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Mark Pritchard: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what reports he has received from posts in the Russian Federation on threats to the life and security of Mr. Boris Berezovsky while resident in the UK. 
Roger Berry: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs (1) what assessment he has made of the reports that the Indian Government has confirmed that negotiations are ongoing to supply military advance light helicopters to Burma/Myanmar and that such helicopters would contain significant components from EU countries, including the UK; and what steps the Government are taking to ensure that the EU arms embargo on Burma is enforced and UK components are not transferred from India to Burma. 
(2) what discussions the Government have had with India on its proposed sale of military advanced light helicopters to Burma/Myanmar; and what steps the Government have taken to ensure that UK military equipment, including components, is not transferred to Myanmar as part of increasing defence co-operation between the two countries. 
Meg Munn: The Indian Ministry of External Affairs has confirmed that they are not negotiating the sale of advanced light helicopters with the Burmese Government, as alleged in a report published by Amnesty International and Saferworld.
The Government consider all applications for the export of military equipment on a case by case basis against the Consolidated EU and National Arms Export Licensing Criteria. This includes an assessment of whether there is a risk that the goods in question will be diverted within the buyer country or re-exported under undesirable conditions. We would lobby India, or any other exporting country, in the event of any decision to re-export such goods to Burma.
Mr. Hague: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what assessment he has made of the status and safety of Christian communities in Gaza following the takeover of Gaza by Hamas; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Moore: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what assessment he has made of President Bushs proposal for an international conference on the Middle East peace process; what discussions he has with his US counterpart on the proposal; when he expects the conference to take place; which (a) states and (b) non-state parties he expects to be represented at the conference; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Jim Murphy: I welcome any forward move on the Middle East peace process. Foreign and Commonwealth Office officials are in close contact with their US counterparts regarding the proposed conference. Details of the conference are still being discussed.
Mr. Moore: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what (a) role and (b) functions have been given to the quartets special envoy Mr. Blair; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Jim Murphy: On 27 June, the quartet (EU, US, UN and Russia) principals announced the right hon. Tony Blairs appointment as quartet representative. As set out in the quartet statement of 27 June, the former Prime Ministers mandate is to: mobilise international assistance to the Palestinians, working closely with donors and existing co-ordination bodies; help to identify, and secure appropriate international support in addressing, the institutional governance needs of the Palestinian state, focusing as a matter of urgency on the rule of law; develop plans to promote Palestinian economic development, including private-sector partnerships, building on previously agreed frameworks, especially concerning access and movement; and liaise with other countries as appropriate in support of the agreed quartet objectives.
Mr. Moore: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what financial and logistical resources the European Union is providing to the quartets special envoy Mr. Blair; what (a) salary, (b) expenses provision and (c) support staff will be available to him; what share of the costs the United Kingdom is contributing; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Jim Murphy: There has been no announcement as yet from the right hon. Tony Blairs team regarding the financial or logistical resources that will be provided to him, or Mr. Blairs salary or expenses provision. Four officials have been seconded to Mr. Blair from the Foreign and Commonwealth Office and the Department for International Development and these Government Departments will continue to pay their salaries. At present, the UK has not offered to cover any further costs.
Mr. Hague: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what suggestions were put forward by (a) the US and (b) France at the 2007 Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) Preparatory Committee Meeting on the issue of withdrawal from the NPT; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Jim Murphy: The United States and EU both tabled proposals to raise the cost for States Parties seeking to withdraw from the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) at the 2007 Preparatory Committee. France did not submit a national proposal, but assisted in drafting the EU paper.
The common elements of these proposals include referral of withdrawal notifications to the United Nations Security Council; steps to hold the withdrawing Party accountable for NPT violations prior to withdrawal; and continuing International Atomic Energy Agency safeguards for nuclear materials and equipment acquired or developed whilst an NPT signatory.
The full proposals are available at: http://www.un.org/NPT2010/documents.html. (NPT/CONF. 2010/PC.1/WP.22-US proposal-and NPT/CONF.2010/PC.I/WP.25* - EU proposal).
Mr. Llwyd: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs pursuant to the answer of 4 July 2007, Official Report, column 1029W, on Uganda: politics and government, what recent assessment he has made of the (a) strength, (b) leadership and (c) political objectives of the Ugandan Peoples Redemption Army; how long it has been active; what reports he has received that it has attacked villages, towns and commercial or civilian infrastructures in Uganda; and if he will make a statement. 
Meg Munn: There are contradictory reports about the Peoples Redemption Army (PRA) and its strength, leadership, activities and political objectives. The Government have not made a recent assessment of these varying reports. However we have seen no evidence that the PRA represents any significant threat to Ugandas stability.
We continue to press the Government of Uganda that there should be a free, fair and transparent legal process for those alleged to be members of the PRA currently in custody and/or on trial and that this should be completed as quickly as possible.
Judy Mallaber: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what proportion of the £50 million funding for education in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) announced on 5 April will go to (a) World Bank, (b) the DRC Government and (c) local non-governmental organisations and church bodies; and what the estimated time frame is for the release of the funding. 
Mr. Thomas: We will provide funding for primary education in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) over the next five years by co-financing and supporting the fee reduction components of the World Banks Education Sector Support Project. Our support will consist of two phases. The first preparatory phase has been allocated £2.5 million, and implementation is now under way, while the second phase is expected to comprise £50 million. We hope to commence phase two funding in 2008.
The exact mechanisms for channelling phase two funding are still to be finalised. We will not provide any funds directly to the Government of DRC in this phase, although some funds may be provided indirectly via the World Bank.
Some funding is likely to go to local non-governmental organisations (NGOs), and possibly church bodies, to establish an accountability mechanism for civil society monitoring of primary education services, although the mechanism for this funding is not yet agreed.
Judy Mallaber: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what assessment he has made of when he expects conditions in the Democratic Republic of Congo to permit the release of the £50 million funding for education announced on 5 April. 
Mr. Thomas: DFID plans to co-finance the fee reduction component of the World Banks Education Sector Support Project. Our support consists of two phases over five years. £2.5 million was recently approved for the first phase of activities, and implementation is now under way. The first phase includes a comprehensive census of teachers and mapping of schools, support for reforms to the payment systems for teachers and schools and establishing an accountability mechanism to ensure external civil society monitoring of funding to primary schools.
Once these are satisfactorily completed, we will be able to implement phase two, which will fund reduction of some of the fees parents must pay and which exclude poor children from school. While we hope to commence funding in 2008, this depends on the pace of reforms and it is not possible to give a definite timeline at this stage.
Mr. Thomas [holding answer of 12 July 2007]: DFID has funded work, including aspects of ecotourism, by the Pro-Poor Tourism (PPT) Partnership which focuses on tourisms potential to help reduce poverty.
The work we funded showed that pro-poor tourism can reduce poverty when tour operators forge partnerships with local business and communities. However, ecotourism has not yet reached its potential for contributing to poverty reduction. Ecotourism destinations need to be developed in the south, and the
capacity of southern tourism operators needs to be strengthened. Ecotourism can better contribute to poverty reduction by bringing tourism to local communities, as in experiential holidays, which include opportunities to interact with the community; it should also help protect the local environment which often attracts visitors in the first place.
Mr. Malik: There is a two-stage application process to the Governance and Transparency Fund (GTF). The first stage is the submission of Concept Notes by interested organisations. These are vetted for compliance with GTF eligibility criteria. Organisations submitting eligible Concept Notes will then be invited to submit full proposals.
Of the 423 Concept Notes received, 132 state that the lead applicant is an organisation based in the UK, 32 that the lead applicant is based in the EU but not in the UK, and 259 state that the lead applicant is based outside of the EU.
Mr. Malik: At this Concept Note stage we have only asked for a brief outline of proposed activities and an estimated budget, and are assessing applicants against eligibility. Of the Concept Notes received, none are at full proposal stage. We expect to reject around one in four Concept Notes on eligibility grounds.
James Duddridge: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what assessment he has made of the effectiveness of the use of anti-retroviral drugs in programmes (a) run and (b) supported by his Department for the treatment of HIV/AIDS in (i) Rwanda and (ii) other developing countries. 
Mr. Malik [holding answer 23 July 2007]: In Rwanda, DFID provides support worth £4,250,000 through non-governmental organisations towards anti-retroviral therapy and community based care to 2,500 HIV positive women genocide survivors and their families. The number of people on treatment in Rwanda has risen from 4,000 in 2003 to 37,200 in March 2007 with national incidence of the spread of HIV/AIDS stabilising at around 3 per cent.
The UK Government also fund and support the provision of anti-retroviral services through contributions to multilateral organisations. DFID has pledged £359 million to the Global Fund to fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria over the 2002-08 period. Evidence shows that anti-retroviral treatments are effective, with an estimated 250,000 to 350,000 premature deaths averted in the developing world in 2005 alone. Overall, in low- and middle-income countries the trends are upwards, from 400,000 in 2003 to more than 2 million people on treatment today.
Mark Lazarowicz: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development pursuant to the answer of 14 June 2007, Official Report, column 1248W, on HIV infection: medical treatments, what his policy is on the public ownership of patents resulting from publicly-funded research into anti-retroviral medication for use in developing countries. 
Mr. Malik: It is the UK Governments policy that patents are owned by the body carrying out the research. It is DFIDs policy that any new anti-retroviral treatments developed by publicly-funded research should be made available at the lowest possible price (eg cost price) for public markets in developing countries. The organisations involved in developing the new treatments have negotiated intellectual property agreements individually with their various private sector partners. The organisations developing the new treatments also use cost per treatment as one of the criteria to determine which products to take forward in their portfolios.
In June 2005, the International Monetary Fund conducted a Debt Sustainability Analysis and concluded that Lesothos debt levels were sustainable. This means that Lesotho does not classify as a heavily indebted poor country (HIPC). However, the UK is committed to ensuring debt relief for all IDA-only low income countries that can use the resources effectively for poverty reduction. Lesotho would qualify for DFIDs Multilateral Debt Relief Initiative once its public expenditure management systems are effective enough to ensure funds can be spent on the intended purposes of poverty reduction.
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