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To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what discussions she has held with counterparts on the United Nations Security Council on a peacekeeping force for (a) the
Central African Republic and (b) Chad to prevent incursions from Darfur. 
Mr. McCartney: My noble Friend the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, Lord Triesman of Tottenham, travelled to New York on 21 February to discuss the deteriorating situation in the region with the UN. In addition, Foreign and Commonwealth Office officials have regular consultations with colleagues from other Security Council member states on the current situation in Chad and the Central African Republic (CAR).
We remain very concerned about the humanitarian situation in eastern Chad and CAR and the over spill of violence from Darfur. We take every opportunity to call on the Governments of Chad and Sudan to implement their commitments to respect each others borders and honour their obligations to protect their citizens.
On 27 February, Assistant Secretary-General Hedi Annabi briefed the Security Council in closed consultations on the Secretary-Generals recommendations for the deployment of a UN peacekeeping force in Chad and CAR following a second Technical Assessment Mission to the two countries.
Mr. Drew: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what the Governments policy is on the Government of Sudans position on an African Union/United Nations force in Darfur. 
Mr. McCartney: The Government of Sudan agreed in Addis Ababa in November 2006 to a phased increase of UN support to the African Union (AU) Mission in Sudan, subject to clarification on the size of the final stage, which is a hybrid UN/AU force. The details of the hybrid are currently being worked out between the AU and UN. We call upon the Government of Sudan to facilitate the implementation of these once they have been finalised.
Mr. McCartney: The United Nations Mission in Sudan (UNMIS) plays a crucial role in supporting the implementation of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) signed in January 2005. It has supported the political process and reported on ceasefire violations. It has also provided much-needed security for the CPA to progress. We, along with partners in the international community, work closely with UNMIS and the Government of Sudan to that end. UN agencies provide substantial humanitarian assistance in the south.
The UN Secretary-General stated in his report on Sudan of 25 January that the Ceasefire Joint Military Committee, chaired by UNMIS, was facilitating
dialogue between the military forces of the north and south and resolving military violations of the CPA.
The UN also plays an important role in Darfur. It provides much of the humanitarian assistance there and co-ordinates the work of other agencies. It performs well in difficult circumstances. It is also implementing its phased support package to the African Union (AU) Mission in Sudan and is working with the AU to secure the agreement of the rebels to the Darfur Peace Agreement. We are encouraging it to undertake both these tasks as rapidly as possible.
Mr. Drew: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what support the UK Government have provided to bring together the Darfur rebel groups and the Government of Sudan. 
Mr. McCartney: The UK has been at the forefront of efforts to bring peace to Darfur. We assisted the African Union (AU) mediation between the Government of Sudan and the rebel movements at the Abuja peace talks, which concluded in May 2006, with funding of £1 million and expertise. We maintained a permanent observer presence throughout the talks, including by our UK Special Representative. Since then we have been funding work to help the AU explain the benefits of the Darfur Peace Agreement (DPA) to the people of Darfur. And we are funding an expert to support the AU on the Darfur-Darfur Dialogue and Consultation.
My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for International Development attended the UN high-level meeting in Addis Ababa on 16 November 2006, which agreed that the AU and UN would bring the Government of Sudan and the rebel movements together in a renewed political process. We have been pressing the AU and UN for urgent progress. UN and AU Envoys (Jan Eliasson and Salim Ahmed Salim) visited Sudan on 11-17 February to take this process forward with the parties.
My right hon. Friend the Foreign Secretary has pressed the UN Secretary-General for rapid action and my noble Friend the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, Lord Triesman of Tottenham, visited the UN on 21 February to press for further progress. Officials from our embassy in Khartoum met the UN and AU envoys during their visit. The UKs Special Representative for Sudan, Christopher Prentice, will remain in close contact with them and our other international partners, as well as with the Government of Sudan and the rebel movements, to press for results.
Some progress is being made on the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA). A Government of National Unity have been established in Khartoum. The Sudanese armed forces are redeploying from the south ahead of schedule and
integrated northern/southern military units have been created. The administration in the south is starting to develop and roads are starting to be built there. A new currency has been launched in southern Sudan.
But progress remains too slow. The establishment of key peace-building bodies and the passage of legislation required by the agreement are behind schedule. Of particular concern is the lack of preparation for national elections, which are due to take place by 2009. An urgent resolution is also needed of the Abyei and north/south border disputes. And oil revenues need to be allocated transparently between the central and southern Governments.
The UK continues to press for more progress through its membership of the CPA implementation oversight body. We are also supporting CPA implementation directly through development and humanitarian assistance (£110 million in 2006-07). We have drawn the attention of all parts of the Sudanese Government and the international community to the risks posed to the CPA by continued violence in Darfur.
Mr. Clifton-Brown: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs how many commercial officers and UK Trade and Investment staff were employed in each UK overseas mission in each of the last 10 years. 
Mr. McCartney: The figures set out the number of full-time equivalent staff working on UK Trade and Investment activity in posts worldwide for the financial years 2003-04, 2004-05 and 2005-06. Figures for earlier years are not readily available and it would incur disproportionate cost to compile them.
|FTE staff by year|
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