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Jeremy Corbyn: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what plans she has to resume full recognition of the Palestine National Authority; and if she will make a statement. 
Dr. Howells: We will judge the Palestinian Government by their platform and actions and respond accordingly. We have always been willing to work with anyone who endorses the Quartet (EU, US, UN and Russia) principles: renunciation of violence; recognition of Israel; and acceptance of previous agreements and obligations. The US and EU also support this position. No Hamas members of the current Government have yet made clear that they have accepted these principles. We are working with those members of the Government who do.
Andrew Mackinlay: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs how much funding her Department provided to the Foreign Press Corps in the latest period for which figures are available; what conditions were attached to such funding; and what the purpose was of such funding. 
Margaret Beckett [holding answer 21 May 2007]: Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) funding for the Foreign Press Corps is channelled through the Foreign Press Association (FPA). The FPA is an independent professional body representing foreign journalists working in the UK. FCO funding is in support of the 2005 recommendation by Lord Carter of Cole that foreign correspondents require a better service from across Whitehall departments.
FCO funding is, therefore, aimed at assisting the FPA: to act as a central point through which the Government can efficiently disseminate news and information about Britain to a global audience; and to achieve financial self-sustainability. Funding is now solely project-based and in the last financial year (2006-07) the FCO contributed £124,875. In addition, in January 2006, the FCO and the FPA signed a memorandum of understanding in which the FPA agreed to implement a reform programme designed to make it financially independent, more responsive and focused on the working needs of its membership.
Mr. Hague: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what the membership and remit is of the sanctions formation of the Foreign Relations Counsellors Working Party; who represents the UK on this body; how often it meets to review EU restrictive measures; and if she will make a statement. 
All EU member states are represented on the sanctions formation of the Foreign Relations Counsellors Working Party which usually meets every six weeks to discuss best practice in the implementation and application of EU restrictive measures. The UK is represented by officials from the
Foreign and Commonwealth Office, reinforced by experts from other Whitehall Departments as required. I have placed a copy of the Working Party's mandate in the Library of the House. Individual sanctions regimes are reviewed and evaluated by relevant geographical working groups.
Mr. Hague: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs in what form the EU Foreign Relations Counsellors Working Party has reported on its work on the monitoring, implementation and evaluation of EU restrictive measures; and if she will place in the Library copies of its reports from the last two years. 
Margaret Beckett: The EU Foreign Relations Counsellors Working Party makes an annual report on developments in Common Foreign and Security Policy to the European Council. The reports are classified and not intended for release into the public domain. The Foreign Relations Counsellors Working Party has published a number of reports on the effective use and implementation of EU restrictive measures. We will place copies in the Library of the House and I will also arrange for copies of the reports to be sent to the right hon. Member.
Dr. Cable: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs pursuant to the answer of 16 May 2007, Official Report, column 781W, on Saudi Arabia, whether any other Ministers in her Department have met Prince Bandar bin Sultan bin Abdul Azziz al-Saud or his chief of staff since 1 January 2006; and if she will make a statement. 
Dr. Howells: There have been no meetings between Foreign and Commonwealth Office Ministers and either Prince Bandar bin Sultan bin Abdul Aziz al-Saud or Rehab Massoud, his Chief of Staff, since 1 January 2006.
Annette Brooke: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs whether legislation has been introduced since 1 February 2005 to prohibit corporal punishment in (a) state and private schools in (i) Anguilla, (ii) Bermuda, (iii) British Virgin Islands, (iv) Cayman Islands, (v) Gibraltar, (vi) Montserrat and (vii) Turks and Caicos Islands, (b) penal institutions for young offenders under 18 years in (A) Gibraltar and (B) Montserrat, (c) alternative care settings in (1) Anguilla, (2) Bermuda, (3) British Virgin Islands, (4) Cayman Islands, (5) Falkland Islands, (6) Gibraltar, (7) Montserrat, (8) St. Helena and (9) Turks and Caicos Islands. 
There has been no legislation introduced since 1 February 2005 to prohibit corporal punishment in state schools and private schools, penal institutions for young offenders under 18 years and alternative care
settings in the overseas territories listed in the hon. Members question. The position on corporal punishment is as follows:
Under the Education Rules corporal punishment in schools is allowed under defined conditions. However, in practice, schools are moving towards using positive reinforcement for good behaviour. Corporal punishment may not be carried out on any child in care, whether in a childrens home or foster care.
Corporal punishment can be carried out in schools, by the principal, deputy principal or by one senior teacher appointed in writing. Corporal punishment of children is not allowed in other institutions or forms of care. On 16 April 2005, the British Virgin Islands enacted the Children and Young Persons Act which, among other things, made it unlawful to abuse or ill treat a child.
Corporal punishment is allowed by law in all public and private schools only where no other punishment is considered suitable or effective by the principal, and may be administered by the principal or any teacher appointed in writing by the principal for that purpose.
Corporal punishment is prohibited by law in public sector schools. There is no prohibition on corporal punishment in other forms of care, or by carers. However, administratively, the Falkland Islands Government forbids corporal punishment of children in the forms of care it operates.
In both public and private educational establishments, and other institutions which care for children and young people, corporal punishment is not permitted. Corporal punishment is not administered in prison.
Under the Education Act, corporal punishment can be administered in schools but subject to strict guidelines and it should only be administered by the principal or a teacher designated by the principal for that purpose. Corporal punishment is not permitted for young offenders and is not administered in prison.
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what consideration was made of Serbias (a) human rights record and (b)
record of co-operation with the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia prior to its assumption of the Chairmanship of the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe. 
Margaret Beckett: The Chairmanship of the Council of Europe Committee of Ministers is not an elected position, but organised on an alphabetical rotational basis every six months in May and November. On this basis Serbia became chair at the 117(th) Council of Europe Ministerial on 11 May.
The Parliamentary Assembly and Committee of Ministers have been monitoring Serbias commitment to the Council of Europe core objectives of promoting and protecting human rights, democracy and rule of law, as well as compliance with treaty obligations since Serbias accession in 2003. Monitoring will continue throughout Serbias chairmanship and will cover co-operation with the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY).
Serbias chairmanship will be scrutinised by both a domestic and international audience. It is in Serbias interests to fulfil its obligations as chair to the highest standards. We hope that its chairmanship of the Committee of Ministers will provide impetus for Serbia to demonstrate its commitment to the Council of Europe core objectives as well as other international obligations, in particular full co-operation with the ICTY.
The United Kingdom is a strong supporter of the ICTY and regularly makes clear to countries of the region their obligation to co-operate fully with the tribunal as set out in UN Security Council Resolution 1534. In February, my right hon. Friend the Minister for Europe delivered this message in Belgrade to the President and Prime Minister of Serbia.
Mr. McCartney: The UK strongly condemns the violence from all sides in Somalia. We welcome the recent pause in the fighting and hope it can result in a permanent cease-fire and a lasting stability, which is what the overwhelming majority of Somalis want more than anything else. For this to happen, the Transitional Federal Government needs to ensure that the National Reconciliation Congress planned for mid June reaches out effectively to include all Somalis, regardless of clan, who credibly renounce violence and who are willing to work for a peaceful and democratic Somalia in which all clans are fairly represented.
We are very concerned at the humanitarian situation in and around Mogadishu. We believe that more than 1,500 people have been killed and perhaps another 400,000 displaced since early January. Cholera is widespread and the plight of children is particularly grave due to increasing rates of malnutrition and disease. The Government have committed £3.54 million in emergency humanitarian relief since late February.
Mr. Hague: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what assessment has been made of the humanitarian situation in Somalia following the Transitional Federal Governments arrival in Mogadishu; and if she will make a statement. 
The UN has reported that over 300,000 persons, mostly women and children, were displaced by the violence since the beginning of February. The UN further reported that these displaced persons had little in the way of proper shelter, food, clean water, sanitation, health facilities and protection, and that the presence of a cholera outbreak added to their vulnerability. We welcome the cessation in hostilities over the last two weeks and urge all parties in Somalia to maintain this truce in order to allow humanitarian relief work to resume. We are encouraged by the reports that some of those displaced are now returning to their homes and by the resumption of food distribution by the World Food Programme in Mogadishu.
Since February, the UK has provided emergency humanitarian assistance of around £3.5 million. This is in addition to the UKs annual development and humanitarian programme for Somalia, currently £21 million. The UK was the second largest bilateral humanitarian donor to Somalia in 2006.
Mr. Hague: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what steps the UK is advocating to improve the implementation of the UN arms embargo on Darfur; and if she will make a statement. 
Margaret Beckett: We are committed to the effective implementation of the UN arms embargo and take allegations of non-implementation seriously. Our ambassador to the UN in New York, Sir Emyr Jones Parry, supported recommendations, made by the Panel of Experts to the UN Security Councils Sanctions Committee on the Sudan, to improve implementation of the UN arms embargo, when it was discussed at the Sanctions Committee meetings of 10 and 20 April and 9 May. The report has not yet been transmitted to the UN Security Council, nor been made public.
We review our sanctions policy on Sudan on a regular basis and are presently pressing the case for further sanctions in the Security Council if the Government of Sudan and rebel movements fail to co-operate fully. These would include expanding the existing arms embargo to cover the whole of Sudan, in line with the current EU arms embargo, which should improve its implementation and enforcement.
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what steps the Government are taking to ensure the safety and protection of British humanitarian workers working in
the Darfur region; and what recent meetings she has had with non-governmental organisations to discuss the humanitarian situation in Sudan. 
Margaret Beckett: We take seriously the security of British humanitarian workers. Our representatives in Sudan keep in close contact with UK humanitarian workers to share information about the level of security. The UK is funding training programmes to enhance non-governmental organisation's (NGOs) security management and we are currently reviewing what additional support they require.
We are pushing both parties of the Darfur peace agreement to abide by their ceasefire commitments. We continue to support the African Union's (AU) peace-keeping mission, while pressing for a more effective peacekeeping operation in Darfur through the proposed hybrid AU-UN force. This will be critical to improving the security situation for ordinary Darfuris and the humanitarian agencies helping to meet their basic needs. The UK played a prominent role with the UN and other partners in securing a joint communiqué on 28 March between the UN and the Government of Sudan to address the bureaucratic impediments facing humanitarian agencies in Darfur. We are pressing for and closely monitoring its implementation.
My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for International Development met NGO representatives on 28 March. UK officials regularly meet NGOs both in London and Sudan to discuss the humanitarian situation in Darfur.
Mr. Hague: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what gaps in (a) EU and (b) international funding for the African Union Mission in Sudan have been identified; and which countries have yet to fulfil their commitments in this area. 
Margaret Beckett: The EU has committed €242 million for the African Union (AU) Mission in Sudan (AMIS) from the Africa Peace Facility (APF) for AMIS personnel costs. Part of this sum has not been disbursed because the AU has not met EU financial reporting requirements and EU financial experts are now assisting the AU to improve financial reporting. The EU is about to commit €40 million more from the APF, with a further amount to follow the end of term review of the European Development Fund. Other member states are giving voluntary bilateral contributions: for example, Germany committed €20 million in March and the Netherlands announced on 14 May it would give an extra €10 million.
The UK and a small group of core donors, including US, Canada and Netherlands, provide the majority of international funding for AMIS on a voluntary basis. The UK has committed €67 million. UK funds are currently being used to pay for AMIS personnel allowances and catering and the mission's ground fuel costs. The Arab League has disbursed less than US$20m of its original US$150m pledge for AMIS. We are urging them, and other international partners, to honour their commitments and provide funds for AMIS.
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