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Mr. Hands: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what the duties and responsibilities are of the Governments Special Representative to Cyprus, the hon. Member for Enfield North. 
Mr. Jim Murphy: My right hon. Friend the Member for Enfield, North (Joan Ryan), the UKs special representative to Cyprus, is responsible for developing and strengthening links between the Government and the British Cypriot community. Her role is to work with the Cypriot diaspora and explore how they can help to promote a settlement in Cyprus. She acts as an additional channel of communication between British Cypriots and Ministers, and maintains strong links with senior figures within Cyprus involved in issues such as the UN process and the UK/Cyprus bilateral relationship. In this capacity, and following her first official visit in October, she will visit Cyprus occasionally to reinforce these contacts and deepen further her knowledge of all relevant issues.
Mr. Moore: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will place in the Library a copy of the regulatory impact assessment carried out by his Department pursuant to the February 2002 Green Paper on Private Military Companies. 
David Miliband: When the Government have reached a decision on the regulation of private military and security companies, the impact assessment will be published as part of any public consultation process. Copies will be made available in the Library of the House.
Mr. Philip Hammond: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs how much his Department and its agencies spent on end-of-year bonus payments in each of the last five years. 
|Total bonus payments (£)|
The FCO uses non-consolidated, non-pensionable, performance-related bonuses to encourage high performance. We pay annual bonuses to staff in the delegated grades (all except senior managers) based on appraisal evidence of annual performance. The highest individual bonus for these grades is £1,850 in 2007.
Bonus arrangements for staff in the senior management structure (SMS/senior civil service equivalent) follow a framework set for Whitehall Departments by the Cabinet Office. We use SMS bonuses to reward excellent performance and achievement during the year. The bonuses are based on a judgment by pay committees of what an individual has achieved in comparison with peers. Those who have delivered the best results, and shown real leadership in doing so, receive the biggest bonuses. Those who have delivered least receive nothing. Whitehall Departments were authorised to spend a sum equivalent to 7.6 per cent. of their SMS pay budget on non-consolidated bonuses for senior staff in 2007.
Mr. Hague: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what changes have been made in the geographic distribution of British diplomatic posts overseas in the last 10 years; what policy objectives these changes reflect; and if he will make a statement. 
David Miliband: The following changes have been made in the geographic distribution of British diplomatic posts, including embassies, high commissions, consulate-generals and consulates overseas in the last 10 years.
Americas: a net reduction of 12 posts (includes two posts due to shut in 2007-08);
Europe: a net reduction of three posts;
Asia and Pacific: a net reduction of four posts;
Africa: a net reduction of four posts;
Middle East and North Africa (including Iraq): a net gain of two posts;
Russia, South Caucasus and Central Asia: a net gain of two posts; and
South Asia and Afghanistan: a net gain of one post.
Mr. Hague: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs pursuant to the answer of 10 December 2007, Official Report, column 159W, on embassies, which countries no longer have a resident British Ambassador, Consul General or High Commissioner. 
David Miliband: There is no resident British diplomatic representation in American Samoa, Andorra, Antigua and Barbuda, Bahamas, Benin, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cape Verde, Central African Republic, Chad, Comoros, Congo (Republic of the), Djibouti, Dominica, East Timor, El Salvador, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, Grenada, Guinea-Bissau, Honduras, Kiribati, Kyrgyzstan, Laos, Lesotho, Liberia, Liechtenstein, Madagascar, Maldives, Mali, Marshall Islands, Mauritania, Micronesia (Federated States of), Monaco, Nauru, Nicaragua, Niger, Palau, Paraguay, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, San Marino, Sao Tome and Principe, Somalia, Suriname, Swaziland, Togo, Tonga, Tuvalu and Vanuatu. Posts in Côte dIvoire and Haiti are temporarily closed for security reasons.
Mr. Hague: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what waiving of EU sanctions was required in order to permit the attendance of a Zimbabwean delegation, including President Mugabe, at the EU-AU Summit in Lisbon; and if he will make a statement. 
David Miliband: Article 4(5) of the EU Common Position (2004/161/Common Foreign and Security Policy) stipulates that an exemption to the restrictions on any one of the 131 persons on the EU visa ban list preventing them from travelling to the EU can be made when the meeting they attend is intergovernmental and includes a political dialogue that directly promotes democracy, human rights and the rule of law in Zimbabwe. The EU Africa summit in Lisbon included such a discussion.
Mr. Hague: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what formal discussions of the human rights situation in Zimbabwe took place during the EU-AU summit in Lisbon; and what conclusions were reached. 
David Miliband: Several discussions on the human rights situation in Zimbabwe were held during the EU/Africa summit. My noble Friend the right hon. Baroness Amos raised Zimbabwe and the appalling human rights situation caused by President Mugabe during her intervention on behalf of the UK. Other EU member states (Germany, the Netherlands, Denmark and Sweden) also raised the issue, specifically criticising the human rights situation in Zimbabwe. As high representative for the EUs Common Foreign and Security Policy, Javier Solana delivered a statement on behalf of the EU underlining member states collective concern at the deteriorating human rights situation and condemning all acts of violent repression.
Bob Spink: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will make it his policy to raise at the European Council with colleagues from member states contributing to the European Gendarmerie Force the prospects for its future deployment; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Jim Murphy: The European Gendarmerie Force (EGF) is not an EU proposal or agency. The primary purpose of the EGF is to assist in crisis management operations in post-conflict situations. The UK does not have a Gendarmerie style paramilitary police force and therefore does not participate in the EGF.
Bob Spink: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will raise with colleagues at the European Council the conditions that will be applied to any use of the European Gendarmerie Force if placed at the disposal of the European Union, in relation to its (a) uniforms and emblems, (b) recruitment, (c) training and (d) weaponry; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Jim Murphy: The primary purpose of the European Gendarmerie Force (EGF) is to assist in crisis management operations in post-conflict situations. The UK does not have a Gendarmerie style paramilitary police force and therefore does not participate in the EGF.
The EGF is not an EU proposal or agency. While it may be put at the disposal of the EU, it has been established outside of EU structures,, and may equally be made available to the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation, the UN, the Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe, and other international organisations or an ad hoc coalition. It would be for each respective organisation or coalition and the requesting state to determine which conditions, if any, they thought most appropriate for the requested mission.
1. EUROGENDFOR Personnel shall wear their uniform in accordance with their respective national rules. The EGF Commander may establish specific procedures where appropriate.
2. EUROGENDFOR Personnel may possess, carry and transport arms, ammunitions, other weapon systems and explosives on the conditions that they are authorised to do so by their orders and that they do so in accordance with the laws of the Host State and the Receiving State.
Bob Spink: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will make representations to those governments contributing to the European Gendarmerie Force that it should not be deployed on the territory of another member state of the European Union. 
Mr. Jim Murphy: The European Gendarmerie Force (EGF) is not an EU proposal or agency. The primary purpose of the EGF is to assist in crisis management operations in post-conflict situations and it is therefore extremely unlikely to deploy in an EU country. Deployment of the force is a matter between the governments contributing to the EGF and the requesting state in need of assistance.
Mr. Hague: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs when the next report of the Director-General on Iran's co-operation under the August 2007 Work Plan is due; and if he will make a statement. 
David Miliband: We expect that the next report from the Director-General of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), Dr. Mohammed El Baradei, on Iran's co-operation with the agency under the Work Plan, will be released before the IAEA board in March 2008.
If Iran implements the Work Plan in full, it will be a step towards restoring trust in Iran's nuclear intentions. But addressing the outstanding issues is only one of the steps the international community requires Iran to take in order to restore confidence in its intentions. Iran needs to suspend enrichment, enrichment-related and reprocessing activities, as requested by the IAEA Board of Governors and required by UN Security Council Resolutions 1696, 1737, and 1747. Iran also needs to implement fully the additional protocol and additional measures that the IAEA has requested. Until Iran
meets these obligations we will continue to follow the dual track strategy agreed with our partners in the E3+3 (China, France, Germany, Russia and the United States), and to discuss further measures aimed at persuading Iran to fulfil all its international obligations.
Mr. Hague: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what assessment his Department has made of the proliferation risk posed by Irans heavy water nuclear research reactor at Arak; and when the reactor is expected to be operational. 
David Miliband: We are concerned about the proliferation risk that would be posed if Iran completes construction of a heavy water reactor. This type of reactor is particularly well suited for producing plutonium, which could be reprocessed and used in a nuclear weapon. This is reflected by the demands in UN Security Council resolutions 1737 and 1747, which require that Iran suspends work on heavy water-related projects, including the construction of a research reactor moderated by heavy water. The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) has repeatedly reported that construction of the reactor has nevertheless been continuing. The February 2006 IAEA Director-Generals report noted the Iranians saying that the commissioning date for the reactor was likely to be postponed until 2011.
Mr. Baron: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what assessment he has made of the differences between the draft Iraq dossier written by Mr. John Williams dated 9 September 2002 and Mr. John Scarlett's draft of 10 September 2002. 
Dr. Howells [holding answer 7 January 2008]: As I told the House on 13 June 2007, Official Report, column 293WH, John Williams' draft was his personal attempt to explain the threat which Saddam Hussein and his regime posed. It was not specifically commissioned as part of the formal drafting process and was not used as the basis for the dossier the Government subsequently published.
Mr. Baron: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs pursuant to the answer of 26 July 2007, Official Report, columns 1470-1W, on Iraq: documents, whether the copy of the draft sent to Lord Hutton's inquiry was redacted. 
Mr. Baron: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs pursuant to the answer of 26 July 2007, Official Report, columns 1470-1W, on Iraq: documents, whether the Government requested the Hutton inquiry not to publish (a) all or (b) part of the draft Iraq dossier. 
Dr. Howells [holding answer 7 January 2008]: As I told the House on 13 June 2007, Official Report, column 296WH, all decisions on which documents were published on the Hutton inquiry website were taken by Lord Hutton.
Mr. Hague: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs how many staff in his Department received language training in each of the last 10 years; and if he will make a statement. 
David Miliband: At present the Foreign and Commonwealth Office has around 900 overseas jobs requiring specific levels of language skills, although this number will fluctuate to reflect business need. These posts will be filled by officers undergoing new training or using existing skills.
The level of language training has remained broadly constant over the past 10 years, at between 250 and 400 officers per year. This reflects the needs of the business at any one time and the availability of staff who already speak the relevant languages (e.g. at recruitment level, or from previous postings). The numbers of staff receiving full-time language training in the last three years was:
We will ensure that there is sufficient time for debate on the Floor of the House, so that the Bill can be examined in the fullest detail and all points of view can be heard.
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