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Fisheries: EC Action

Bill Wiggin: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what correspondence he received from the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs on the (a) proposed European Constitution and (b) Lisbon Treaty on (i) fisheries, (ii) the marine environment and (iii) marine biological resources; and if he will make a statement. [190952]

Mr. Jim Murphy: My right hon. Friends the Foreign Secretary and the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs correspond regularly on a range of EU business, including on matters concerning the Lisbon treaty and, in the past, the abandoned constitutional treaty.


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The Lisbon treaty extends co-decision to agriculture and fisheries, but otherwise does not make any significant change in relation to fisheries and marine policy issues where it simply reflects the extent of powers under the current treaties.

Human Rights: Conferences

John Mann: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs which issues were raised by the UK representative at the 31 August 2007 preparatory conference for Durban II on (a) anti-Semitism, (b) Holocaust education and (c) the UK’s view of the events of Durban I. [194165]

Meg Munn: The Presidency of the European Union spoke on behalf of all member states at the August 2007 Durban Review Conference preparatory committee. As outlined in the response I gave to my hon. Friend on 28 February 2008 Official Report, columns 1822-23W, the agenda has not yet been discussed in detail. The Government takes work on Holocaust education and remembrance very seriously. Article 58 of the Durban declaration made clear that the Holocaust must not be forgotten. We will seek opportunities with our EU partners to give Holocaust education and remembrance appropriate attention as negotiations continue.

John Mann: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will publish the minutes of preparatory meetings for Durban II. [194166]

Meg Munn: The UN published a report of the first session of the Preparatory Committee on its website, which can be accessed at:

Reports of future meetings will be published on the same website.

Malaysia

John Bercow: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will urge the government of Malaysia to disband RELA the Volunteer People’s Corp. [193473]

Meg Munn: The People’s Volunteer Corps (RELA) is a legally constituted body within the Malaysian system. Our high commission in Kuala Lumpur follows the situation of refugees in Malaysia closely, including the activities of government agencies such as RELA.

We have no plans to raise RELA with the Malaysian Government. Our high commission in Kuala Lumpur is in contact with the Office of the UN high commissioner for refugees on a regular basis on this issue.

Sudan: China

Ms Abbott: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs (1) what recent representations he has made to his Chinese counterpart on Chinese investment in the Sudanese oil industry and the likely impact of such investments on the conflict in Darfur; and if he will make a statement; [193234]


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(2) what the Government’s policy is on Chinese involvement in the Sudanese oil industry; whether he has made representations to his Chinese counterpart on this issue, with particular reference to Darfur; and if he will make a statement. [193236]

Meg Munn: We are expanding dialogue and co-operation with China on African issues including Sudan, and urging China to use its influence to play a constructive role on Darfur.

My right hon. Friend the Prime Minister agreed with Premier Wen on 18 January in Beijing to advance the deployment of the UN-African Union Mission in Darfur, a ceasefire and a political process in Darfur, and that the international community should support recovery and economic reconstruction in Darfur.

We welcome comments at the African Union Summit in Addis Ababa on 30 January by China’s Special Envoy for Africa, Liu Guijin, calling publicly on the Government of Sudan to do more to end the crisis in Darfur. UK Ministers had further talks on these issues with Chinese counterparts during the Chinese Special Envoy’s visit to the UK on 21-22 February and my right hon. Friend the Foreign Secretary’s visit to China on 25-29 February.


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Ms Abbott: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what steps his Department is taking to promote awareness of the Darfur crisis in China; whether he has made representations to the Chinese authorities on Chinese investment in Sudan; whether he has been informed by the Chinese government of its intentions regarding the humanitarian crisis in Sudan; and if he will make a statement. [193235]

Meg Munn: My right hon. Friend the Prime Minister agreed key objectives on Darfur with Chinese Premier Wen in his visit to China on 18 January.

UK Ministers agreed with the Chinese Special Envoy for Africa, Liu Guijin, in London on 21-22 February the key goals of accelerating the UN-African Union Mission in Darfur deployment so as to improve security and humanitarian access, re- energising the Darfur political process, and supporting implementation of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement.

My right hon. Friend the Foreign Secretary reinforced these messages during his visit to China on 25-29 February, both in talks with Chinese Ministers and in a public speech at Peking University.


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