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Meg Munn: The visa ban targets the military regime in Burma, those who benefit most from its misrule and those who actively frustrate the process of national reconciliation, respect for human rights and democracy.
The visa ban list, under Common Position 2006/318/CFSP, includes the names of members of the military regime, the military and security forces, significant individuals associated with the military regime who formulate, implement or benefit from policies that impede Burma's transition to democracy and their families and associates. Although certain measures imposed by this Common Position are directed at persons associated with the Burmese regime and members of their families, children under 18 are not, in principle, targeted.
Mr. Peter Ainsworth: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs whether he has issued guidance to staff in his Department to switch off personal computers when not in use; and if he will make a statement. 
The implementation of the FCO's new information technology system, Future Firecrest, started in March this year. The first phase involves replacing ageing equipment in the UK; the replacement of similar equipment at posts overseas will start later this year.
The old technology provided no effective reduced power settings. Future Firecrest is configured to make the best use of new energy saving capabilities so that personal computers enter a mode drawing minimal powerbetween 2 per cent. and 5 per cent. of the amount when fully poweredafter a short period of user inactivity. This will be a significant contribution to the FCO's plans to reduce its energy consumption in line with the new Government targets on sustainable operations on the Government estate announced in June 2006.
Mr. Francois: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs how many (a) press or communication officers his Department has hired and (b) contracts for such services have been agreed in the last three months, broken down by Civil Service grade. 
It is possible that locally engaged press or communication officers have been hired within the last three months by the FCO's missions overseas, enabling us to engage better with people and Governments from other countries. However this information is not monitored centrally so it would incur disproportionate cost to collate.
|(1) Data on costs prior to 2001-02 are not held in a format that would enable us to answer the question without incurring disproportionate cost. (2) Data for the cost of the UK Permanent Representation to the EU for 2005-06 are not separately identifiable without incurring disproportionate cost. (3) Data are not yet available for the year 2007-08. Note: The figures tabled are management information figures which include all direct and indirect post expenditure including money spent by the centre on behalf of post including: Non-cash and cash items, administration costs, staff costs (UK based and locally employed) and programme costs.|
Mr. Harper: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs for what reasons and on what authority photography at the Government Communications Headquarters has been prohibited. 
David Miliband [holding answer 13 June 2008]: Section 1 of the Official Secrets Act 1911 makes it an offence for any person for any purpose prejudicial to the safety or interests of the state to approach, inspect or be in the neighbourhood of a prohibited place or to make or otherwise obtain a sketch (a term which encompasses a photograph) which might be directly or indirectly useful to a potential enemy. All Government Communications Headquarters sites are prohibited places for the purposes of the Act.
Sarah Teather: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs in which countries his Department assesses (a) gay men and (b) lesbian women who are (i) citizens and (ii) visitors are at risk of persecution. 
Meg Munn: There are nine countries that have a maximum penalty of death for consenting same sex relations. They are: Iran, Iraq, Mauritania, Nigeria (in 12 northern states where Sharia law operates), Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Sudan and Yemen.
There are ten countries that have a maximum of life imprisonment for consenting same sex relations. They are: Bangladesh, Barbados, Bhutan, Burma, Guyana, India, Maldives, Nepal, Singapore and Uganda.
There are a number of other countries where lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people may be at risk of persecution. The Foreign and Commonwealth Office's
(FCO) Travel Advice points to countries where there might be a risk of persecution for visitors. The FCO also provides specific advice for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people on the range of issues that they might face abroad. This can be found at: www.fco.gov.uk/travel.
The Government oppose persecution of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people wherever it occurs. FCO officials have been active in promoting the rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people.
Mr. Hague: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs whether the UK plans to make a financial contribution to support the introduction of the system for programme support and the international public sector accounting standards at the International Atomic Energy Agency, as referred to in the Director General's Introductory Statement to the Board of Governors in Vienna on 2 June 2008; and if he will make a statement. 
The UK supports the proposed Agency-wide Information System for Programme Support (AIPS), which is necessary for the implementation of International Public Sector Accounting Standards (IPSAS) within the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). Funding mechanisms are still being explored within the IAEA Board of Governors; possibilities include making efficiencies within the IAEA, retention of part of the 2007 cash surplus, or voluntary donations by member states. There is no plan for the UK to make a financial contribution while this debate is ongoing.
Mr. Hague: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what the budget for the International Atomic Energy Agency's Nuclear Security Fund was in the last period for which figures are available; and how much the UK committed to the Fund for that period. 
Sir John Stanley: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs whether the forthcoming vacancy for the post of high commissioner to Malawi has been publicised (a) within his Department and (b) elsewhere in the civil service and applications invited. 
Meg Munn [holding answer 10 June 2008]: The right hon. Jack McConnell MSP has been nominated to be our next high commissioner in Lilongwe. His appointment will be made under the terms of schedule 2(2) of the Diplomatic Service Order in Council 1991, which expressly allows exceptions to the normal method of recruitment. Accordingly, the post has not been advertised within the Foreign and Commonwealth Office or elsewhere within the civil service.
Mr. Lidington: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs whether it is his policy that the costs of (a) the Aftercare Plan and (b) the exceptional assistance measures should be recovered from the people helped; and if he will make a statement. 
Meg Munn: As I stated in my written ministerial statement of 2 June, the Aftercare Plan and its successor, the Exceptional Assistance Measures for victims of terrorist incidents overseas, can fund certain expenses on behalf of British nationals and family members in exceptional circumstances following a terrorist incident overseas. Financial assistance under the Exceptional Assistance Measures is provided as a last resort where such assistance is not available from the government of the country where the incident took place, insurance providers or other agencies and organisations. The costs will not be recovered from those affected by the incident.
Meg Munn: The Government are unaware of any proposals for a UN Commission on Violence Against Women. But we are committed to promoting the rights of women and girls and are active at the UN in supporting a number of initiatives that seek to address violence against women. This includes supporting resolutions that call for the intensification of all efforts to eliminate all forms of violence against women as well as supporting the mandate of the UN Special Rapporteur on Violence Against Women. We also support the campaign launched by the UN Secretary-General, Ban Ki-moon, on 25 February to intensify action to end violence against women and girls.
More specifically the Government, through the Department for International Development, fund a programme implemented by the UN Development Fund for Women aimed at promoting women's engagement in peace-building and preventing sexual violence in conflict. Funding will go towards supporting women's community-level efforts to build peace and prevent sexual violence in Afghanistan, Haiti, Liberia, Rwanda, Timor Leste and Uganda.
Mrs. James: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what recent representations he has made to encourage the enfranchisement of women in countries that do not allow women to vote. 
Saudi Arabia currently prohibits women from voting but has indicated that it will end its legal prohibition on women's suffrage in 2009, when women will be allowed to vote in local elections for the first time (men were given the right in 2005). In addition there are countries across the world where neither
women nor men vote because there is no electoral process or where women cannot fully exercise their right to vote because structural barriers prevent them from doing so.
The Government believe that elections play a key role in determining the democratic legitimacy of a Government. The increased participation of women and other under-represented groups will improve democracy as well as contributing to security and prosperity.
Bob Russell: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many police officers were injured as a result of an assault and took leave of (a) up to one month, (b) two to six months, (c) seven months to a year and (d) more than a year in the latest period for which figures are available, broken down by police force; and how many (i) had to retire because of their injuries and (ii) were assessed for post traumatic syndrome in that period. 
Bob Russell: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department (1) how many physical assaults without weapons were made against police officers in each police force in each of the last five years; 
Mr. Byrne: In December 2007, we allocated over 330,000 principal applicant cases to around 60 case owners. At that date, 52,000 cases had been concluded and we believe that the caseload also includes around 60,000 to 70,000 dependants.
Mr. Lidington: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether she has set the UK Border Agency a target for the review under the Legacy Cases Review of asylum claims first made in 2000; and if she will make a statement. 
Mr. Byrne: The work to clear the backlog of unresolved asylum cases was announced in July 2006 with the aim to clear these cases in five years or less. We remain confident that we are on track to conclude these cases by the summer of 2011.
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