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Andrew Mackinlay: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if she will investigate complaints of abuse of conscript recruits by non-commissioned officers in the Bermuda Regiment; and if she will make a statement. 
Andrew Mackinlay: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs when the practice requiring conscript recruits in the Bermuda Regiment to urinate in plastic bags after 11pm was ended; and if she will make a statement. 
Andrew Mackinlay: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if the Governor of Burmuda will authorise a stay of enforcing the conscription of those recruits to the Bermuda Regiment who are seeking judicial review of their conscription until the review has been determined in the courts; and if she will make a statement. 
Andrew Mackinlay: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs why it is necessary for a section commander to escort conscript recruits to the Bermuda Regiment to the toilets after 11pm; and if she will make a statement. 
The Bermuda Regiment has a lights out policy during recruit camp in order to enable recruits to sleep undisturbed between the hours of 11pm and 5.45am. Should a recruit need to use the toilet during these hours, he is escorted to the ablution block by his section commander. This ensures the security of
sensitive camp areas, ensures that the section commander is accountable for his recruits and helps to ensure the safety of the recruit.
Mr. Clifton-Brown: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what recent representations she has made to China on (a) China's ratification of the UN International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, (b) the release of dissidents jailed for involvement in the 1989 demonstration at Tiananmen Square and (c) the re-education through labour system of imprisonment without trial. 
Mr. McCartney: The Government regularly raise human rights issues with the Chinese Government. I urged China to commit itself to a timetable for International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) ratification, and give renewed impetus to reform of all forms of administrative detention, including re-education through labour, in a letter to the Chinese ambassador in August 2006. My right hon. Friend the Foreign Secretary raised ICCPR ratification with Chinese Foreign Minister Li Zhaoxing in September 2006. These issues were also raised at the last rounds of the UK- and EU-China Human Rights Dialogues, and will be covered at the next round of our bilateral Dialogue in February. The cases of the remaining Tiananmen dissidents were raised at the last round of the EU-China Dialogue in October 2006, and bilaterally through previous rounds of the UK-China Dialogue.
Mr. Brady: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what the legal base is for budgeted EU expenditure of €14,000,000 in 2007 for European Union special representatives. 
Mr. Hoon: Article 18(5) of the Treaty on European Union provides the legal base for the appointment of EU Special Representatives by the Council. Common Foreign and Security Policy (CFSP) Joint Actions (Articles 14,18(5) and 23, Treaty on European Union) provide the legal base for the mandates of the EU Special Representatives themselves and their expenditure against the CFSP Budget.
The Council, the European Commission and the European Parliament agreed in December 2006 that €14,000,000 should be committed to the EU Special Representatives sub-heading of the 2007 European Community Budget.
Mr. Redwood: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs whether there are proposals that she would adopt from the treaty establishing a constitution for Europe without a referendum. 
Mr. Hoon: The Government's decision to recommend holding a referendum on the draft treaty establishing a constitution for Europe was set out in the statement by my right hon. Friend the Prime Minister to the House on 20 April 2004, Official Report, columns 155-157).
Mr. Redwood: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs which parts of the draft treaty establishing a constitution for Europe require a consent by voters in a referendum before adoption. 
Mr. Soames: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if she will make a statement on the Governments objectives in respect of the European Security and Defence Identity. 
Mr. Hoon: The European Security and Defence Identity (ESDI) was created in 1996 and put in place arrangements for the EU, through the Western European Union (WEU), to access NATO assets for use in WEU-led operations. ESDI was superseded by the establishment of the European Security and Defence Policy (ESDP) in June 1999.
The UK is a strong supporter of ESDP. Through its ESDP missions, the EU is contributing to conflict prevention, conflict resolution and global security. UK objectives for ESDP are for it to be active, capable and coherent, in line with the recommendations of the European Security Strategy. We want ESDP to contribute to improved civilian and military European capabilities and complement NATO. We also want to see greater co-ordination between ESDP missions and other actors.
Mr. Clifton-Brown: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what assessment she has made of the prospects of the Six Party talks on the Democratic Peoples Republic of Korea resuming; and what representations she has made to her counterpart in China on the talks. 
Although the UK is not a member of the Six Party Talks (6PT), we fully support the process. Assistant Secretary of State Christopher Hill met his North Korean counterpart Kim Kye Gwan on
16-17 January in Berlin. The aim of the meeting was to persuade North Korea to make tangible progress towards implementing the Joint Declaration of 19 September 2005 and return to the 6PT. We are hopeful that the talks may resume in the next few weeks. The Government remains in regular contact with the Chinese Government, including through our embassy in Beijing.
Mr. Gauke: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what percentage of her Department's computer systems use open source software; what percentage of the systems planned to be installed use such software; and whether she plans to increase the use of open source software in her Department. 
The FCO procures IT to obtain the best value for money. In doing this we would certainly consider proposals based on open source solutions, but we have no specific objective to increase our use of open source software.
Andrew Mackinlay: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs whether United Kingdom equality and anti-discrimination legislation extends an obligation of compliance to her Department in its work within overseas territories among staff and employees who are within the responsibility of (a) the Governor and (b) officials of her Department. 
Mr. Hoon: Whether United Kingdom (UK) equality and anti-discrimination legislation would apply to Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) UK-based staff serving in the Governor's office in the British overseas territories is a matter for the UK judicial authorities to decide. However, as a matter of policy, the FCO would seek to ensure that the principles underlying this legislation would be applied in the management of those staff. Whether UK legislation would apply to locally engaged staff working in the Governor's office would depend on a number of factors and would need to be assessed in each case. Local (that is, territory) legislation would normally apply to anyone not working in the Governor's office.
Mr. Clifton-Brown: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what resources she has allocated to support for the Shanghai Trade Expo in 2010; which Government post will represent the UK; and which UK companies have signed up to this event. 
Mr. McCartney: The Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO), UK Trade and Investment and Department of Trade and Industry have collectively allocated £3.5 million towards the Shanghai World Expo 2010. Several other Government Departments, the English regions and the devolved administrations are actively considering their participation in this project. Although this is not a trade fair, a number of leading UK companies are in the frame for sponsorship (none have formally signed up to date). As with previous Expos, co-ordinating UK participation in Shanghai is an FCO lead. The Consulate-General in Shanghai will take the leading role in representing the UK during this six-month event.
Mr. McCartney: The UK has a history of strong relations with the Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN) countries, both bilaterally and in multilateral forums. We have no formal relations with the ASEAN organisation. We conduct our formal relations through the EU, via the EU ASEAN dialogue, the Asia-Europe meeting and the ASEAN regional forum.
I had a constructive meeting with the ASEAN Secretary-General in London on 4 December 2006. I have also met the ASEAN London committee, ASEAN ambassadors and high commissioners, most recently in September 2006. Such meetings provide an opportunity to raise a range of issues, including our relations with ASEAN and with individual ASEAN members.
Mr. Grogan: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what assessment she has made of the progress that the Syrian Government have made over the last 12 months in sealing the border with Iraq. 
Dr. Howells: Syria has sought to improve security on the border with Iraq in recent months. The Syrian Foreign Minister, Walid Muallem, visited Iraq on 19 November 2006 for talks, including on security, and the two countries reopened embassies in December 2006. A high level Iraqi delegation visited Syria from 15-18 December 2006, which resulted in Ministers signing a number of Memorandums of Understanding. The decision was also taken during these meetings to establish joint committees on detainees, borders and terrorism/intelligence co-operation. President Talabani of Iraq paid a state visit to Syria from 14 until 20 January, during which he is understood to have held extensive discussions, including on security. As I said in the House on 16 January 2007, Official Report, column 651,
there have been some very welcome moves recently. The Syrians are setting up an embassy in Baghdad, and the Iraqis have a reciprocal arrangement in Damascus. It is very good news that the two countries are establishing stronger diplomatic links: that must be seen as a positive development.
Mr. Clifton-Brown: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what assessment she has made of the potential effect on (a) stability in Thailand and (b) the Buddhist minority in Thailand of the actions of the Pattani Fighters. 
Mr. McCartney: A group calling itself the Pattani Fighters has claimed responsibility for the murder of two rubber plantation workers in Yala province in southern Thailand on 13 January. This is the first time a group by this name has claimed responsibility for carrying out an attack. We have not been able to assess the credibility of its claim. Since the current insurgency in southern Thailand began in January 2004, approximately 1,800 people, both Buddhists and Muslims, have been killed in the violence.
The Prime Minister: For these purposes my Office forms part of the Cabinet Office. I refer the hon. Member to the answer given to him by the Minister for the Cabinet Office, my right hon. Friend the Member for North-West Durham (Hilary Armstrong) today.
Willie Rennie: To ask the Prime Minister whether he has (a) made recent representations to and (b) received recent representations from the President of the United States on the maintenance of the 1958 US-UK Mutual Defence Agreement. 
Lynne Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what measures he is taking to promote actively the employment within (a) his Department and (b) public-sector bodies for whom he has responsibility of people with mental illnesses in line with the advice and codes of practice produced by the Disability Rights Commission. 
Mr. Thomas: Under the Disability Equality Duty introduced by the Disability Discrimination Act 2005, DFID is required to publish and implement a Disability Equality Scheme. This is a plan setting out how we will carry out the Disability Equality Duty, monitor, and report on progress. In particular this includes our arrangements for gathering information on the effect of our policies and practices on the recruitment, development and retention of our disabled employees, including those with mental health conditions, and making use of that information.
DFID has duties under the employment provisions in part 2 of the Disability Discrimination Act 1995 not to discriminate against, and to make reasonable adjustments for, disabled job applicants and employees.
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