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Ofwat has led a review of their approach to leakage regulation and target setting. The review looked at variation in per capita consumption, inclusion of externalities in the leakage calculation and
alternative approaches to the economic level of leakage. Ofwat expects the findings to lead to improvements at the next price review in 2009.
Harry Cohen: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what response the Government has made to the call by Antonio Maria Costa, Head of the United Nations Anti Narcotics Unit, for NATO forces to tackle heroin production in Afghanistan; what the UNs policy is on paying poppy growers to (a) diversify and (b) cease poppy production; and if he will make a statement. 
Dr. Howells: The UK is working closely with International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) allies to ensure a fully integrated approach to counter-narcotics that best supports the Afghan Governments National Drugs Control Strategy. ISAF is providing increasing support to the Afghan counter-narcotics effort, which we are encouraging. In the past few months, ISAF has provided support to a number of Afghan law enforcement operations to disrupt drug trafficking and to the Afghan Governments public information campaign to persuade farmers not to plant poppy.
The UN does not have a policy of paying poppy growers to diversify or to cease poppy production because they judge it would not work, in part due to the risk of encouraging farmers currently farming licit crops to start cultivating poppy. The Department for International Development and the World Bank have been conducting research into possible economic incentives to reduce opium production in Afghanistan. The final report will be released shortly; initial recommendations do not include subsidies or payments to farmers.
Mr. Hague: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs when he last discussed the security situation in the Balkans with the Secretary of State for Defence; and if he will make a statement. 
David Miliband: I maintain regular contacts with my right hon. Friend the Defence Secretary about the security situation in the Balkans. We believe that every effort should be made to resolve issues in the region politically. The UK remains fully committed to safeguarding the region's security and contributes to the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation's (NATO) deployment in Kosovo, KFOR, and the EU's forces in Bosnia, EUFOR. We continue to work intensively with our EU and NATO partners to deliver peaceful progress towards Euro and Euro-Atlantic integration for the whole Balkan region.
Mr. Laurence Robertson:
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will consider granting a waiver on the collection of
biometric data for organised groups of children from Belarus affected by the Chernobyl disaster seeking to visit the UK; and if he will make a statement. 
Dr. Howells: The requirement for visa nationals to provide biometric data as part of the visa application process was introduced under the provisions of The Immigration (Provision of Physical Data) Regulations 2006 that came into force on 4 July 2006. There are very few exemptions or exceptions to this and, of necessity, these are very tightly drawn. We do not, as a matter of policy or law, collect biometric data from children under the age of five years or from certain individuals, Heads of State, for example, but require all other applicants to comply with the requirements of the 2006 Regulation.
I am aware of the important work undertaken by UK charities to provide respite care for children affected by the Chernobyl disaster. We had hoped to collect fingerprints from these children in a separate visa application centre close to their homes thereby avoiding them having to travel to our embassy in Minsk. Unfortunately, despite lengthy negotiations we were unable to secure agreement from the Belarussian authorities. I am however pleased to confirm that we will be introducing a pilot initiative next year to enable our embassy in Minsk to collect the childrens biometric data through mobile fingerprinting machines. The embassy will be working with the charities to confirm arrangements for this pilot.
Rob Marris: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what steps his Department (a) has taken and (b) plans to take by (i) 2012 and (ii) 2020 to adapt to the effects of climate change as they affect his departmental responsibilities; and if he will make a statement. 
Meg Munn: Delivering for the Government's objectives, the Foreign and Commonwealth Office has used its overseas network of posts to lobby for an ambitious post-2012 framework under the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). This includes pressing for ambitious efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in order to avoid dangerous climate change as well as adapting to the effects of climate change which are already unavoidable. Posts will continue to play an active role in building momentum for comprehensive negotiations due to be launched at the UN climate change conference in Bali from 3 to 14 December before a global agreement in Copenhagen by 2009. Posts have also undertaken some activity to help build local capacity on adapting to climate change. The Department for International Development and the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs take the lead for adaptation policy and negotiations under the UNFCCC and both will continue providing support to developing countries for adaptation activities.
The recent Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change reports show that the impacts of climate change are already being felt. There is a need to act now and over the coming decades, both to deal with the obvious impacts (from reduced water availability to
weather-related disasters) and adjust development decisions to deal with the long-term risks (from making low cost policy adjustments to planning for large scale investments in the future). If we do not act now, and over the coming decades, we are likely to see unprecedented reversals in progress on poverty reduction. Making development resilient to climate risk will incur additional costs. Current estimates suggest this may be around US$40 billion a year by 2030more work is needed to improve our understanding of these costs.
Lynne Featherstone: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what the value of UK exports to (a) the area controlled by the government of the Republic of Cyprus and (b) the Turkish-occupied northern region of Cyprus was in the last 12-month period for which figures are available. 
Mr. Jim Murphy: The latest data from HM Revenue and Customs state that UK exports to the Republic of Cyprus were valued at £1.02 billion in 2006. Roughly 60 per cent. of these exports were in telecommunications and sound recording apparatus.
The latest Turkish Cypriot figures for UK exports to northern Cyprus are for 2005. They state that in 2005, northern Cyprus imported US$101 million (£55.5 million at 2005 exchange rates) of goods from the UK. In the same period UK figures for exports to the Republic of Cyprus were £356 million.
Meg Munn: I refer my hon. Friend to the reply my hon. Friend the Minister for Europe, gave to the hon. Member for Fareham (Mr. Hoban) on 9 October 2007, Official Report, columns 542-43W and the reply I gave to the hon. Member for Broxbourne (Mr. Walker) on 13 November 2007, Official Report, columns 108-09W.
Mr. Moore: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs (1) how many electronic databases held by his Department contain (a) names, (b) addresses, (c) bank details and (d) other personal information on members of the general public; 
(5) how many requests his Department has received in each year since 1997 from the National Audit Office for access to databases containing personal information on members of the general public; 
(6) what provisions his Department has in place to ensure that databases containing personal information on members of the general public are not accessed (a) by unauthorised staff and (b) for unauthorised purposes. 
David Miliband: I refer the hon. Member to the statement made by my right hon. Friend the Prime Minister on 21 November 2007, Official Report, column 1179. The review by the Cabinet Secretary and security experts is looking at procedures within Departments and agencies for the storage and use of data. A statement on Departments procedures will be made on completion of the review.
Mr. Drew: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what reports he has received on the effects of emigration from Eritrea on that country; and what discussions he has had with the Eritrean Government on the matter. 
Our embassy in Asmara continues to monitor the situation and has discussed emigration in the context of asylum and returns with the Eritrean Government, but has not discussed the effects of emigration on Eritrea.
There is no free press in Eritrea with no independent local journalists and only two international ones. The detention without charge by the Eritrean Government of journalists is unacceptable and contravenes international human rights agreements to which Eritrea is party. Our ambassador in Asmara raises these issues with the Eritrean Government at every suitable opportunity. Foreign and Commonwealth Office officials do likewise with the Eritrean embassy here in the UK.
We also raise our concerns on human rights through the EU. For example the EU lobbied Eritrea on the sixth anniversary of the detention in September 2001 of the G11, 11 members of the Eritrean political party who protested at the Governments direction in a letter to President Isaias, together with a number of journalists who were also detained at that time.
Dr. Howells: There is a pressing need to overcome the obstacles to re-opening Gaza's crossings for humanitarian goods, trade and people. The quartet (US, EU, UN and Russia) has expressed concern over the continued closure of major crossing points. The UN is actively involved in trying to find a solution. The EU has called
"on all parties to work towards an opening of the crossings in and out of Gaza".
My right hon. Friends the Foreign Secretary and the Secretary of State for International Development issued a statement on 30 October expressing our concern at the situation in Gaza. The full text of the statement can be found at:
My right hon. Friend the Foreign Secretary said in his statement to the House on 28 November, following the Annapolis Conference, that we should not lose sight of Gaza, an integral part of a future Palestinian state Official Report, column 284.
Lady Hermon: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs on which occasions the British embassy in Athens has hosted receptions for UK organisations visiting the city in each of the last three years; what assessment he has made of how this compares to other UK diplomatic missions; and what funding was allocated to the embassy over this period for this purpose. 
Mr. Jim Murphy: Our embassy in Athens does not distinguish between receptions for UK organisations visiting the city and other forms of entertainment. Instead, the embassy follows a written policy which requires that entertainment should support the embassy's business plan (based on the Foreign and Commonwealth Office's strategic priorities). Other UK missions follow similar practice.
To collate a comprehensive list of events hosted from 2004-07 would incur disproportionate cost, as would the work required to assess the funding allocated to the embassy over this period for this purpose.
Harry Cohen: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what the Governments policy is on the United Nations General Assembly passing resolutions on human rights in individual states or territories. 
Meg Munn: The Government consider that the UN General Assembly (UNGA) has a responsibility to address situations of human rights violations in particular countries. We believe that the most effective means of improving such situations is through a co-operative relationship between the UN human rights machinery and the Government of the relevant country. However, where the situation is of serious concern and where the Government in question refuses to co-operate or to make use of the support offered to them by the UN human rights mechanisms, it is entirely appropriate for the UNGA or the UN Human Rights Council to express concern over the situation through a resolution, if necessary without the support of the country concerned. The Government worked very actively with European Union and other partners to secure the recent adoption of resolutions by the UNGA Third Committee on the situations in Iran, Burma, Belarus and the Democratic Peoples Republic of Korea.
Dr. Howells: We remain deeply concerned by the growing use of capital punishment in Iran, particularly with regard to juvenile executions. Although Iran has ratified the Convention on the Rights of the Child and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rightsboth of which prohibit the use of the death penalty for crimes committed before the age of 18Iran continues to execute more juvenile offenders than any other country in the world. We deplore the fact that there have been at least three juvenile executions so far this year.
UK, and EU, policy on the death penalty is clear: we oppose it in all circumstances and are committed to taking action on individual cases that fall below international minimum standards, including juvenile cases. The EU presidency, with strong UK support, has raised concerns about juvenile execution cases with the Iranian authorities on at least thirteen occasions this year. We also make representations in bilateral meetings with the Iranians. Most recently, senior officials raised two juvenile execution cases (Soghra Nafj-Pour and Makwan Moloudzadeh) with the Iranian ambassador on 26 Octoberwe have since heard that their cases are being reviewedand, in a meeting with the Iranian embassy on 23 November, protested the recent execution of Mohammad Reza Tork.
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