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22 Jan 2007 : Column 1449Wcontinued
Andrew Mackinlay: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what (a) reports she has commissioned and (b) representations she has received from (i) the Defence Board of Bermuda and (ii) the Governor of Bermuda which made reference to the practice of conscription to the Royal Bermuda Regiment in the last five years other than the Report submitted by Colonel Baxter in November 2005. 
Dr. Howells: No reports have been commissioned or representations received from either the Defence Board or the Governor of Bermuda which make reference to the practice of conscription to the Bermuda Regiment in the last five years other than the report submitted by Colonel Baxter in November 2005.
David Davis: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs how many referrals the Consular Department has made to the Serious and Organised Crime Agency of British prisoners (a) released and (b) deported from abroad in (i) the last 12 months and (ii) each of the last five years. 
Dr. Howells: I refer the right hon. Gentleman to the replies I gave to the hon. Member for Sheffield Hallam (Mr. Clegg) on 15 January 2007, Official Report, column 830W, and 19 January 2007, Official Report, column 1405W.
John Bercow: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs (1) what discussions she has had with the Government of Chad on (a) demobilising child soldiers and (b) ending the recruitment of child soldiers by armed groups operating within Chadian territory; 
(2) what steps are being taken by her Department to support the demobilisation of child soldiers within Chad. 
We have not had discussions with the Government of Chad regarding the mobilisation and recruitment of child soldiers. We have seen the UN
Secretary-General's report on Children and Armed Conflict which states that there are reports of forced recruitment of children from refugee camps in Eastern Chad by rebel forces.
The UK is committed to tackling the issue of child soldiers and we are using the levers that are available to us both internationally and bilaterally. We continue to support the UN's increased focus on this issue and have fully supported the Security Council resolutions on children and armed conflict. We raise our voice to roundly condemn the recruitment and use of children in this way. We support strategies to address this issue through demobilising the children, and then rehabilitating and reintegrating them into their communities. The UK is also actively involved in the UN Security Council Working Group on children and armed conflict.
John Bercow: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs (1) if she will press the Government of Chad to investigate and prosecute individuals involved in attacks on civilians; 
(2) if she will press the Government of Chad to deploy military personnel, police and resources to conflict areas in eastern Chad to ensure that civilians are protected from attack. 
Mr. McCartney: We have underscored the need for the Government of Chad to protect their civilians in our discussions with Chad and in statements made by the UN Security Council, which we have supported. We will continue to urge the Government of Chad to make every effort to protect their civilians in Eastern Chad, particularly those most vulnerable to attack. We condemn the violence that has resulted in the displacement of around 90,000 Chadians in Eastern Chad and urge the Government of Chad to bring to justice the perpetrators of the violence.
John Bercow: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs (1) if she will press her counterparts at the UN to provide support and funding for humanitarian activities to support Sudanese refugees and internally displaced persons in Chad; 
(2) what discussions she has had with her counterparts on the United Nations Security Council on the Government of Chad's support for armed groups responsible for attacks on civilians. 
Mr. McCartney: The UK has played an active role in the ongoing discussions in the UN Security Council regarding the continuing conflict in Eastern Chad. Together with our partners in the UN Security Council, the UK supported a presidency statement of 15 December 2006, which called on the Government of Chad to
do all it can to protect its civilian population
expressed its grave concern regarding the increase in military activities of armed groups in Eastern Chad.
Along with close UN partners, such as France and the US, we are pressing the UN to provide early plans for a mission in Chad as envisaged under UN Security Council Resolution 1706. This would provide support for the UN's present humanitarian activities. The UK, through the Department for International Development, last year provided £4 million in emergency aid.
Lyn Brown: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs whether her Department has made any recent representations to the Government of the Democratic Republic of Congo on security sector reform. 
Mr. McCartney: Ministers and UK officials in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) regularly raised the urgent need to reform the Congolese security sector with the transitional Government. During his last visit to the DRC in September 2006, my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for International Development discussed with President Kabila the particular need to ensure proper training, equipment and payment for Congolese soldiers. My right hon. Friend the Deputy Prime Minister also referred to this when he met President Kabila last month.
Once the new Government is in place, we, along with EU partners, will continue to underline to the Congolese authorities the importance of reforming the security sector. We will continuebilaterally, through the EU and with South Africato provide expertise and appropriate financial support to the planning process and project implementation.
Lyn Brown: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what assessment she has made of the case for MONUC peacekeeping force in the Democratic Republic of Congo since the presidential election; and if she will make a statement. 
Mr. McCartney: MONUC, the UN peacekeeping force in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) has played a crucial role in creating and maintaining stability in the DRC, giving extensive logistical support to the elections process and in helping mediate during political and military crises. It is important that MONUC retains sufficient military and civilian capacity to continue its role in stabilising the DRC until the new government has bedded down and has extended its own authority across the country. This will be a gradual process, and the future drawdown of MONUC's capacity will therefore need to be well planned and reflect the situation on the ground.
Lyn Brown: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what steps her Department is taking to encourage the international donor community to increase their commitment to the Democratic Republic of Congo in light of the recent presidential election. 
The UK is one of the largest bilateral donors in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), with £62 million available in bilateral assistance this financial year. We have said that we expect this to increase further, as long as the democratic process in the DRC remains on track. The Foreign and Commonwealth Office works closely with the Department for International Development (DFID) in London and in Kinshasa to ensure a co-ordinated UK approach in the DRC. Our Ambassador and the Head of the DFID office in Kinshasa also work closely with
other donorsthe UN, World Bank, EU, US and South Africa in particularto ensure that diplomatic and financial support to the DRC is in line with the country's needs and that donors are co-ordinated in their respective strategies. My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for International Development has been at the forefront of calls for donors to support the UN's Humanitarian Action Plan in DRC, to which the UK is one of the leading donors.
Lyn Brown: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what assessment she has made of the security situation in Ituri, Kivus and Katanga provinces of the Democratic Republic of Congo. 
Mr. McCartney: The security situation in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) remains fragile, particularly in Ituri, the Kivus and northern Katanga. Congolese militia and foreign armed groups continue to abuse local populations and the Congolese army continues to pose a threat to peace and stability. But successful elections, for which the UK was the leading bilateral donor, should help the process of stabilisation. The UK is also actively supporting Congolese army reform, which should help the army play a positive role in future. And we will maintain our support to the Congolese Government, MONUC (the UN peacekeeping force in the DRC) and other partners in their efforts to secure an end to the conflict and lasting peace in the DRC.
Mr. Hancock: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what action she has taken since the report by Scotland Yard into the murder of Dr. Andrew Lutakome Kayiira in Uganda; and if she will make a statement. 
Mr. McCartney: President Museveni requested that the Metropolitan police assist the Uganda police with the investigation into the death of Dr. Kayiira in 1987. A report was completed on 7 May 1987 and handed to the Inspector General of Police in Kampala. Following recent allegations regarding Dr. Kayiira's death, the Foreign and Commonwealth Office assisted the Government of Uganda to obtain another copy of the report from the Metropolitan police. The contents of that report and the investigations into Dr. Kayiira's death are a matter for the Government of Uganda.
Mrs. James: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what recent discussions she has had with European Union partners about Ethiopian political development. 
Mr. McCartney: We regularly discuss political developments in Ethiopia with EU partners.
In Addis Ababa, with our EU partners, we continue to encourage both the Government of Ethiopia and opposition to move forward with the democratisation process and to work towards political reconciliation. The EU has regular dialogue with the Government on governance and human rights issues and the Government
are now beginning to take steps to create space for opposition parties to contribute and participate in the House of Peoples' Representatives.
We continue to urge the Government of Ethiopia to open up the political space and encourage open debate with all parts of society.
Mr. Hancock: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what activities she plans under the auspices of the EU Neighbourhood Policy; and if she will make a statement. 
Mr. Hoon: The UK is a strong supporter of the European Neighbourhood Policy (ENP) as a means of promoting democracy, stability and prosperity in the wider region, and is working with EU partners to underline and reinforce the importance of this policy. 11 ENP action plans have been agreed with our eastern and southern neighbours and these provide valuable frameworks to engage with partner countries on a range of social, economic and political reform issues. The Government support the development of the ENP so that it is as effective as possible. We therefore welcomed the Commission communication published on 4 December 2006, which set out proposals for providing stronger incentives for countries to undertake difficult reforms. We look forward to continuing to work closely with the German Presidency and with other EU partners to develop these ideas.
Miss McIntosh: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs how much was spent by UK Trade and Investment on export support in each of the last three years; and how much has been allocated for 2007-08. 
Mr. McCartney: The following net amounts were spent by UK Trade and Investment on export support in each of the last three financial years:
We have not yet finalised budget allocations for 2007-08.
Mr. Malins: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs whether a mechanism exists to enable the Government to respond formally to recommendations of the (a) Assembly of Western European Union and (b) the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe. 
Mr. Hoon: There are no formal procedures or mechanisms in place for national Governments to respond directly to recommendations from the Assembly of the Western European Union. We do, however, take these into consideration in policy formulation.
Recommendations of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe are presented to the Committee of Ministers for consideration and reply.
Mr. Crabb: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what discussions she has had with members of the Indian Government regarding the human rights of Dalit people on her recent visit to India. 
Dr. Howells: My right hon. Friend the Foreign Secretary did not raise the human rights of Dalits during her recent visit to India. However, officials from our High Commission in New Delhi have regular discussions on minority rights, including Dalit rights, with the Government of India at central and state level. They have held discussions with national level bodies such as the National Human Rights Commission, the National Commission for Scheduled Castes (Dalits) and Scheduled Tribes and the National Commission for Minorities, most recently in June 2006.
On the EUs behalf, the EU Troika highlighted the high level of parliamentary and public interest in Dalit issues during the EU-India human rights dialogue with the Government of India, which took place in December 2006.
John McDonnell: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what (a) political, (b) legal, (c) technical and (d) procedural options her Department plans to present at the May 2007 preparatory committee meeting of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty to implement article six of the treaty; and if she will make a statement. 
Dr. Howells: The Government are strongly committed to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), which is the cornerstone of the nuclear non-proliferation regime. The UK is determined to make every effort to ensure that this review cycle results in a positive and substantive final document at the 2010 review conference that moves forward all aspects of treaty implementation, including disarmament. We will work with allies and EU partners over the coming weeks and at the May 2007 NPT preparatory committee to lay the groundwork for this. We believe we have already made a contribution by announcing, in the White Paper on the Future of the UK's Nuclear Deterrent, a further 20 per cent. cut in our warhead stockpile.
Mr. Heald: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what the (a) name and (b) location is of each official residence of which she has use. 
Margaret Beckett: When working in London, I reside at No. l Carlton Gardens. On occasion I also use the Foreign Secretary's official country residence in Chevening, Kent.
Mr. Jim Cunningham: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what recent discussions she has held with her Pakistani counterparts on counter terrorism. 
Dr. Howells: We discuss counter terrorism with the Pakistani Government regularly. It was one of the main topics of discussion during my right hon. Friend the Prime Ministers visit to Pakistan in November 2006. My right hon. Friend the Prime Minister and President Musharraf reiterated their joint determination to combat terrorism and extremism in all forms.
My right hon. Friend the Foreign Secretary has not discussed counter terrorism with her Pakistani counterparts.
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