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Angus Robertson: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what matters were discussed in the meetings of 11 to 12 May 2008 between the Icelandic Minister for Foreign Affairs, the Minister of State with responsibility for Europe and the Minister of State for Africa, Asia and the United Nations; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Jim Murphy: My noble Friend the Minister with responsibility for Africa, Lord Malloch-Brown, and I met separately with the Icelandic Minister for Foreign Affairs, Mrs. Gisladottir, on 12 May 2008.
My discussions with Mrs. Gisladottir covered both bilateral and multilateral issues including Iceland's candidature for a non-permanent seat on the UN Security Council, the current situation in Afghanistan, the European economic area financial mechanism and the discussions between the UK, Iceland, Ireland and Denmark on the subject of the continental shelf in the Hatton Rockall area of the north-east Atlantic. I also raised whaling with Mrs. Gisladottir.
My noble Friend Lord Malloch-Brown, and Mrs. Gisladottir discussed political developments in Africa, the current situation in Somalia, and an Icelandic initiative to promote sustainable fisheries in southern Africa.
Mrs. James: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what representations he has made to the governments of (a) Japan, (b) Thailand, (c) Cambodia and (d) Vietnam on the prevention of child sexual abuse and paedophilia in those countries. 
Meg Munn: The UK has made no direct representations to Japan. Home Office Minister, the noble Lord West of Spithead, will raise sexual exploitation of children during the Group of Eight leading industrialised nations (G8) Justice and Home Affairs ministerial meeting from 11 to 13 June.
Our embassy in Bangkok organised and funded a training course earlier this year on requirements and best practice used in covert internet investigations into
sexual exploitation of children online. Twelve police officers from Thailand, Malaysia, and Singapore took part. The training was conducted by two British police officers from the Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre (CEOP). This training enhanced the trainees' ability to interact covertly online and conduct investigations for the purpose of gathering evidence admissible in a court of law. It also encouraged the building of informal and working contacts among police officers from the region.
Our embassy in Bangkok has also recently concluded a three-year project working with the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) and the Thai Government to improve access to birth registration and citizenship among ethnic minority hill tribes in remote areas of Thailand. Lack of birth registration and citizenship has been identified by UNESCO as the primary causal factor behind the trafficking of hill tribe girls.
We have raised the issue of child sex abuse and paedophilia at the highest level in government with the Government of Cambodia, who have introduced new legislation on trafficking and sexual exploitation of children. I discussed these issues in detail with non-governmental organisations in Phnom Penh on 7 June.
Our embassy in Phnom Penh has worked over a number of years in close collaboration with the Government of Cambodia and the UK's CEOP. This has included organising cooperation and officers from the Cambodian National Police to build capacity and raise awareness of this global problem.
We are working in partnership with international organisations, such as the UN Children's Fund and the World Health Organisation, to tackle the causes of child sex exploitation. Our work in Cambodia has been recognised as a model of excellence for the region with some of the mechanisms for tackling child sex abuse established in Cambodia being mirrored elsewhere, including in Vietnam and Thailand.
Our embassy in Hanoi works closely with the Vietnamese Government to tackle child sexual exploitation in Vietnam. In February 2007 the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) funded a delegation led by the Vietnamese Police Commissioner to visit child protection organisations in the UK. As a direct result of that visit, Vietnam established a specialised unit for child sex offences in their General Department of Police. In March 2007, the FCO organised a roundtable between Vietnam's Ministry of Public Security and the UK's CEOP to develop a joint action plan for capacity building measures in Vietnam. Under that plan, the FCO funded a training seminar run by CEOP in Hanoi in December 2007, an attachment by two Vietnamese officers to CEOP offices in London in February 2008 and in-situ training in Lao Cai and Ba Ria Vung Tau provinces in February and March 2008.
Sir Michael Spicer: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs when the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State plans to respond to the letter of 26 March 2008 from the hon. Member for West Worcestershire on meeting the Dalai Lama. 
Mr. Hancock: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what reports he has received of Indonesian military operations in the Highlands of West Papua, Jayawijaya Regency, with particular regard to the effect of these operations on the civilian population of the region; and what representations he has made to the government of Indonesia on this matter. 
An exact figure for the last 12 months is not available, but it is estimated that during the period 1 June 2007 to 31 May 2008 the consular section received a total of approximately 7,700 letters, faxes and e-mails from members of the general public.
Lyn Brown: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what recent representations he has made to (a) the government of Sudan and (b) the government of South Sudan on the situation in Abyei. 
Meg Munn: The Permanent Secretaries of the Department for International Development and the Foreign and Commonwealth Office pressed senior representatives of both the government of National Unity and the government of Southern Sudan to resolve the Abyei dispute, with the mediation of the Assessment and Evaluation Commission, during their visit to Sudan from 18-21 May.
We support the efforts of the UN Mission in Sudan (UNMIS), and the Assessment and Evaluation Commission, to help the Government of National Unity and the Government of Southern Sudan agree security arrangements to stabilise Abyei. We understand that negotiations have focussed on replacing units of the
Sudanese armed forces and the Sudan People's Liberation Army with a Joint Integrated Unit. We would want UNMIS to monitor the area as agreed in UN Security Council Resolution 1812, which updated their mandate.
Mr. Drew: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what reports he has received on the situation in northern Uganda; whether he met the Paramount Chief of the Acholi, His Highness Rwot Onen Acana II, on his recent visit to London; what involvement he has had in the ongoing talks in Juba; and if he will make a statement. 
Meg Munn: Despite the stalled talks in the Juba peace process the situation in northern Uganda remains stable. Our officials have closely monitored the peace process and have maintained regular contact with the Ugandan government, leaders in northern Uganda and former President Chissano's team. The Government have provided financial and political support to the peace process and are considering what further support to provide to continue to promote sustainable peace and development in the region.
Mr. Drew: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what recent reports he has received on the whereabouts of General Otti, a former leader of the Lords Resistance Army in northern Uganda; and if he will make a statement. 
Meg Munn: The Foreign and Commonwealth Office has received no recent reports on the whereabouts of Vincent Otti. The last reports received indicate that Otti was killed by Lord's Resistance Army leader Joseph Kony in October 2007.
Meg Munn: We have no economic sanctions against Zimbabwe nor are any planned at this stage. The EU targeted measures impose a visa ban and asset freeze on President Mugabe and 130 other named Zimbabweans. There is also an EU embargo on selling arms to Zimbabwe. These measures do not hurt ordinary Zimbabweans. The county's economic meltdown is entirely the result of President Mugabe's misguided policies.
Mr. Douglas Alexander: In the immediate aftermath of the earthquake, DFID provided £1 million in cash to the China Association for NGO Co-operation, which was the designated recipient by the Chinese government for receiving cash donations. This money was used to buy food, water, blankets and 2,400 tents. A few days later, and in recognition of the huge numbers of people made homeless, we provided a further 4,755 tents, the total value of which is estimated at £1.15 million, including air freight costs. In addition, we provided specialist communication equipment, the value of which was estimated at £31,500.
Jeremy Corbyn: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what assessment he has made of the effects of industrial logging on poverty alleviation measures in the Democratic Republic of Congo. 
Gillian Merron: The Department for International Development (DFID) has not made a formal assessment of the contribution that industrial logging makes to poverty alleviation in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). However, experience from other countries tells us that, while logging activities can contribute significant revenue, their contribution to poverty reduction tend to be marginal unless local communities are closely involved in decision making about the use of forests and the distribution of benefits from forest exploitation. This is why the UK Government have been sponsoring the Roundtable process to develop alternative models for forest management and financing in the DRC. These will be presented to Congolese and international partners during a conference in Kinshasa on 23 and 24 June. One of the proposals to be presented is the introduction of community-based forestry management in the DRC which puts local communities at the centre of the decision making process for forest use.
Jeremy Corbyn: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what his policy is on extension of the moratorium on issuing new logging titles in the Democratic Republic of Congo until proper land-use planning is in place. 
In 2007 the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) government, donor partners and a large part of DRC and international civil society adopted the Priority Agenda for the DRC's forests. The UK Government agree with all the parties to the Priority Agenda that forest land-use planning involving local people is essential for avoiding future conflicts in forest areas. We also agree that the moratorium should not be lifted until a national plan for granting new concessions
has been developed involving the DRC government, NGOs, private companies and local people. The recent establishment of a national committee to agree a standard methodology for forest land-use zoning is an encouraging sign that the rights of forest-dependent people are being taken seriously. This methodology should be agreed by all relevant parties and applied successfully before new logging titles can be issued.
Gillian Merron: The UK Government do not believe that a moratorium on all logging in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) is either desirable or enforceable. The DRC is a desperately poor country emerging from civil war and it needs to be able to exploit its natural resources in a .sustainable way to drive reconstruction and the provision of basic services. Sustainable logging practices from countries like Mexico and Guatemala show that governments and communities can derive substantial benefits from logging activities. A blanket moratorium would also prevent the emergence of small-scale logging businesses which are an essential element of community-based forest management.
Mr. Spellar: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development pursuant to the Oral Answer of 30 April 2008, Official Report, column 286, what recent assessment he has made of the contribution of market speculation to the effects on developing countries of the increase in world food prices. 
Gillian Merron: The Government have been examining the contribution of market speculation to recent rises in commodity prices, including food. The available evidence suggests that speculation in financial markets is not driving prices. The Chancellor will place further details before the House today.
John Battle: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what assessment his Department has made of the humanitarian implications of the food price rise in Egypt; and if he will make a statement. 
The Department for International Development (DFID) does not have a bilateral programme in Egypt. However, the British embassy in Cairo is monitoring the economic situation in the country. Recent assessment shows that escalating inflation and food price rises have raised tensions and increased the threat of social instability. However, in response the Egyptian Government has been implementing policies aimed at reducing the impact of food price rises on the poor, for example by committing to extend the number of people eligible for subsidised bread ration cards by 17 million. DFID is also in regular contact with the World Food Programme (WFP) who launched a global appeal earlier in 2008 for countries most at risk from rising food prices. There was no specific appeal for Egypt, where
the WFP operates capacity building programmes and school feeding programmes but has not initiated any emergency operations.
John Battle: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what contribution his Department has made to increasing food aid to Egypt since March 2006; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Malik: The Department for International Development (DFID) does not have a bilateral programme in Egypt. DFID, however, continues to support poverty reduction efforts in Egypt through contributions to international institutions such as the European Commission (EC). The UK is contributing about €95 million towards the EC's €558 million 2007 to 2010 programme of assistance to Egypt. DFID has also been in regular contact with the World Food Programme (WFP) and has responded to their recent global appeal for countries most at risk from rising food prices with a £30 million contribution. There was no specific appeal for Egypt, where the WFP operates capacity building programmes and school feeding programmes but has no emergency operations.
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