AU/UN operation, with a substantial increase in the number of personnel. These conclusions were accepted by the AU Peace and Security Council at its meeting on 30 November. My right hon. Friendthe Prime Minister telephoned President Bashir on22 November to encourage him to work with the international community in implementing the outcome of the Addis and Abuja meetings. We continue to call on him to do so. And we will remain in regular contact with other nations and with the UN on the issue.
John Bercow: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what assessment she has made of statements by the President of Sudan that there is no famine or genocide in Darfur. 
Mr. McCartney: During a press conference on27 November in Khartoum, President Bashir denied reports of starvation in Darfur and claimed that the number of those killed by fighting to date in Darfur was less than 9,000.
The UN Humanitarian Co-ordinator Jan Egeland estimates that up to four million people in Darfur are dependent on food aid. The most commonly quoted estimate of numbers killed in the conflict in Darfur is 200,000. However, the exact figure is unlikely ever to be known.
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