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Gregory Barker: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what the average contract length is for a private finance initiative funded energy from waste plant; and whether a minimum tonnage of waste is usually guaranteed across this period. 
Mr. Bradshaw: The average contract length of a private finance initiative (PFI) project, which has an energy from waste facility as one of several waste management technology solutions, is approximately 25 years. PFI credits are awarded to authorities primarily to deliver increased diversion of biodegradable municipal waste from landfill. Most PFI projects use a combination of waste processing technologies rather than a single technology. Typically, energy from waste, as a waste processing option, is used in combination with other waste processing technologies.
A minimum tonnage of waste throughput is usually guaranteed throughout the contract period as funders, typically banks, would otherwise expose themselves to unconstrained waste volume risk over the term of the contract. Very recently, we have become aware that certain waste management companies with access to waste arising have been prepared to underwrite a block of plant capacity, thereby opening up the possibility of shorter contracts for smaller volumes.
Mr. Scott: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what steps the Government plan to take (a) to reduce and (b) to bring to an end (i) commercial and (ii) scientific whaling. 
Mr. Bradshaw: The UK will continue to protest at the highest diplomatic level against Norway and Iceland's commercial whaling activities which, though legal, are not in keeping with the spirit of the International Whaling Commission (IWC). We will continue our efforts, along with other countries, to urge these countries to reconsider their position and end this unjustified and unnecessary practice. Indeed, in November 2006, the UK led a diplomatic demarche of 25 countries together with the European Commission in condemning the Icelandic Government's decision to resume commercial whaling.
The UK Government have regularly criticised Japanese and Icelandic scientific whaling programmes as being of little scientific value and urged both countries to terminate them forthwith. In December last year, the British ambassador to Japan took part in a 27-country demarche to both the Japanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Japanese Fisheries Agency to protest against Japan's programme of lethal special permit ("scientific") whaling in the Southern Ocean.
In order to help recruit more conservation-minded countries to the IWC, we have produced a new publication, Protecting WhalesA Global Responsibility, endorsed by the Prime Minister and by Sir David Attenborough, which has been sent to 57 countries, both anti and pro-whaling, encouraging them to join the effort to protect all cetacean species.
DEFRA officials ensure that Foreign and Commonwealth Office posts in the relevant capitals are briefed, and engage in discussion with their counterparts on whaling at every appropriate opportunity. This ensures that countries are in no doubt of the importance that the UK attaches to whale conservation. This is particularly important as we approach the next IWC meeting to be held in Anchorage, Alaska in May.
Mr. Iain Wright: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what action his Department is taking with the International Whaling Commission to stop the commercial farming of threatened fin whales in Icelandic waters; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Bradshaw: In the immediate wake of Icelands announcement to target fin whales, DEFRA issued a press statement condemning the action and summoned the Icelandic ambassador in London to explain the decision. On 1 November 2006, the UK ambassador to Reykjavik led a diplomatic démarche of 25 countries (including Australia, Germany and the US) together with the European Commission, which called upon the Government of Iceland to reconsider its decision to resume commercial whaling, arguing that the action was unjustified and unnecessary.
It is clear that the strength of opposition to Icelands actions has surprised the Icelandic Government, and there is a healthy debate in the Icelandic press about the wisdom of the Governments decision. Icelandic companies engaged in significant trade with the UK and other EU countries have suggested that the potential gains from commercial whaling are minimal, compared to the damage that might be done to Icelandic trade in other goods and services.
Mr. Clifton-Brown: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what representations she has made to the Afghan Government on ground level spraying of the poppy crop in Afghanistan. 
Opium poppy eradication policy and implementation is the responsibility of the Afghan Government. The Afghan Government has decided not to use ground based spraying on opium poppy crops this year, but will keep the option open for the future. We support well-explained pilots of ground based spraying, targeted in areas of Afghanistan where the security situation permits, and where there is good access to legal livelihoods for farmers. We have explained to the
Afghans that we are keen to test the efficiency of ground based spraying over manual and mechanical eradication methods, as well as testing the impact on the local population in stable areas of the country. However, it was always crucial that the Government of Afghanistan came to its own decision on this matter.
Mr. Mark Field: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs whether she plans to make representations to the Indian Government asking for the immediate release of Basil Mutel Shiblaq. 
Dr. Howells: My right hon. Friend the Foreign Secretary has no plans to do so. However, our high commission in New Delhi raised Mr. Shiblaqs case with the Indian Government on 25 January and has asked for assurances that Mr. Shiblaqs extradition will be dealt with according to the procedures set out in the Indian Extradition Act.
Andrew Rosindell: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs how many British citizens were convicted of committing crimes abroad in 2005-06; and how many are imprisoned abroad. 
Dr. Howells: As of 31 December 2006, British consular officials were aware of 2,348 British nationals detained overseas. This figure includes those serving custodial sentences. We do not maintain statistics of the number of convictions of British nationals overseas, not all of which would result in custodial sentences. Information on British nationals receiving consular assistance overseas, including those convicted or serving custodial sentences is held on individual case files. It would incur disproportionate cost to undertake the necessary research.
On 31 December 2006, British consular officials were aware of 2,348 British nationals detained overseas. This figure includes those awaiting trial, but we do not maintain separate statistics of the numbers of British nationals awaiting trial, as opposed to serving custodial sentences. Information on British
nationals in prison overseas is held on individual case files. It would incur disproportionate cost to undertake the necessary research.
Mr. Hoyle: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what powers were transferred to overseas territories in each of the last two years; and what further transfers are under discussion. 
the local House of Assembly may increase the number of elected members of the House and increase the number of Ministers proportionately;
the Premier may nominate one extra nominated member of the House of Assembly;
responsibility for international financial services other than regulation transferred from the Governor to local Ministers;
a new Advisory National Security Council may consider and make non-binding recommendations to the Governor on external affairs, defence, internal security, the regulation of international financial services and the exercise of emergency powers (matters which remain the Governors special responsibility); the local Cabinet may do the same;
an enlarged Public Service Commission and a new Judicial Service Commission may give advice to the Governor on public service and judicial appointments respectively, which would be binding unless the Governor were instructed otherwise by the Secretary of State; and
the Governor must appoint the Cabinet Secretary on the advice of the Premier and the Governor must consult the Premier before appointing anyone to the office of Attorney-General.
On 2 January 2007, a new constitution for Gibraltar came into force. This transferred to local Ministers executive responsibility for all matters other than those expressly reserved to the Governor, namely external affairs, defence, internal security including the police and certain public service matters. It also established a Public Service Commission, a Specified Appointments Commission and a Judicial Service Commission, each having executive powers subject only to an exceptional power of veto by the Governor. It also established an independent police authority for Gibraltar, with power for the local legislature to prescribe its functions; the police authority has power to advise the Governor on the appointment of the commissioner of police, subject to an exceptional power of veto by the Governor. As regards locally enacted legislation, the new constitution limits the circumstances in which the Governor may not assent to bills and removes the power of the Secretary of State to disallow laws.
No other new overseas territory constitutions have come into force during the last two years. Constitutional reform negotiations are currently in train with the British Virgin Islands, Montserrat and the Cayman Islands, but these are confidential to the parties at this stage.
Mr. Clifton-Brown: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what recent representations she has made to her counterparts within the Association of South East Asian Nations on human rights in Burma. 
On 18 September 2006, I raised the situation in Burma with Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN) ambassadors, including the Burmese ambassador, and again on 4 December 2006 with the ASEAN Secretary-General.
Andrew Rosindell: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs how many people with diplomatic immunity residing within the United Kingdom were arrested last year; for what offence in each case; and how many of those arrested have subsequently been convicted of the crime. 
Mr. Hoon: The Diplomatic Privileges Act 1964 confers immunity from criminal jurisdiction on diplomatic staff and their families, and prevents the arrest of persons with immunity. However, the Act also allows for the sending state to waive that immunity. My right hon. Friend the Foreign Secretary announced, in a written ministerial statement on 12 July 2006, Official Report, columns 70-71WS, that she was placing a list of foreign missions whose diplomats had allegedly committed serious offences, along with the type of offence, to cover the years 1999-2004 in the Library of the House. A further written ministerial statement by my right hon. Friend the Foreign Secretary on 28 November 2006, Official Report, column 91WS, announced that a list to cover 2005 would be placed in the Library of the House. My right hon. Friend the Foreign Secretary, in her statement of 12 July 2006, undertook to provide the information for 2006 by the end of June 2007. At that time, my right hon. Friend the Foreign Secretary will be able to provide information on the numbers of waivers of immunity granted in 2006 allowing an alleged offence to be fully investigated and, if there is justification, the outcome determined by the UK courts.
Mr. Clegg: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs how many student visas were granted to medical students of (a) European economic area (EEA) nationality and (b) non-EEA nationality in each of the last five years. 
Mr. McCartney: We welcome the adoption of UN Security Council Resolution 1741 on 30 January. In support of this we continue to urge both parties to implement the Boundary Commission's decision and to demarcate their common frontier. We continue to press Eritrea to lift its restrictions on the UN Mission to Ethiopia and Eritrea to allow it to fulfil its mandate. We believe that a resolution of the border dispute will benefit both countries and the wider region, including economically.
Our ambassador in Addis Ababa and the Foreign and Commonwealth Office Africa Director discussed the border dispute with the Acting Special Representative to the Secretary-General of the UN on 12 February. The UK also plays an active role in discussions with EU partners and in the UN Security Council.
Mr. Clifton-Brown: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what discussions she has held with her counterparts in (a) Australia and (b) New Zealand on elections in Fiji; and what action she is taking to encourage the restoration of democracy. 
Mr. McCartney: My right hon. Friend the Foreign Secretary discussed the Fiji military coup with Australian Foreign Minister Alexander Downer on 19 December at the 2006 Australia/UK Ministerial Meeting. We continue to discuss the situation in Fiji with our high commissions in Suva, Canberra and Wellington, our EU partners and the Governments of Australia, New Zealand and the US.
On 20 February, Interim Prime Minister and Military Commander Bainimarama announced details of a roadmap for the restoration of parliamentary democracy in Fiji. Following this announcement we will have further discussions with the Australian and New Zealand Governments.
We continue to call for a rapid return to democracy in Fiji. In efforts to encourage this we have adopted a range of measures including suspending military co-operation with Fiji. We have urged the EU to adopt similar measures.
The Doha Development Agenda (DDA) remains our top trade priority, but we welcome German proposals to tackle non-tariff barriers between the EU and US, which are not part of the DDA negotiations. We remain a strong supporter of promoting EU-US economic co-operation and integration in this sense and are keen to see progress under the German presidency. Deepening economic co-operation between the EU and the US will not only bring the benefits of
helping to remove remaining barriers to trade and investment but also serve as a positive step towards a more flexible and efficient global economy.
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