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Lynne Featherstone: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what funding he is making available to local authorities to (a) fund youth centres and (b) prevent anti-social behaviour. 
Mr. Dhanda: The Government make available funds to local authorities each year to provide youth work activities. It is for the local authority to plan and manage how this funding is deployed for youth work provision, including youth centres. Information is not held centrally on the number of youth centres at local, regional or national level, or the funding allocated to them.
There are a number of programmes that contribute to local authorities resources to prevent a range of negative outcomes for young people, including involvement in antisocial behaviour. These include resources to improve behaviour and attendance in schools, to improve activities for children and young people, and to improve support for parents. Actual levels of funding from these resources that specifically targets preventing antisocial behaviour are not identifiable.
£3.75 million spread over 2006-07 and 2007-08 provided as part of the Respect Action Plan towards practitioner training for Family Intervention Projects.
£10 million over 2006-07 and 2007-08 for Parenting Early Intervention Pathfinders.
£39 million in both 2006-07 and 2007-08 for the Positive Activities for Young People Programme.
John Bercow: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what steps the Government are taking to prevent the Singapore-based MPRL company channelling its new investment in Burma through the British Virgin Islands. 
Mr. McCartney: We are aware of reports that the Singapore-based Myanmar Petroleum Resources Ltd company has reached a production-sharing agreement with the Myanmar Oil and Gas Enterprise. If these reports are correct, such an agreement would not be in breach of the EU Common Position on Burma, which bans new investment from EU member states in named Burmese state-owned enterprises. This investment ban does not include the Myanmar Oil and Gas Enterprise. The EU Common Position has been extended to all British Overseas Territories.
John Bercow: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what aid and assistance the British Embassy in Bangkok gives to (a) Burmese organisations in Thailand and (b) organisations assisting Burmese refugees. 
Mr. McCartney: Our embassy in Bangkok does not provide financial assistance to Burmese organisations in Thailand or organisations assisting Burmese refugees. However, the Department for International Development provides a grant of £1.8 million over three years to the Thai-Burma Border Consortium for assistance to Burmese refugees in camps in Northern Thailand.
John Bercow: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what recent assessment the Government have made of whether the human rights situation in Burma is improving or deteriorating. 
Mr. McCartney: We believe the human rights situation in Burma continues to be grave. Serious human rights abuses continue to be committed, particularly in areas of armed conflict. The Burmese people do not enjoy the most basic of human rights, including the right to the freedom of speech and association, democracy, good governance and the rule of law.
John Bercow: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what discussions she and Ministers in her Department have had with counterparts in (a) South Africa, (b) China, (c) Russia, (d) Qatar, (e) Indonesia and (f) Congo to request that they vote in favour of a resolution on Burma. 
Mr. McCartney: The UK co-sponsored the UN Security Council Resolution on Burma which was put to a vote on 12 January. Our UN mission in New York worked closely with all UN Security Council members on the resolution. During these discussions, we made clear our reasons for supporting the resolution and urged Partners that they do the same.
Mr. Hoon: I understand the European Commission intends to launch a feasibility study in the coming weeks concerning the costs and functions of the European Centre in Beijing. Its broad focus will be to help EU small businesses in China by providing information on the Chinese market and legal advice; training for Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs) and office rental for SMEs seeking to enter the Chinese market. There will also be a helpdesk which will provide advice to European SMEs on intellectual property issues.
Mr. McCartney: We are aware of reports written by the Kachin Womens Association Thailand and Christian Solidarity Worldwide on this issue. On 24 January, I met representatives from the Chin and Kachin ethnic groups to discuss human rights violations, including human trafficking. We take every opportunity to raise human rights issues with the regime and remind it of its obligations to adhere to international human rights law.
Hywel Williams: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs how many British embassies held St. David's Day celebrations in each of the last five years; and how many are planning celebrations for St. David's Day 2007. 
Mr. Dismore: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what representations she has made to Kazakhstan on the persecution of the Hare Krishna community there; and if she will make a statement. 
Our ambassador to Kazakhstan, Paul Brummell, raised the issue with the Kazakh ambassador in London on 22 November 2006, during President Nazarbaev's visit to the UK, and has raised the issue subsequently with officials of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Astana. On 5 December 2006 Mr Brummell met Mr Amanbek Mukhashov, vice- chairman of the Committee on Religious Affairs and head of the commission set up to examine the issues involving land questions related to the Society of Krishna Consciousness. Mr Brummell emphasised that
the demolition of properties in November had provoked considerable concern in the UK, including from hon. Members, human rights organisations and religious groups, including amongst the large Hindu community in the UK. Our consul in Almaty visited the commune in Karasai district on 7 December 2006 to see for himself the result of the authorities' actions. Mr Brummell met again with representatives of the Krishna community in Almaty on 29 January, to be briefed on more recent developments, and our Consul in Almaty attended a meeting on 1 February, organised by the representation of the Organisation on Security and Co-operation in Europe in Kazakhstan, to discuss the case.
On 5 December 2006 officials from our central Asia section and our human rights group met with other representatives of the Hindu community in the UK, including Gauri Das, President of ISKON-Temple and Arti Patel, Project Co-ordinator for the Hindu Forum of Britain, to discuss the situation and possible next steps.
In reply to my hon. Friend the Member for Middlesborough, South and East Cleveland (Dr. Kumar) on 6 December 2006 at Prime Minister's Questions, my right hon. Friend the Prime Minister said the following:
We have made our concerns clear to the Kazakhstan Government. My hon. Friend is absolutely right to say that it is important to make sure, whether in Almaty or anywhere else, that people are free to practise their religious faith. I assure him that we will do all we can, on our own behalf and through the non-governmental organisations with which we are co-operating there, to make sure that Hindus who have been discriminated against in that way are properly protected.
[( Official Report, 6 December 2006; Vol. 454, c. 299).]
Mr. Martyn Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs when she expects the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonias EU entry talks to start; and if she will make a statement. 
Mr. Hoon: The European Council granted Macedonia candidate status on 16 December 2005 During the UKs presidency of the EU. The date on which Macedonia opens accession negotiations will depend on the pace of its reform efforts, including judicial and police reform and tackling organised crime and corruption.
Lynne Featherstone: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs how much spending by her Department was classed as Overseas Development Assistance in each year from 2001 to 2005; and how much is projected for (a) 2006 and (b) 2007. 
[holding answer 18 January 2007]: I refer the hon. Member to the reply my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for International Development gave to her on 30 January, Official Report, columns
164-66W, which details the Foreign and Commonwealth Office contributions to Overseas Development Assistance (ODA) from 2001-05. We anticipate ODA spend in 2006-07 and 2007-08 to be at least the same level or higher than that in 2005-06, although precise spend will depend on a number of factors, including the project activities supported in those years.
Dr. Gibson: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what representations she has made to the Ugandan authorities in the last three weeks on their refusal to release 19 civilian Peoples Redemption Army suspects; and if she will make a statement. 
In addition, our high commissioner in Kampala, as part of the Partners for Democracy and Governance Group in Kampala, raised our concerns about the continued custody of the 19 Peoples Redemption Army detainees to Interior Minister Rugunda on 25 January.
Mr. Hunt: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs whether she has made representations to the Ugandan authorities on the recent order by the constitutional courts for the immediate release of 19 civilian members of the Peoples Redemption Army; and if she will make a statement. 
My noble Friend the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, Lord Triesman of Tottenham, was not able to meet with Foreign Minister Kutesa at the African Union Summit in Addis Ababa, but we continue to raise these issues at a high level with the Government of Uganda. Our high commissioner in Kampala, as part of the Partners for Democracy and Governance Group, raised our concerns about the continued custody of the 19 Peoples Redemption Army detainees to Interior Minister Rugunda on 25 January.
Mark Pritchard: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister what role he will have in the co-ordination of Government policy in preparation for a national referendum on the Treaty establishing a constitution for the European Union. 
The Deputy Prime Minister: There is no consensus among member states on the way forward on the Constitutional Treaty. It is too early to talk about the outcome of the current future of Europe discussions, and there is no presumption by the UK Government as to what that outcome might be.
As part of my international role, I continue to meet ministerial colleagues from other EU countries to discuss issues of mutual concern. Earlier this month, I met the Presidents and Prime Ministers of Romania and Bulgaria to congratulate both countries on their entry to the EU and to discuss areas of common interest.
The Deputy Prime Minister: The sustainability of public procurement comes within the terms of reference of the Energy and Environment Cabinet Committee, of which I am Deputy Chair. This Committee is responsible for developing the Governments energy and environmental policies, monitoring the impact on sustainable development of the Governments policies, and considering issues of climate change, security of supply and affordability of energy.
The Deputy Prime Minister: The Government have not sought to dictate how individuals and groups remember those who suffered and died as a result of the slave trade, and recognise those who fought for its abolition.
Some organisations and events are planning to include a silence in their activities, others are not. There are no plans at present for a Government-supported silence for those who died as a result of the slave trade.
With the help of the Advisory Group set up in January 2006 the cultural sector, local authorities and community and faith groups have taken the lead and are organising their own bicentenary events from their own perspective.
The Deputy Prime Minister:
There are two key dates for commemoration in this bicentenary year: 25 March (the date of the 1807 Act) and 23 August (the UNESCO international day for the remembrance of the slave trade and its abolition). Activities and events will take place around both dates as well as at other times in the year. There have been many calls for an
annual memorial day, and we look forward to hearing during 2007 views on what date such a day would best be marked.
Mr. Heald: To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster whether preparations are under way to plan to refurbish (a) the Downing street offices and (b) the 11 Downing street flat when the current Prime Minister leaves office. 
Hilary Armstrong: I refer the hon. Member to the answer given to the hon. Member for Brent, East (Sarah Teather) by my right hon. Friend the Prime Minister on 9 October 2006, Official Report, column 5W.
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