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Mr. Hague: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what progress has been made in clearing the land area and area contaminated by mines and unexploded ordnance in Afghanistan in accordance with the Afghanistan Compact. 
reducing the area of land contaminated by mines and unexploded ordnance (UXO) by 70 per cent. by 2010.
Estimates at the end of May 2007 put total contaminated land in Afghanistan at 778 square kilometres. Despite a shortfall in funding for demining activities during 2006, 133 square kilometres of previously contaminated land was cleared. This exceeded the target set by the mine
action programme for Afghanistan (MAPA) of 110 square kilometres of land to be cleared each year in order to meet the Compact benchmark. The Government of Afghanistan is confident in its ability to meet the target it has set for itself.
The Government of Afghanistan was, however, unable to meet its international treaty (Ottawa convention) obligation on the destruction of stockpiled anti-personnel landmines by 1 March 2007. It has subsequently set out in the Afghanistan Compact to
destroy all remaining stockpiled anti-personnel mines by the end of 2007
Mr. Hague: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what percentage of UK aid to Afghanistan was channelled through (a) the core budget of the Government of Afghanistan, (b) UN-administered trust funds and (c) UK administered projects in the latest period for which figures are available. 
Mr. Hague: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what representations he has received from the Afghan Government on improved international co-ordination of reconstruction and development assistance to Afghanistan; and if he will make a statement. 
My right hon. Friend, the Secretary of State for International Development, discussed international co-ordination of reconstruction and development assistance with president Karzai during his visit to the UK in October. They discussed the Afghan National Development strategy (ANDS), due to be published in March 2008, and agreed that this strategy will encourage greater donor co-ordination. In addition, the Foreign Secretary and the Secretary of State for International Development also discussed this issue with president Karzai and other representatives of the Government of Afghanistan during their visits to Afghanistan earlier this year.
It is critical for Afghanistans future development that the donor community co-ordinates its assistance in support of Afghan Government priorities. Co-ordination of international assistance and improved effectiveness of aid is a major objective of DFIDs policy support to Afghanistan. This is why DFID Ministers and officials
are regularly engaged in dialogue with the Government of Afghanistan on the development of the ANDS and the most appropriate way for the international community to support it. In recent weeks both the Afghan Minister of Education and the Deputy Minister of Finance have visited DFID and discussed this issue along with others.
Mr. Hancock: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what recent reports he has received on the ability of (a) opposition politicians, (b) the media, (c) members of the judiciary and (d) other representatives of civil society in Azerbaijan to be able to operate free from Government interference or pressure; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Jim Murphy: We have serious concerns on these issues and regularly raise them at all levels with the Government of Azerbaijan. The EU last reviewed progress on the EU European Neighbourhood Policy Action Plan for Azerbaijan with members of the Government of Azerbaijan on 18 October 2007. The EU underlined the importance of the protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms, as well as identifying further steps to strengthen democracy and media freedom.
Despite some positive legislative reform, freedom of expression and freedom of the media has deteriorated significantly in the last two years. A number of journalists have been jailed under criminal libel laws that have restricted debate. Others have faced harassment and beatings. We have raised these issues and specific cases regularly with the authorities, most recently with the Minister for Foreign Affairs.
The Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) and Council of Europe have identified a number of shortcomings in the judicial system. The Ministry of Justice has taken important steps to improve the training of judges, but there is still significant room for improvement.
The political Opposition faces impediments to its ability to operate freely. Together with international partners, we have stressed to the Government of Azerbaijan how important it is that the forthcoming Presidential elections are held in full compliance with the commitments undertaken to the EU, OSCE/Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights and Council of Europe.
Mr. Hancock: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what recent representations he has made to the Government of Azerbaijan on the prison conditions of (a) Farhad Aliev and (b) Rafig Aliev; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Jim Murphy:
As my right hon. Friend the Member for Ashfield (Mr. Hoo), then Minister for Europe stated in his reply to the hon. Members question on this subject on 16 January 2007, Official Report, column 991W, we reminded the Government of Azerbaijan of the need to respect the right of access to appropriate medical care, in light of concerns about Farhad Alievs health. Through international bodies, including the EU
and Council of Europe, we continue to raise our concerns about overall prison conditions with the Government of Azerbaijan. The authorities in Azerbaijan are working with international partners to make improvements to conditions and health care in their prisons. While improvements have been made, overall conditions remain a concern.
Mr. Jim Murphy: Negotiations to form a new Government in Belgium continue, following elections earlier this year. We continue to work closely with the current Belgian Government and look forward to working with the new Government when negotiations are complete.
Mr. Moore: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what his assessment is of the implementation of European Union sanctions on Bosnia and Herzegovina, with particular reference to the UKs compliance; what the total amount of assets frozen is by (a) EU member states and (b) the United Kingdom in line with these sanctions; and if he will make a statement. 
There are no EU financial sanctions imposed on Bosnia and Herzegovina. EU Common Position 2004/694/Common Foreign and Security Policy imposed an asset freeze on individuals indicted by the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia. To date no funds have been identified in the UK.
Andrew Rosindell: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what recent discussions the Government have had with authorities of each of the overseas territories on amendments to animal protection regulations; and if he will make a statement. 
Meg Munn: The Foreign and Commonwealth Office has not had specific discussions with the overseas territories on amendments to their animal protection regulations. Environmental issues within each overseas territory are the responsibility of the local government. The Overseas Territories Environment Programme has provided funding to Montserrat, Turks and Caicos Islands and Anguilla to update their more general environmental legislation, which includes animal protection legislation.
Andrew Rosindell: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs whether the Government will be taking palliative action in relation to the effect of climate change on reef environments in Her Majesty's overseas territories. 
Meg Munn: The Government are concerned about the effect that climate change is having on reef environments in the overseas territories, which account for approximately 2 per cent. of the world's coral. The United Kingdom chaired the International Coral Reef Initiative (ICRI), a forum to discuss the protection and safeguarding of coral reefs from 2003 to 2005. The current chairs are Mexico and the USA. The next meeting of ICRI will take place in Washington in January 2008. Particular attention will be given to the protection of coral reefs in the Caribbean, including the overseas territories.
The Overseas Territories Environment Programme, a joint Foreign and Commonwealth Office and Department for International Development funded programme, identified mitigation of the effects of climate change as a priority for the overseas territories. Through this programme, we have funded a number of climate change-related projects including an ongoing study of the coral reefs in the British Indian Ocean Territories (BIOT) territorial waters. We have also funded the establishment of a coral reef identification guide for use by marine biologists.
Andrew Rosindell: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs how much the Government have allocated to the United Kingdom Overseas Territories Conservation Forum; and if he will make a statement. 
Meg Munn: The Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) does not provide funding for the administration of the United Kingdom Overseas Territories Conservation Forum. Through the Overseas Territories Environment Programme, a joint FCO and Department for International Development (DFID) funded programme, we have provided funds to the United Kingdom Overseas Territories Conservation Forum to carry out specific projects. The FCO provided £68,502 to the United Kingdom Overseas Territories Conservation Forum for project activities in 2006-07. DFID has provided £81,706 so far this financial year for project activities.
Mr. Oaten: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will make representations to the Bulgarian Government on the standard of care given to children in (a) state institutions and (b) adult institutions. 
Mr. Jim Murphy [holding answer 22 November 2007]: The UK has actively supported Bulgaria in its efforts to improve standards of child care given to children in institutions, both during the country's accession negotiations and since it joined the EU. The Foreign and Commonwealth Office has recently completed a project contributing to the introduction of inclusive education for children with special educational needs and from ethnic minorities.
Much, however remains to be done. Our embassy in Sofia has raised the issue with the Bulgarian Prime
Minister, Justice Minister and Minister of Labour and Social Policy and we remain in close touch with the authorities. We are pleased that they are harnessing EU funds to help speed up implementation of reforms in this area.
The embassy is also in regular contact with members of the non-governmental organisation (NGO) community active in this field. Our staff are encouraging NGOs to work together and alongside the Bulgarian authorities, to help implement the necessary reforms. The Bulgarians have announced that they will direct €5 million of EU structural funds for 2008 to deal with this problem.
Mr. Keith Simpson: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what steps the Government is taking to ensure that gems originally mined in Burma and processed in third countries will not be sold in the UK. 
Mr. Jim Murphy: The UK played a key role securing EU agreement at the General Affairs and External Relations Council (GAERC) on 15 October to extend sanctions against Burma. These measures were formally adopted at the GAERC on 19 November, including the prohibition of the import of timber, metals, minerals and precious and semi-precious stones from Burma, and an investment ban in these sectors. The October GAERC made clear the EU stood ready to review, amend or reinforce these measures and requested relevant bodies to elaborate further restrictive measures.
The regulation which will follow the adoption of the Common Position will address a number of points related to the implementation of the sanctions, including direct and indirect sales of precious and semi-precious stones from Burma. This will be negotiated in the coming weeks. The UK will press for the strictest possible implementation of the agreed sanctions.
Mr. Baron: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs for what reason material referring to the CIC, redacted from a copy of a covering letter sent by his Department to the hon. Member for Billericay on 19 July was described as sensitive. 
Dr. Howells: In assessing our response to the hon. Members request that I "confirm that Lord Hutton was made aware of John Williamss document, made in his letter to me of 18 June, we redacted the reference to material used by John Williams in his drafting because it was not relevant to the request and because we wished to protect the process that Williams used.
However in considering our response to the hon. Members subsequent request for the release of this information we concluded that the public interest in releasing this information outweighed that in withholding it.
Mr. Roger Williams: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what percentage of (a) beef, (b) lamb, (c) pork and (d) dairy products used in his departmental headquarters were imported products in the most recent period for which figures are available. 
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