|Previous Section||Index||Home Page|
UN Security Council Resolution 1860, initiated by the UK, highlights the international community's clear and unequivocal call for a durable ceasefire in Gaza, and for the unimpeded provision and distribution of humanitarian supplies to the people of Gaza. It also calls for action to make a ceasefire effective and sustainable, including stopping arms trafficking into Gaza and opening the crossings into Gaza.
The UK has pledged approximately £50 million to help towards alleviating the humanitarian situation in Gaza and we continue to urge the Israeli Government to ease border controls and permit the flow of essential supplies.
We have also taken a proactive approach to help prevent the smuggling of arms, ammunition and weapons components to armed groups in Gazaalong with
opening the crossings to legitimate goods. The London conference on 13 March 2009 built on the progress made in Copenhagen on 3-5 February 2009 and agreed a programme of action between the nine participating countries (Canada, Denmark, France, Germany, Italy, Netherlands, Norway, the UK, and the US). A copy of the programme of action is available for viewing online at:
Mr. Hancock: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will have discussions with his EU counterparts on steps to clarify the borders of Morocco for the purpose of trade between Morocco and the EU. 
Our officials are in regular discussion with EU colleagues about a range of issues relating to Morocco. Trade is an important element of the UKs bilateral relationship with Morocco, and plays a significant part in the EUs co-operation with Morocco.
The issue of Western Sahara remains part of the political dialogue between the EU and Morocco, which will be discussed at the next Association Council later this year. The Government regard the status of Western Sahara as undetermined pending UN efforts to broker a negotiated solution providing for the self-determination of the people of Western Sahara.
Richard Burden: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what reports he has received on the arrest of former Deputy Prime Minister Naser Al-Shaer and other Palestinian parliamentarians in the West Bank; and if he will make a statement. 
Bill Rammell: We are aware of reports on the arrest of Deputy Prime Minister Naser Al-Shaer and other Palestinian parliamentarians in the West Bank. However, we along with the international community want to see a lasting political solution to the conflict between the Israelis and Palestinians. We do not think that arresting the Hamas political leadership in the West Bank is a positive step.
Mr. Hands: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what discussions he has had with HM Ambassador to the Democratic Peoples Republic of Korea on his comments on the recent elections in that country published on the Departments blog platform. 
is not an idyllic country and that the policies of the governmentincluding a worrying nuclear programme, provocative military confrontation with the South, and a brutal human rights recordhave resulted in deep economic stagnation and have isolated the country from the rest of the world.
Grant Shapps: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs pursuant to the answer of 12 March 2009, Official Report, columns 626-27W, on economic situation, what expenditure was incurred under what budgetary headings his Department incurred on its Overseas Territories Consultative Council held on 28 and 29 October 2008. 
All charges were funded by the Overseas Territories Programme Fund, which is administered by the Overseas Territories Directorate other than the cost of the evening reception which was funded by the Government Hospitality fund which is administered by Protocol Directorate of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office.
John Mason: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs whether his Department has engaged any (a) actors, (b) musicians and (c) other performers to support its initiatives over the last five years. 
Gillian Merron: The Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) has used actors to support a range of training, recruitment and assessment initiatives. It is possible that musicians and performers have been used more widely in the FCO in the last five years, for example as part of specific public diplomacy efforts overseas. Detailed information about their use is not held centrally and could be provided only at disproportionate cost.
Pete Wishart: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs which non-governmental organisations the Prime Ministers Special Representative for Conflict Resolution Mechanisms has met since his appointment; and what issues were raised. 
The right hon. Jack McConnell MSP, the Prime Ministers Special Representative for Conflict Resolution Mechanisms, meets a range of governments,
regional organisations and international institutions to promote dialogue on my right hon. Friend the Prime Ministers initiative to improve the international mechanisms for conflict resolution. Meetings with non-governmental organisations are built into his programme when he visits the United Nations and others.
Pete Wishart: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs which countries the Prime Ministers Special Envoy for Conflict Resolution has visited in his official role since his appointment; and what the costs of these visits were. 
Bill Rammell: The right hon. Jack McConnell, Member of the Scottish Parliament (MSP), my right hon. Friend the Prime Ministers Special Representative for Conflict Resolution Mechanisms, has travelled to Brussels, New York and Cyprus (to take part in Exercise Joint Venture 08). The Ministry of Defence met the costs of the Cyprus visit. The estimated costs of the other two visits is £4,700.
Pete Wishart: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what administrative support the Government provides for the Prime Ministers Special Envoy for Conflict Resolution; and what the cost has been of providing this support. 
Bill Rammell [holding answer 22 January 2009]: Administrative support for right hon. Jack McConnell MSP, the Prime Ministers Special Representative for Conflict Resolution Mechanisms, is currently provided by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office from within existing resources.
We continue to raise the urgent need for a political solution with the Government of Sri Lanka. Since my right hon. Friend the Prime Minister wrote to President Rajapakse in January 2009, my right hon. Friend the Foreign Secretary has spoken to the Sri Lankan President and the Sri Lankan Minister for Foreign Affairs. My noble friend the right hon. Lord Malloch-Brown, the Minister for Africa, Asia and the UN, has also had regular telephone contact with the Sri Lankan Foreign Minister, most recently on 16 March 2009, when they discussed the political and humanitarian situation. Our High Commission in Colombo conveys our concerns to the government of Sri Lanka at every opportunity.
Mr. Burstow: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs when he expects the Prime Ministers special envoy to Sri Lanka to take up his post; and if he will make a statement. 
Bill Rammell: On 12 February 2009, my right hon. Friend the Prime Minister announced the appointment of the right hon. Des Browne MP as his Special Envoy for Sri Lanka. The appointment is a measure of the UKs continuing commitment to Sri Lanka. The Sri Lankan government are yet to accept the appointment, but we remain in ongoing discussions with them on the issue.
Our high commission in Colombo continues to monitor the political situation in Sri Lanka closely, maintaining contact with major players. We regularly discuss the situation in Sri Lanka with international partners as well as the Government of Sri Lanka. Most recently my noble Friend, the right hon. Lord Malloch-Brown, the Minister for Africa, Asia and the UN, spoke to the Sri Lankan Minister for Foreign Affairs on 16 March 2009 about the political and humanitarian situation. Our view remains that a political solution that addresses the legitimate concerns of all communities in Sri Lanka is the only way to bring a sustainable end to the conflict.
Bill Rammell: My right hon. Friend the Foreign Secretary met with the Chinese Foreign Secretary Yang Jiechi on 1 February 2009. They discussed the situation in Darfur including the possibility of the International Criminal Court imminently indicting 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 government of Sudans decision to expel 13 international humanitarian non-governmental organisations and 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 tourists have visited Syria from the United Kingdom in each of the last five years for which records are available. 
Ms Katy Clark: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs pursuant to the answer of 10 March 2009, Official Report, column 228W, on Western Sahara: fisheries, if he will make it his policy to seek the inclusion of a reference to Western Sahara in any future fisheries agreement between the EU and Morocco. 
Bill Rammell: The current EU-Morocco Fisheries Partnership Association (FPA) came into force on 28 February 2007 and runs for four years. Any future negotiations on the expiry of the FPA will take into account any changes in the current situation of Western Sahara that may occur over that time.
Joan Walley: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will make it his policy to seek the inclusion of a human rights monitoring role in the mandate for the United Nations Mission for the Referendum in Western Sahara upon its renewal. 
Martin Horwood: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development how much his Department spent on overseas development assistance in respect of forestry research in (a) each year since 1999 and (b) 2009 on the latest date for which figures are available, broken down by expenditure type. 
Mr. Thomas: Forestry research is an important part of the Department for International Development's (DFID) new Research Strategy. DFID supports it through the Centre for International Forestry Research (CIFOR) and the International Centre for Research on Agroforestry (ICRAF) programmes (valued at £1.26 million per annum). DFID also contributes to forestry research through direct core support to the existing African sub-regional research organisations in east, central and west Africa. Details of DFID's contributions since 1999 are detailed in the following table:
|DFID's contribution 1999-2000 to 2008-09|
|Financial year||Centre for International Forestry Research||Forestry Research Programme||International Centre for Research in Agroforestry||Total|
|n/a = not available|
|Next Section||Index||Home Page|