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Derek Wyatt: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what assessment he has made of the Governments responsibilities under United Nations Security Council Resolution 1674 regarding the protection of the Palestinian people in the Occupied Territories from war crimes. 
[holding answer 26 January 2009]: We are gravely concerned at the allegations made, during the Gaza conflict, by such credible organisations as the
International Committee of the Red Cross and the UN. We have been clear that such allegations must be investigated. We expect, and urge, Israel, to investigate allegations of abuses by their forces.
Mr. Drew: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what funding his Department is providing to the AU missions in Somalia; and what assessment he has made of the likelihood of peace in that country. 
Gillian Merron: Since the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) was mandated in February 2007, we have committed around £17.3 million in support of the mission. This has included support for Ugandan and Burundian troop sustainment (fuel, food, rotation costs, airlift), assistance with Burundian troop allowances and supplies to the Ugandan battalions (trucks, vehicle spares etc).
The security situation in Somalia will only improve if there is a political resolution to the conflict there. We continue to work with Somali and international partners to build political stability, including working closely with the United Nations Special Representative to the Secretary General for Somalia, Ahmedou Ould-Abdallah, and the UN Political Office for Somalia. We welcome the decision of the Transitional Federal Government and the opposition Alliance for the Re-liberation of Somalia in November 2008 to form a unity government and to continue work on justice and reconciliation issues. We fully support the Djibouti peace process and hope it will deliver a long-term solution for peace and stability in Somalia.
Mr. Andrew Turner: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what steps the Government has taken to prevent piracy (a) in Somalian territorial waters and (b) on the high seas off Somalia; and what assessment he has made of levels of piracy activity in those areas in each of the last three years. 
The Royal Navy is combating acts of piracy on the high seas off Somalia, and acts of armed robbery in Somali Territorial Waters. We are providing the Operation Headquarters and Operation Commander for the EU's operation (Atalanta) to protect World Food programme shipping and to deter piracy. We are providing a frigate for the first phase of the operation and we contributed to a North Atlantic Treaty Organisation counter piracy mission in 2008. We have a leading role in the planning and execution of military counter-piracy operations through the Combined Maritime Forces in the region. My right hon. Friend the Foreign Secretary negotiated a new UN Security Council Resolution (1851) further consolidating the international commitment to deal
effectively with piracy. The UK is a member of the Contact Group on Piracy off the Coast of Somalia which met for the first time in New York on 14 January 2009, and we will host the Working Group tasked to encourage greater international co-ordination and co-operation. In addition we continue to work closely with the shipping industry, advising on best practice for counter piracy self defence.
Ultimately piracy is a symptom of wider issues. We continue our efforts to address these, and are encouraging the European Commission and other partners to increase targeted support for governance/economic development in Somalia, in particular in coastal areas. In 2007-08, the UK provided over £25 million of humanitarian and development assistance to Somalia. For 2008-09, this was increased to £30 million.
Although there has been a significant increase in the number of successful pirate attacks in the last three years (10 in 2006, 35 in 2007, 43 in 2008 and three so far in 2009), piracy off the Somali coast continues to affect a very small proportion of the shipping that transits the area. Since Operation Atalanta established the Maritime Security Centre for the Horn of Africa in December 2008 no vessel registered with it has been successfully pirated.
Mr. Drew: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs whether he has received reports on the progress made by the Southern Sudan Peace and Reconciliation Commission on implementing its mandate to (a) oversee the Comprehensive Peace Agreement implementation, (b) facilitate South-to-South dialogue and (c) facilitate people-to-people contact. 
Gillian Merron: The Southern Sudan Peace Commission (SSPC) has not yet made significant progress in implementing its mandate. It lacks the capacity to execute its recently completed strategic plan and requires assistance in building the analytical, influencing and coordinating skills required to deliver against its mandate.
We are seeking ways to engage with and support the SSPC, as this will be essential to ensure the legitimacy and sustainability of peace-building efforts in the south. The UK is engaged with other partners, both Sudanese and international, in a range of peace building initiatives in Southern Sudan.
Since Turkey became a non permanent member of the United Nations Security Council in January 2009, we expect to work even more closely together this year on issues of regional stability, given their important regional role.
Mr. Dismore: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what policy his Department has adopted on the latest draft resolution for the UN Durban 2 anti-racism conference; if he will withdraw the UK from the conference; and if he will make a statement. 
The United Kingdom delegation was active in the recent negotiations on the draft outcome document for the Durban Review Conference. The negotiations were not concluded at the recent inter-sessional working group, held in Geneva from 19-23 January 2009.
Mark Williams: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs pursuant to the Answer of 12 January 2009, Official Report, column 381W, on western Sahara, if he will make representations to the new Moroccan ambassador to the UK urging an end to Moroccos continued occupation of western Sahara. 
Bill Rammell: The new Moroccan ambassador to the UK has not yet arrived in London. Nevertheless the Government continue to encourage all parties to the ongoing dispute to enter into the UN-led negotiation process in a spirit of realism and compromise and work towards a mutually acceptable political solution that will provide for the self-determination of the people of western Sahara, as called for by the UN Security Council.
Mr. Amess: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs when he expects to answer Question 247757 about the seminar on stem cell research, tabled on 12 January 2009; what the reason is for the time taken to reply; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Amess: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs when he expects to answer Question 242696 about terrorism in Israel, tabled on 8 December 2008; what the reason is for the time taken to reply; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Sarwar: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what assessment he has made of the likely effects of the most recent power-sharing agreement between Zanu-PF and the Movement for Democratic Change on the political situation in Zimbabwe. 
Gillian Merron: On 30 January, the Movement for Democratic Change announced the acceptance of the power sharing accord brokered at the Southern African Development Community summit on 26 January. My right hon. Friend the Foreign Secretary issued a statement in response on 30 January, which can be viewed at:
We are cautious about the workability of the agreement. But we have also been clear that it is up to Zimbabweans to decide their own future. Our hope is that the parties can make it work and we will judge the new government on its actions. In common with other members of the international community, we will be looking for the government to demonstrate, through its actions, a commitment to reform. We would expect in the coming weeks to see the release of political prisoners, an immediate end to political violence and intimidation, the repeal of repressive legislation, the appointment of a credible finance team and a clear roadmap to the next national elections. Our formal engagement, including the provision of donor support, will depend on how the new government meets these expectations.
Miss McIntosh: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs whether the Government have imposed sanctions against (a) companies and (b) individuals in Zimbabwe for breaching their international responsibilities. 
Gillian Merron: We (and all EU member states) are signed up to a set of targeted measures against members of Robert Mugabe's regimeasset freezes, travel bans and an arms embargo. The measures are carefully targeted against individuals involved in violence and human rights abuses, and state-owned and other companies that are associated with the regime. EU Foreign Ministers last met on 26 January 2009 and agreed to a rollover of existing targeted measures and added a further 65 names and entities to the list. The current range of EU targeted measures now comprises 203 individuals and 40 entities.
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Mr. Clifton-Brown: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what assessment he has made of the merits of including funding for the resurfacing of the A419 between Cirencester and Swindon in the funding programme to succeed the Ten Year Plan for Transport. 
Paul Clark: The A419 is managed on behalf of the Highways Agency by Road Management Services (Gloucester) Limited under a private finance concession. Resurfacing is carried out where there is a maintenance or safety need according to agency standards. Currently, the surface of this section of the A419 is in good condition and is not likely to require resurfacing for the foreseeable future.
Greg Clark: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if he will place in the Library a copy of the (a) display energy certificates and (b) advisory reports for public buildings issued in respect of each property occupied by (i) his Department and (ii) its agencies. 
Mr. Hoon: The Department for Transport will place in the Library a copy of the display energy certificates and their associated advisory reports in respect of each qualifying property occupied by the Department and its agencies.
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