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Mr. Oaten: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what discussions he has had with the Turkish authorities on the imprisonment of Abdullah Ocalan in the last two years. 
However, we continue to encourage Turkey to make the reforms necessary to ensure the full implementation of EU human rights standards, including conditions of detention. To this end, we regularly urge Turkey to ratify the Optional Protocol to the UN Convention
Against Torture (OPCAT), which sets out a system of independently monitoring prisons with the aim of preventing torture or inhuman treatment.
Moreover, the EU is providing financial support and expert advice for reforms to the prison system planned by the Turkish authorities through the Judicial Modernisation and Penal Reform programme, jointly with the Council of Europe.
We note that the European Committee for the Prevention of Torture and Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (CPT) sent a delegation to Turkey in May 2007 which assessed the conditions of detention of Mr. Ocalan. This visit was the fourth by the CPT to Imrali High-Security Closed Prison and while they noted that there remained scope for improvement, the conditions did not constitute ill-treatment.
As part of our ongoing bilateral dialogue, we continue to encourage the Turkish government to ensure that the treatment of all prisoners is in line with EU human rights standards. Standards of detention form part of the criteria examined in the EU accession process.
Andrew Rosindell: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what estimate he has made of the number of former UK residents who have taken up residence in the Turks and Caicos Islands in the last five years. 
Gillian Merron: Figures provided by the Turks and Caicos Islands Immigration Board show that 28 British citizens received temporary residence permits during the period 2004-07 and a further 175 received work permits.
Gillian Merron: Statistics from the Home Office show that people holding Turks and Caicos Islands passports made 110 journeys into the United Kingdom in 2007. Of these, 55 entered the United Kingdom on British citizen passports.
Andrew Rosindell: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what steps his Department plans to take to encourage tourism between the UK and the Turks and Caicos Islands. 
Gillian Merron: There are no plans to encourage tourism between the UK and the Turks and Caicos Islands. Responsibility for tourism has been devolved to the Government of the Turks and Caicos Islands.
Mr. Keith Simpson: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs when he expects the final peace agreement between the Lord's Resistance Army and the Government of Uganda to be signed; and what assessment he has made of the effect of the time taken to sign the agreement on security and stability in the region, including Greater Equatoria and Southern Sudan. 
Gillian Merron: The UN special envoy to northern Uganda and Southern Sudan, Joaquim Chissano and the chief mediator to the Juba Peace Process, Dr. Riek Machar, have called on the Lord's Resistance Army (LRA) leader, Joseph Kony, to sign the Final Peace Agreement by the 29 November. There can be no guarantee, however, that Kony will sign.
The LRA poses an increasingly serious threat to security in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), southern Sudan and the Central African Republic. It has carried out numerous attacks against both civilians and military forces in recent months. The civilian attacks have resulted in more abductions. The majority of attacks have been within the DRC. However, the LRA has also been active along the border with southern Sudan, resulting in refugees fleeing into southern Sudan. The LRA attacked a village in southern Sudan in September.
Bill Rammell: To mark United Nations Day on 24 October 2008, my noble Friend Lord Malloch-Brown took part in a debate on the United Nations on 23 October, organised by the Global Development Forum. The Minister also issued a statement on 24 October recognising and applauding the UN's achievements.
Sir John Sawers, our Permanent Representative to the United Nations, marked UN Day by giving a keynote speech in Boston entitled Today's United NationsTomorrow's Challenges to the United Nations Association of Greater Boston.
Joan Walley: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what dates have been set for further UN talks intended to bring about a negotiated solution to the dispute in Western Sahara. 
Bill Rammell: The United Nations Security Council Resolution 1754 adopted in April 2007 called on the parties to the dispute over Western Sahara to enter into negotiations without preconditions. The UN Secretary-General's then Personal Envoy Peter Van Walsum chaired the negotiations between the parties in June and August 2007, and in January and March of this year. No date has been set as yet for the next round of talks.
Nevertheless, UN Security Council adopted UN Security Council Resolution 1813 on 30 April called on the parties to show greater political will and to enter into more intensive and substantive negotiations towards a just, lasting and mutually acceptable political solution which will provide for the self-determination of the people of Western Sahara.
Mr. Keith Simpson: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what estimate he has made of the number of Zimbabwean refugees who have fled to Botswana since March 2008; what assessment he has made of their security and safety; and if he will make a statement. 
Gillian Merron: Zimbabwe's social and economic decline has forced many Zimbabweans to leave the country during the last few years. The vast majority of these migrants do so through irregular means, thus making it impossible to estimate numbers accurately. The post election violence saw a significant increase in requests for formal asylum and refugee status in neighbouring countries, especially in Botswana. We are aware that 822 Zimbabweans have been granted refugee status in Botswana, the majority of whom are accommodated at the Dukwi refugee settlement. The government of Botswana have worked very closely with United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and ensured that those received in Botswana are provided with the necessary protection for their safety and security. In response to the increased number of Zimbabweans crossing into Botswana, the UK provided funds to the UN Children's Fund (UNICEF) to assist with upgrading sanitation/hygiene facilities at the refugee centre.
Mr. Henderson: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what steps his Department plans to take alongside the UN Security Council in monitoring and working towards a resolution of the situation in Zimbabwe. 
Gillian Merron: We continue to monitor the situation in Zimbabwe closely. Along with other EU member states, we have condemned Robert Mugabe's unilateral allocation of ministerial portfolios. We continue to press for the formation of a government agreed by all parties. This should reflect the will of the people of Zimbabwe as expressed in the outcome of the 29 March elections which gave Morgan Tsvangirai and the MDC a clear majority.
We will assess the new government by the way in which it brings about change and reform. If it does so, the UK and the rest of the international community stands ready to provide support. Early steps must include tough measures to stabilise the economy, unrestricted access to humanitarian aid for all who need it and the removal of oppressive legislation. In the meantime, we will continue to provide humanitarian support to address the immediate needs of the long-suffering people of Zimbabwe. The UN's humanitarian agencies continue to follow the humanitarian situation carefully.
Paddy Tipping: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what estimate he has made of the number of former employees of the Southern Rhodesian Government living in the UK and not receiving pensions from the Zimbabwean Government; and if he will make a statement. 
Gillian Merron: We do not maintain records of former employees of the Southern Rhodesian Government. The Overseas Service Pensioners' Association estimate there are some 350 such pensioners currently living in the UK.
Mr. Philip Hammond: To ask the Secretary of State for Wales how much his Department has spent on (a) flat screen televisions, (b) DVD players and (c) stereo equipment in each of the last three years. 
Mr. Paul Murphy: In the financial year 2006-07 my Department spent £224.16 on two flat screen televisions and £67.97 on a DVD recorder and player. No purchases were made in 2005-06 or 2007-08 on the above equipment.
Adam Price: To ask the Secretary of State for Wales when he plans to lay before Parliament the draft Environmental Pollution and Waste Management (National Assembly for Wales) Legislative Competence Order. 
Mr. Paul Murphy: Discussions are continuing between the UK Government and the Welsh Assembly government on the proposed order for legislative competence. Once those discussions have concluded, I shall submit the proposed order for pre-legislative scrutiny.
David Simpson: To ask the Secretary of State for Wales how many complaints of racial abuse relating to staff for which his Department is responsible have been (a) investigated and (b) upheld in the last 12 months. 
Barbara Follett: The Big Lottery Fund have advised that BIG Thinking, the UK-wide Big Lottery Fund consultation, was launched on 17 November 2008 and will run until the end of February 2009. As of 19 November 2008, 85 full responses have been received.
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