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Under the Regulations the flag of the Republic of Ireland could be flown, alongside the Union flag, from a Government building on the occasion of a visit of the Head of State of the Republic of Ireland to that
building, provided that the building had more than one flag pole and that the Union flag was flown in prominence.
Lady Hermon: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland how much funding was allocated to the Assisted Prison Visits Scheme in each of the last six years; and how many prison visits were funded by this scheme over the same period. 
|Assisted prison visits scheme|
|Financial year||Funding allocated (£)||Actual expenditure (£)||Visits (NI)||Visits (GB)||Total visits|
(2) April to December 2006.
Lady Hermon: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what percentage of prisoners in each Northern Ireland prison establishment achieved (a) GCSE, (b) post-GCSE and (c) third level qualifications in each of the last six years; and what steps he is taking to increase the number of prisoners achieving such qualifications. 
Paul Goggins: Only those prisoners with a sufficiently long sentence and the ability to work at this level will be able to complete second and third level education. This represents a very small proportion of prisoners who enter the prison system on an annual basis. It is likely to exclude those on remand, those committed for fine default and those sentenced for less than one year. Almost 70 per cent. of those sentenced to custody have literacy and numeracy deficits in essential and key skills. Given the link between low attainment and criminal behaviour, the priority for the Prison Service is to address first-level educational and vocational needs. The second and third level awards attained within the past six years are as follows:
Mark Williams: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs how many drug-related seizures have been made by British forces in Afghanistan; and what weight of narcotics has been seized, broken down by type. 
The Afghan authorities have the lead for counter-narcotic activity, but under the terms of the current NATO Operational Plan (OPLAN), ISAF forces may support them, including through support to interdiction operations. Over the 12 months to March 2007, Afghan forces interdicted 72 tonnes of opium.
Under the OPLAN, ISAF forces hand over any drugs, associated equipment, and traffickers to the Afghan authorities at the earliest possible opportunity.
In the absence of any ISAF requirement to record details of narcotic seizures, UK forces have to date not retained a central record of drug seizures, and any attempt to provide one would come at disproportionate cost.
Mr. Hague: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what Government policy is on opium crop eradication activities in Afghanistan in areas where alternative livelihoods projects (a) are and (b) are not in place; and if she will make a statement. 
Margaret Beckett: The UK supports the Afghan Governments policy on opium poppy eradication as set out in its National Drug Control Strategy (NDCS). The NDCS states that eradication should be Afghan-led and targeted where there is access to legal rural livelihoods. To ensure that eradication is targeted properly, the UK has helped the Afghan authorities to map those areas where people have access to legal rural livelihoods. These target areas are determined by a set of criteria that take into account a wide range of factors. In addition to rural livelihoods projects, the criteria include: distance to markets, water availability, agricultural diversity, population density, extension of government, access to non-farm income and credit. Non-targeted eradication is less likely to achieve the NDCSs objective of achieving a sustainable reduction in cultivation.
Margaret Beckett: The second EU-Africa Summit is scheduled to take place in Lisbon in December. The UK wants a successful summit that will inject new momentum into the EU-Africa relationship. The summit must have a high level of ambition and strong African buy-in.
Early preparation of the summit is vital. Work is underway on a new joint EU-Africa strategy to be adopted at the summit and reasonable progress is being made towards a framework of commitments. The EU will continue to deliver on the commitments from the EUs 2005 strategy on Africa as agreed at the December 2006 European Council. Member states and the Commission are due to report on progress at the end of 2007.
Keith Vaz: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if she will make a statement on recent events in Bangladesh, with particular reference to (a) the suspension of political activity and (b) decisions to exile and arrest major party leaders. 
we want the Caretaker Government to succeed and to set Bangladesh on a course that will see it fulfil its considerable potential.
My right hon. Friend the Foreign Secretary raised the position of Sheikh Hasina with Dr. Iftekhar Chowdhury on 19 April. The Caretaker Government has since lifted the restrictions on Sheikh Hasina's return to Bangladesh. We understand that the Caretaker Government is also currently considering lifting the ban on indoor political activity in the country.
Mr. Hoon: The Council of Europe financial year runs from January to December. In 2006 the total budget of the Council of Europe was €262,659,600.00, of which the United Kingdom contributed €30,069,679.76. In 2005 the total budget of the Council of Europe was €270,797,597, of which the United Kingdom contributed €29,202,709.88.
Mr. Hague: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs whether it is the Governments position that the Treaty establishing a Constitution for Europe would have altered the fundamental relationship between the European Union and the member states; and if she will make a statement. 
Margaret Beckett: All EU treaties affect the relationship between member states and the EU. The Governments position is that, in view of the results of the French and Dutch referendums, the best way forward now is the traditional approach of an amending treaty rather than the constitutional treaty.
Mr. Hague: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what estimate has been made of the value of Iranian funds (a) identified and (b) frozen in accordance with the provisions of UN Security Council Resolutions 1737 and 1747; and if she will make a statement. 
We have not made an estimate of the value of Iranian funds identified and frozen worldwide in accordance with the provisions of UN
Security Council Resolutions 1737 (2006) and 1747 (2007). Bank Sepah and Bank Sepah International are the only Iranian entities designated by the UN to have so far been identified as holding assets in the UK. These assets were frozen on 24 March under the provisions of the Iran (Financial Sanctions) Order 2007. We are currently evaluating the frozen assets held in the UK. However, release of detailed information is subject to banking confidentiality and disclosure arrangements.
Mr. Hague: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs whether her Department has given advice to UK energy companies on investment in Iranian oil and gas projects; and if she will make a statement. 
Margaret Beckett: Foreign and Commonwealth Office and UK Trade and Investment officials here and in Tehran regularly brief representatives of UK energy companies, both on developments in the Iranian oil and gas industries and on the broader political context.
Mr. Hague: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what estimate has been made of the number of Iraqi individuals at immediate risk because of their association with the British Army deployed to Southern Iraq; what assessment has been made of the protection these individuals may need once the British troops have been withdrawn; and if she will make a statement. 
It is not possible to quantify the number of Iraqis who might be at risk by association with the British Army as the risk is not exclusive to those who may have been employed by the British Government in support of the forces. Any applications for assistance made by Iraqis after the departure of British forces from Iraq would be treated on a case-by-case basis; on their merits and in light of the circumstances pertaining at that time.
Andrew Mackinlay: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs pursuant to the answer of 16 April 2007, Official Report, column 37W, on Italy: diplomatic service, how many individuals received copies of the valedictory telegram of Sir Ivor Roberts. 
Margaret Beckett [holding answer 10 May 2007]: The telegram was sent to a number of distribution lists in the Foreign and Commonwealth Office and Number 10, as well as to a range of overseas Posts. It would not be possible, without incurring disproportionate expense, to reconstitute how many individuals on these lists saw the document in September 2006.
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what support has been given to Libya in relation to its decommissioning
of weapons of mass destruction as agreed between Libya, the UK and third parties. 
Dr. Howells: Libyas renunciation of its weapons of mass destruction programmes in December 2003 was a historic decision. The UK has been working closely with Libya and the United States, in particular through the Trilateral Steering and Co-operation Committee, to support Libya through the de-commissioning process.
This has included helping Libya to dismantle its nuclear weapons programme, allowing other international partners to convert its heavy-water nuclear reactor at Tajura into a light-water reactor. This in turn has helped Libya to meet the international standards required for its nuclear reactor to be placed under an Additional Protocol Safeguards Agreement with the International Atomic Energy Agency.
A comprehensive programme of redirection and engagement with Libyas scientific community into more conventional areas is under way. This includes helping Libya to establish a regional nuclear medical centre, which would enable the production of nuclear isotopes for radiological medicine, and assistance and engagement with Libyas life-sciences community, particularly in the fields of human and animal infectious diseases, such as AIDS and Avian Influenza. Libya has also acceded to the Chemical Weapons Convention and will, under the verification regime of that convention, destroy its chemical weapons stockpile by the end of 2010.
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