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John Bercow: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what steps he has taken to mitigate the challenges arising from the volume of internally displaced people in Karenni state and other parts of eastern Burma; and which of these have been taken in co-operation with the Government of Thailand. 
I visited Thailand from 28 February to 1 March and met several non-governmental organisations working in the refugee camps on the Burma/Thailand
border. I also raised the plight of ethnic groups in the border region with the Thai Minister of Interior.
funding for the UN Development Programmes Human Development Initiative;
our significant contribution to the Three Diseases Fund, which supports work on HIV, tuberculosis and malaria in Karenni state;
support provided through local faith based organisations who are able to reach internally displaced people from inside the country; and
support from Thailand through the Thailand-Burma Border Consortium, which is providing assistance to the refugee camp bordering Karenni state, Ban Mae Noi Sae.
UK funding for projects in Karenni state is part of our effort to provide humanitarian assistance to people suffering poverty and deprivation across Burma. The Department for International Developments programme in Burma is increasing from £9 million in 2007-08 to £18 million in 2010-11.
John Bercow: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what steps he is taking to invoke the UN Security Council principle of the responsibility to protect in relation to Burma. 
Meg Munn: We continue to support the concept of Responsibility to Protect, under which Governments have the responsibility to protect their populations from genocide, war crimes, ethnic cleansing and crimes against humanity.
As a member of the UN Security Council, the UK has persistently stated that the military regime in Burma must account for the systematic and appalling human rights abuses it commits against Burma's people. We strongly support the UN Special Rapporteur on Human Rights in Burma and his work to gather evidence of the abuses that have taken place. We have called for his early return to Burma to be facilitated by the regime to enable the Rapporteur to continue his vital role.
The UK has helped to secure strong resolutions on Burma at the UN Human Rights Council and the UN General Assembly Third Committee, and worked to keep Burma on the Security Council agenda. The President of the UN Security Council's statement in October 2007 required a number of actions by the regime, including an inclusive transition to democracy. With the Burmese military rulers' failure to deliver any tangible outcomes despite the good work by the office of the UN Secretary-General, we will continue to consider options for further Security Council action with like-minded partners in New York.
Mr. Willetts: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs how many people received funding under the Commonwealth Scholarships Programme in 2006-07, broken down by country of origin. 
Mr. Jim Murphy: The number of scholars funded by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office under the Commonwealth Scholarship and Fellowship Plan in 2006-07, including those in their first, second or third year of study, was as follows:
Dan Rogerson: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs how many (a) permanent Civil Service posts, (b) permanent non-Civil Service posts and (c) temporary or agency workers in employment in his Department there were in each month since May 2005. 
Meg Munn: The Office of National Statistics (ONS) has published civil service employment statistics, broken down by Department, in the Public Sector Employment First Release every quarter since January 2006. Prior to January 2006 the Cabinet Office published civil service employment statistics annually.
The following table sets out the Cabinet Office figures for permanent UK civil servants and permanent UK non-civil servants employed by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) in 2005 and the corresponding ONS figures for each quarter since January 2006.
|Permanent civil servants||Permanent non-civil servants|
Tony Lloyd: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what assessment he has made of the recent UN report on the humanitarian situation in the Somali region of Ethiopia. 
Meg Munn: The UN published its report on the Somali Region of Ethiopia in September 2007. The UN has not published a further report since. We welcomed the Ethiopian Governments acceptance of the UN assessment teams appraisal and we continue to urge the Ethiopian Government to adhere to its commitments in relation to the reportopening-up of trade routes, lifting restrictions on movement, allowing food aid to reach all parts of the region and allowing non-governmental organisations greater access. However, we continue to be concerned at the risk of further human suffering and therefore look forward to full implementation of the reports findings. The UK continues to raise this with the Government of Ethiopia at regular intervals. My noble Friend Lord Malloch-Brown raised this issue when he met Ethiopian Prime Minister Meles Zenawi in late January. Most recently, our ambassador in Addis Ababa discussed ways to improve the situation in the Somali region with the Ethiopian Foreign Minister in March.
Mr. Laurence Robertson: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what recent discussions he has had with the Government of Ethiopia about that country's relationship with Qatar. 
Mr. Simon: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what recent representations his Department has made to the government of Egypt on the trafficking of people and weapons into Gaza from Egypt via under-border tunnels. 
Arms and people smuggling into Gaza remain a great concern. The Quadrilateral Committee, which consists of Israel, the Palestinian Authority, Egypt and the US, has been working closely to address the issue of smuggling and border control. The EU commends and supports efforts by the Government of Egypt to contribute in finding a peaceful and orderly solution.
Our embassy in Cairo regularly meet with Egyptian interlocutors to discuss various issues, including the situation in Gaza.
Mr. Gregory Campbell: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs whether his Department's advice to UK citizens living in or travelling to Kenya has changed in the last month. 
Meg Munn: The Foreign and Commonwealth Office keeps travel advice under close and constant review. Our travel advice for Kenya has been changed 50 times so far in 2008. We made 36 changes in January, 10 in February, two in March and two in April. The Kenya travel advice was last updated on 18 April to make factual changes relating to clashes between the Kenyan police and the outlawed criminal Mungiki sect, and the formation of the Kenyan Grand Coalition Government.
Mr. Simon: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what assessment he has made of the effects of the use of longer-range Katyusha rockets in attacks on Israel on the political situation in that country; and what representations he has received on options for the prevention of the use of such weapons. 
Dr. Howells: In recent months Katyusha rockets have been fired from the Gaza Strip at Israel. These rockets have a longer range, which brings more Israeli towns, citizens and infrastructure facilities within striking distance. The Government continue to call on all Palestinian factions in Gaza to stop attacks, including rocket attacks. They aim to target civilians and to undermine the Annapolis process and escalate an already tense situation.
Mr. Simon: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what assessment he has made of the effects of the recent increase in rocket attacks by the Palestinian Islamic Jihad on the security situation in Israel; and if he will make a statement. 
Dr. Howells: The UK is deeply concerned by rocket attacks from Gaza against Israeli citizens. The launching of rockets against Israeli civilian targets and all forms of violence must stop. Violence serves only to undermine the prospects for peace and security in the region.
The Government continue to call on all Palestinian factions to stop attacks, including rocket attacks, which target civilians and only escalate an already tense situation. At the same time, Israel must ensure its actions are in accordance with international law. It is important for both sides to exercise the utmost restraint and refrain from the use of force.
My right hon. Friend the Foreign Secretary has regular discussions on the security situation in Gaza, including most recently with Israeli Defence Minister Barak and with Israeli Foreign Minister Livni on 17 April. Our embassy in Tel Aviv and our consulate in Jerusalem regularly meet with Israeli and Palestinian interlocutors to discuss various issues, including the situation in Gaza.
Mr. Moore: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what (a) allowances, (b) travel costs and (c) accommodation have been provided to staff seconded from his Department to support the work of (i) James Wolfensohn and (ii) Tony Blair in their roles as Quartet Representatives; and if he will make a statement. 
The FCO has seconded three members of staff to work in the Quartet Representatives office in London. The UK has provided £400,000 to a UN Development Programme Trust Fund which provides support to the Quartet Representative. The Quartet Representatives office in London and Jerusalem draw from this trust fund to meet their costs.
We do not have figures for all expenses and costs associated with the Quartet Representatives office in Jerusalem or in London. The right hon. Tony Blair has been appointed by, and reports to, the Quartet (US, EU, UN and Russia). It is a matter for the Quartet to determine whether to publish details of the right hon. Tony Blairs team, costs and funding.
Mr. Hancock: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what steps he (a) has taken in the last 12 months and (b) plans to take to promote effective dialogue between the Government of Indonesia and representatives of the people of West Papua on conflict resolution. 
Meg Munn: We believe that the complex issues in Papua can best be resolved through peaceful dialogue between the people of Papua, their elected representatives and the central Government of Indonesia. The dialogue is ongoing. Indonesian Vice President Kalla, along with a team of Ministers, visited Papua most recently in February to discuss economic and social development with representatives of the Papuan people. Papuan leaders regularly visit Jakarta. The Indonesian President has committed his Government to improving the situation in Papua, which we welcome. Governor Suebu, of Papua province, is pressing ahead with his development programmes, underpinned by the significant financial resources now being directed to Papua as a result of its special autonomy status.
We continue to encourage all sides to maintain a meaningful dialogue that focuses on implementing fully the existing special autonomy legislation. We judge that
this is the best way to ensure the long-term stability and development of Papua and its people.
At the UN Human Rights Council examination of Indonesia under the Universal Periodic Review, in Geneva on 9 April, the UK welcomed Indonesias substantial progress on human rights since 1998, but noted ongoing concerns in Papua.
Our embassy in Jakarta follows the situation in Papua closely and is in regular contact with human rights organisations, non-governmental organisations and academics working in the region. Embassy staff also visit Papua regularly, most recently from 15 to 20 February 2008. While there, they held discussions with local officials, non-governmental organisations and representatives of religious organisations. The Department for International Development (DFID) is providing funding for four development advisers to the Governor of Papua. Their work focuses on poverty alleviation, public finance and infrastructure. DFID is also funding HIV/AIDS prevention and treatment activities in Papua, as well as focusing on improving forest governance livelihoods to address poverty reduction and deforestation in Papua. We continue to engage with Papuan leaders on a range of issues, including conflict prevention, and we fund several projects in Papua, including human rights training for the police.
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