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Mr. Gregory Campbell: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what representations he has made to the Chinese Government in advance of the Beijing Olympic Games on the attitude that government will take in dealing with peaceful protests by pro-Tibetan demonstrators. 
Dr. Howells: We regularly urge the Chinese Government to protect the right of all individuals to peaceful expression of their views on all issues. My right hon. Friend the Foreign Secretary has spoken to Chinese Foreign Minister Yang on several occasions since the recent unrest in Tibet urging respect for human rights in Tibet, including the right to freedom of expression.
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs how many receptions he has hosted and funded in his capacity as Secretary of
State in the last 12 months; which individuals and organisations (a) were invited to and (b) attended each reception; and what the cost was of each reception. 
Meg Munn: The Foreign and Commonwealth Office will publish a list, providing information relating to official receptions hosted by Ministers in the Department during the course of the previous financial year, before the summer recess.
Mr. Pickles: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs with reference to the Answer to the hon. Member for North East Hertfordshire of 14 February 2006, Official Report, columns 1905-06W, on official residences, what the cost of (a) maintenance, (b) renovation, (c) council tax, (d) rent and (e) utilities for the Ministerial residence accommodation at 1 Carlton Gardens was in each year since 2004-05. 
Meg Munn: Expenditure on council tax, maintenance and renovation for the residence at 1 Carlton Gardens is detailed as follows. Approximately 35 per cent. of the area of 1 Carlton Gardens is occupied by the residence. Expenditure on rent and utilities is not clearly identifiable and is represented as a percentage share of the total expenditure on 1 Carlton Gardens.
|(1) Not applicable as the residence was unoccupied|
Stewart Hosie: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what consultants have been contracted by his Department to conduct public participation activities in the last three years; and how much expenditure his Department has incurred on each such contract to date. 
Meg Munn: Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) contracts, and the resultant expenditure specifically for public participation activities, are not categorised separately from that for external consultancy as a whole. The information the hon. Member requests could, therefore, be provided only at disproportionate cost.
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what recent discussions he has had with his (a) French, (b) Italian and (c) German counterparts on the candidates for the
preferred post of President of the European Union; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Jim Murphy: My right hon. Friend the Foreign Secretary has regular contact with all of our EU partners on a variety of issues. There is no position of President of the EU, nor will any such position be created by the treaty of Lisbon.
Mr. Cash: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs pursuant to the answer of 3 April 2008, Official Report, column 1220W, on the European Union: public relations, whether the EU funds to which he referred are being disbursed to those both for and against European integration; how much has been disbursed (a) in the UK and (b) in other EU member states; and to whom the funds have been disbursed. 
Mr. Jim Murphy: As set out in my answer of 3 April 2008, Official Report, column 1220W, the purpose of Communicating Europe in Partnership is to improve the coherence, integration and effectiveness of the EU's communications efforts. The Government support the disbursal of EU funds towards this stated objective.
The Commission does not decide in advance how much money is available per member state or which beneficiaries will undertake the projects. Funding will be distributed following calls for proposals. A breakdown for all those activities will be available at the end of 2008 from the Commission.
Mr. Jim Cunningham: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what steps the Government has taken to encourage overseas governments not to force children to become soldiers. 
The UK actively supports international efforts to protect children affected by armed conflict. As a member of the UN Security Council Working Group on Children and Armed Conflict we have contributed to action against parties that were violating child rights in states such as the Democratic Republic of Congo and Sudan. Through the EU we have assisted in establishing EU guidelines on Children and Armed Conflict. Domestically, the UK has ratified the Optional Protocol on the Convention on the Rights of the Child and has endorsed the Paris Commitments
and the Paris Principles to protect children from the unlawful recruitment or use by armed forces or armed groups.
The UK also supports and facilitates the work of international courts and tribunals which try alleged perpetrators of the most serious crimes of concern to the international community including those against children.
Mrs. James: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what discussions he has had with the Indian government on the use of child labour in textile and clothing manufacturing factories; and if he will make a statement. 
Dr. Howells: The Government regularly raise our concerns over human rights issues with the Government of India and the Indian Commission for the Protection of Child Rights. These issues were discussed during the latest round of the EU-India Human Rights Dialogue in New Delhi on 15 February. Discussions covered India's implementation of the Convention on the Rights of the Child and optional protocols and ratification of International Labour Organisation Conventions 138 and 182 to abolish child labour.
Child rights remain a high priority in promoting equality and tackling discrimination in India. The Department for International Development has provided substantial support to assist schemes to ensure all children have the right to attend school. The UK will continue to work with the Government of India in supporting efforts to tackle human rights issues.
Mr. Dai Davies: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what the Government's assessment is of the Working Paper dated 25 April 2008 (NPT/conf.2010/PC.11/WP.4) submitted by the Islamic Republic of Iran to the Preparatory Committee for the 2010 Review Conference of the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT) on non-compliance with NPT Articles I, III, IV and VI, with particular reference to the statement that approval of the Trident replacement programme constitutes a contravention of NPT Article VI; and what response the Government has made to the paper. 
Dr. Howells: The UK scrupulously complies with its obligations under the treaty on the non-proliferation of nuclear weapons (NPT), including those on disarmament in article VI. We are committed to strengthening the three pillars of the treaty. The decision to maintain our nuclear deterrent did not contravene the treaty. The UK made this clear at the 2008 NPT Preparatory Committee in its response to the Iranian paper.
Dr. Howells: The safety of British nationals overseas is a high priority. The provision of consular support is one of our core services. Our embassy in Beirut maintains a civil contingency plan which focuses on the safety of British nationals in Lebanon. The plans are reviewed and updated regularly. At present, we do not anticipate having to set in motion an assisted evacuation. As a matter of course, we continue to monitor the situation and adjust our plans accordingly. One of our Rapid Deployment teams in London remains on standby to travel to Lebanon should the situation deteriorate. The travel advice pages on our website,
have been regularly updated to reflect events. They offer guidance to British nationals in Lebanon whom, additionally, we are urging to register on-line with the embassy via LOCATE, a consular registration service.
Mr. Ancram: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what representations he has received from the government of Serbia in relation to the Governments recognition of the independence of Kosovo. 
Mr. Evans: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what recent steps his Department has taken to improve co-operation at bilateral level to tackle boiler room fraud operations targeting British people but based in other EU member states. 
Meg Munn: The hon. Member is aware of the damage that can be done through boiler room fraud. The Government take the issue of investment scams, including that of boiler room fraud, very seriously. The Home Office, the Financial Services Authority (FSA), City of London Police and Consumer Direct all work hard to raise awareness of the problem and give advice on recognising and reporting boiler room fraud accordingly, as is evident from their websites.
To date, my right hon. Friend the Foreign Secretary has not had direct discussions on boiler room fraud with the countries mentioned. The Foreign and Commonwealth Office network abroad are engaged on all areas of serious and organised crime.
The Serious Organised Crime Agency, the Serious Fraud Office and the FSA will continue to work successfully together through the newly created multi agency taskforce, Operation Archway, co-ordinated by the City of London Police to pool expertise and share national intelligence to fight against this crime.
Dr. Julian Lewis:
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what steps he
plans to take in the week beginning 25 May to monitor the (a) treatment and (b) risk of torture of Mr. Simon Mann in Black Beach Prison, Equatorial Guinea; and whether he has received reports that Mr. Mann is still being continuously shackled. 
Meg Munn [holding answer 20 May 2008]: Our consul from the British deputy high commission in Lagos was refused consular access to Simon Mann during his last visit to Equatorial Guinea in March. We have expressed our concern to the Equatorial Guinea authorities and are urgently seeking another consular visit. We have not been informed whether Mr. Mann is still being continuously shackled. His welfare remains our primary concern.
Dr. Julian Lewis: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what reports he has received of contacts with Mr. Simon Mann in Black Beach Prison, Equatorial Guinea by any (a) diplomatic officials, (b) media staff and (c) other personnel independent of the Equatorial Guinea authorities since Mr. Manns appearance on Channel 4 News; and if he will make a statement. 
Meg Munn [holding answer 20 May 2008]: We received reports from the Equatorial Guinea authorities that a media team was allowed access to Mr. Mann on one occasion in March. We have no information that any diplomatic officials or personnel independent of the Equatorial Guinea authorities have visited Mr. Mann.
Mr. Keith Simpson: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what assessment he has made of the effects of recent actions by rebel groups in Khartoum on the viability of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement in Sudan; and if he will make a statement. 
Meg Munn: The Comprehensive Peace Agreement remains fully viable, and the parties are committed to its implementation. On 10 May Salva Kiir, the First Vice President of the Government of National Unity, President of South Sudan and the head of the Sudan Peoples Liberation Movement, condemned the rebel actions in Khartoum.
Mr. Drew: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs whether he has made representations to the government of Sudan in response to reports of arrests and detentions of Darfurians in Khartoum and Sudan's commitments under international law and the Interim National Constitution of Sudan. 
Meg Munn: We have stressed to the government of Sudan that they should exercise restraint in their response to this attack; and that anyone arrested in connection with the attack should be given due legal process. We will raise any reported violations with the government through the EU-Sudan Dialogue on Human Rights.
Mr. Drew: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what reports he has received on the arrest and detention of Darfurians in Khartoum following the Justice and Equality Movement attack on the capital on 10th May. 
Meg Munn: Following the Justice and Equality Movement attack on Omdurman, the Sudanese authorities have detained a number of Darfuris and non-Darfuris as part of the follow-up investigations. We understand that at least 170 people were arrested and 130 remain in detention. We are in close touch with the human rights division of the UN Mission in Sudan, which is monitoring these reports.
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