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Mr. Drew: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will make representations to the government of Pakistan on its application of the blasphemy law in the case of (a) Hector Aleem, ( b) Basharat Masih, (c) Shafique Anjum and (d) Naveed Aziz. 
Bill Rammell: We are aware of the detention of Mr. Aleem and Mr. Masih but have not made representations to the government of Pakistan on their behalf. Officials in our high commission in Islamabad have established that Pakistan's Ministry for Human Rights is already engaged on their cases. We will continue to monitor developments but cannot intervene while legal proceedings are in progress.
Mrs. Curtis-Thomas: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what recent assessment he has made of the likelihood of the early arrest of Ratko Mladic; and if he will make a statement. 
Caroline Flint: Our assessment is that the Serbian government is working actively to secure the arrest and transfer of the remaining International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) indictees, including Ratko Mladic, to the Hague. We continue to urge the Serbian authorities to make every effort to ensure that the arrest and transfer of the remaining indictees take place as soon as possible.
Justine Greening: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs with reference to the answer of 25 November 2008, Official Report, columns 1208-10W, on redundancy, which posts were vacated by the staff who received severance packages of £100,000 and above; and if he will make a statement. 
[holding answer 16 March 2009]: My answer of 25 November 2008, Official Report, columns 1208-10W, detailed the total cost to the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) of funding each retirement package, not the value of packages received by staff themselves. The amount received by staff would have been considerably less than the total cost to the FCO of each package. Our resource accounts record all the costs charged to the FCO, including pension entitlements that staff would have received anyway from the Civil Service Pension Scheme and administrative charges picked up by the FCO. They do not record the actual extra sums received by staff for leaving early. We cannot
therefore identify which posts were vacated by staff whose severance package falls within the terms of this question.
As a result of our early retirement schemes, we have been able to reduce the size of our senior management grades by more than 20 per cent. and to restructure FCO Services, then an Executive agency, for successful launch in 2008 as a Trading Fund.
The size and structure of early retirement packages are determined by the provisions of the Civil Service Compensation Scheme and based on pension entitlements. The FCO does not have discretion to depart from these terms.
John Bercow: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what representations he has made through (a) the Commonwealth and (b) the United Nations Security Council on the arrest and detention in Zimbabwe of Roy Bennett. 
My right hon. Friend the Foreign Secretary has made clear that the rule of law and improved respect for human rights, including the issue of politically motivated detentions, are conditions for the resumption of international development support to Zimbabwe.
Caroline Flint: The Foreign and Commonwealth Office receives a regular stream of political analysis from its network of posts in Russia. In addition, the political situation is one of the issues discussed in regular contacts between Ministers and officials and the Russian Government. Earlier this month I met with my opposite number, deputy Foreign Minister Titov, and my noble Friend Lord Malloch-Brown had meetings with a number of government ministers in Moscow including Foreign Minister Lavrov. My right hon. Friend the Prime Minister will have discussions with President Medvedev during his visit to the UK for the London G20 Summit.
We continue to work with our international partners to address the problem posed by pirates operating off the coast of Somalia. At a meeting of the UN Security Council in December 2008, attended by my right hon. Friend the Foreign Secretary, the UK supported the adoption of UN Security Council resolution 1851, which recommended the establishment of an international Contact Group for Piracy off the Coast of Somalia (CGPCS). The inaugural meeting of the CGPCS
took place in New York in January 2009. This meeting led to the subsequent establishment of working groups tasked with considering four key issues:
Working Group 1: Operational and information support and establishment of a counter-piracy co-ordination centre;
Working Group 2: Judicial frameworks for arrest, prosecution and detention of pirates;
Working Group 3: Strengthening commercial shipping self-awareness and self-defence;
Working Group 4: Improving diplomatic and public information efforts.
Gillian Merron: It is not possible to obtain regular mortality figures in Darfur, or to disaggregate figures by cause. The UN emergency relief co-ordinator, John Holmes, has suggested that the conflict in Darfur may have caused up to 300,000 deaths since 2003.
John Bercow: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what discussions he has had with the Chinese government on the issue by the International Criminal Court of an arrest warrant for the Sudanese President Bashir. 
Gillian Merron: My right hon. Friend the Foreign Secretary met the Chinese Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi on 1 February 2009. They discussed the situation in Darfur including the possibility of the International Criminal Court imminently issuing an arrest warrant for President Bashir for war crimes.
My right hon. Friend the Prime Minister has recently written to Premier Wen expressing his concern over the humanitarian impact of the decision to expel thirteen international humanitarian non-governmental organisations. This is an issue we will continue to discuss with the Government of China.
Andrew Rosindell: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs how many times he has visited Syria on official business in the last three years; and what plans he has for further such visits. 
Mr. Sarwar: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what steps his Department has taken to support the achievement of the objectives of the UN Resolution 1820 on Women and peace and security. 
Gillian Merron: Since the passage of UN Security Council Resolution (UNSCR) 1820 in June 2008, the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) has taken several positive steps toward supporting moves to implement the objectives of the UNSCR, including:
Supporting the development and strengthening of the capacities of national institutions, in particular judicial and health systems and local civil society networks in the Democratic Republic of Congo and Afghanistan, in order to provide assistance to victims of sexual violence.
Working to mainstream the provisions of UNSCR 1820 into the mandates of UN peacekeeping missions, such as UNSCR 1861 for Chad/Central African Republic, and highlighting the importance of gender considerations in the training that peacekeepers receive, including from UK supported training.
Working for greater levels of representation of women in the mediation services provided by the UN and among deployed peacekeeping troop contingents.
Highlighting the importance of conduct and discipline of peacekeepers in committees such as the C-34 Special Committee on Peacekeeping Operations and the UN Security Council, including the provision of UK funding to the UN Conduct and Discipline unit.
We are looking forward to the UN Secretary-General's report on the implementation of this resolution on 30 June 2009 and the recommendations it contains. We will consider them carefully in relation to our own National Action Plan on UNSCR 1325.
John Bercow: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs how many Zimbabwean (a) politicians, (b) civil servants, (c) judges and (d) members of the armed forces are prohibited from entering the UK. 
Gillian Merron: 173 politicians, civil servants, judges and members of the armed forces (including police, ZANU-PF politburo, governors and former ministers), and an additional 30 individuals and 40 companies are currently subject to EU sanctions. All supported the Government of Zimbabwe or its violence and human rights abuses prior to Morgan Tsvangirai's inauguration as Prime Minister. Under the terms of the sanctions they are banned from travelling to the UK.
Gillian Merron: As of 19 March 2009, there were at least 28 political prisoners currently held in custody in Zimbabwe. Another seven missing people who were abducted last year are suspected to be in state custody. As my right hon. Friend the Foreign Secretary said in a press statement on 11 February 2009, the release of all political detainees, and the rule of law more broadly, will be one of the conditions for sustained development support for the new government.
Mr. Ancram: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs whether he plans to hold discussions with the Prime Minister of Zimbabwe on the political situation in that country. 
Gillian Merron: We are not aware of any extra-judicial executions having taken place in Zimbabwe in 2009. The Zimbabwe Human Rights Forum estimate there were three extra-judicial executions in Zimbabwe in 2007. At least 193 cases of politically motivated deaths occurred in 2008 since the March 2008 elections. We condemn the on-going disregard for the rule of law in Zimbabwe and call on the transitional Government to enact reform to protect the fundamental rights of its people.
Mr. Frank Field: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions in how many and what proportion of child maintenance cases in Birkenhead constituency payments were made correctly and on time in the latest year for which figures are available. 
Kitty Ussher [holding answer 19 March 2009]: The Child Maintenance and Enforcement Commission is responsible for the child maintenance system. I have therefore asked the Child Maintenance Commissioner to write to the right hon. Member with the information requested.
In reply to your recent Parliamentary Question, the Secretary of State promised a substantive reply from the Child Maintenance and Enforcement Commission.
You asked the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, how many and what proportion of child maintenance cases, in Birkenhead constituency, payments were made correctly and on time in the latest year for which figures are available. .
Information on the accuracy of individual payments made is not available. Information on the accuracy of maintenance assessments at a national level only is available and is regularly published in
Table 17 of the Child Support Agency Quarterly Summary of Statistics. The latest version of which is available in the House of Commons library or online at:
and shows that in the year ending December 2008, 83% of current scheme and 94% of old scheme assessments were accurate to the nearest penny.
The Agency aims to make maintenance payments to parents with care within a week of receiving the money from the non-resident parent. The Agency only holds information relating to the 70% of maintenance cases in the Birkenhead constituency maintained on the CS2 computer system. Of the 15,600 recorded payments made to parents with care on the CS2 computer system in the year ending December 2008, 94% were sent to the parent with care within seven days of the payment arriving in the Agencys bank account.
I hope you find this answer helpful.
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