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David Miliband: The Government strongly support the proposed EU-Pakistan summit and continue to encourage the Czech presidency to set an ambitious agenda that will deliver tangible benefits to Pakistan. We believe the summit should focus on security, counter-terrorism, trade and building democracy.
Mr. Hayes: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what estimate he has made of the average cost to the public purse of an appeal to the European Court of Human Rights in which the Government are a party (a) in the latest period for which figures are available and (b) in 1997. 
Caroline Flint: The Foreign and Commonwealth Office does not hold a record of the estimated average cost to the public purse of the Government's defence of applications in the European Court of Human Rights.
Mr. Hayes: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs on what occasions the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe has been asked to review a case before the European Court of Human Rights involving the United Kingdom in the last 10 years; and what conclusion was reached in each case. 
Caroline Flint: The Council of Europe (CoE) Committee of Ministers considers judgments of the European Court of Human Rights against the United Kingdom at its quarterly meetings for supervision of execution of judgments. Information about the cases considered at each meeting and the decisions taken is publicly available on the CoE Committee of Ministers website at:
Mr. Evans: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs on what dates he had (a) discussions and (b) meetings with the European Union Special Representative for the Great Lakes Region on the situation in the region in the last 12 months. 
Gillian Merron: [holding answer 12 May 2009]: There have been no meetings between my right hon. Friend the Foreign Secretary and the EU Special Representative for the Great Lakes Region, Roeland van de Geer, in the last 12 months.
My noble Friend, the Minister for Africa, Asia and the UN, Lord Malloch-Brown, met Mr. van de Geer on 28 May 2008 and on 4 September 2008. They also both attended the regional summit held by the International Conference on the Great Lakes Region in Nairobi on 7 November 2008.
Bob Spink: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs how much his Department spent on compliance with requirements of health and safety at work legislation in each of the last five years; and if he will make a statement. 
Gillian Merron: Health and Safety considerations are an important factor in decisions about expenditure on the maintenance and improvement of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office estate and on the security and healthcare arrangements we put in place for our staff overseas.
Mr. Jim Cunningham: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what discussions he has had with representatives of (a) the Israeli Government and (b) the Palestinian authorities on the recent ceasefire in Gaza. 
Mr. Jim Cunningham: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what discussions he has had with (a) UN representatives, (b) members of the Quartet and (c) his EU counterparts on the recent ceasefire in Gaza. 
Bill Rammell: We are in close touch with the UN, US, Russia and our EU counterparts about the situation in Gaza. Most recently, Gaza was discussed in the context of the wider Middle East Peace Process at the General Affairs and External Relations Council on 27 April 2009.
Mr. Hague: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs pursuant to the oral answer from Lord Malloch-Brown to Lord Hannay of Chiswick of 20 April 2009, Official Report, House of Lords, column 1248, what changes are to be made to the (a) number of and (b) level of funding for civilian secondees to conflict prevention and peacekeeping operations; what funding was allocated to civilian secondees in 2008-09; how many UK civilian secondees to each (i) country and (ii) operation there were in that year; and if he will make a statement. 
David Miliband: In financial year (FY) 2009-10, the Government will provide 80 civilian and police secondees to discretionary, international peacekeeping operations compared with 127 in FY 2008-09. The following table sets out the number of civilian and police secondees by country and operation in FY 2008-09 and FY 2009-10.
|Figures at end of 2008-09||Prioritised figures for 2009-10|
In FY 2008-09, civilian secondees to discretionary peacekeeping missions were funded from the Governments Peacekeeping Budget. We cannot provide an exact figure for civilian and police deployment costs in 2008-09. However, we estimate it to be some £16 million. In FY 2009-10, all discretionary peacekeeping activity will be funded from the £171 million available for discretionary conflict prevention, stabilisation and peacekeeping activity, as set out in my written statement to the House of 25 March 2009, Official Report, column 17-18WS. It is possible that further resources, for example from the reserve of that discretionary fund, will be made available during the course of the year depending on priorities.
Mr. Holloway: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs whether (a) he and (b) his officials have met representatives of the Governments of (i) India, (ii) Iran, (iii) China, (iv) Pakistan, (v) Syria and (vi) Russia to discuss the conflict in Sri Lanka in the last three months; and if he will make a statement. 
Bill Rammell [holding answer 6 May 2009]: My right hon. Friend the Foreign Secretary has had regular discussions with a range of international partners on the situation in Sri Lanka, including Indian Foreign Minister Mukherjee. Our officials have had discussions with international partners, including members of the UN Security Council.
The Foreign Secretary made an oral statement in the House on 30 April 2009, Official Report , columns 1048-50W, following his visit to Sri Lanka on 29 April 2009 to meet with the Sri Lankan Government.
Mr. Ancram: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what recent representations he has made to the Government of Sri Lanka on the avoidance of civilian deaths among the Tamil population in the north of Sri Lanka. 
Bill Rammell: My right hon. Friend the Foreign Secretary visited Sri Lanka on 29 April 2009 with French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner, for talks with the Sri Lankan Government on the ongoing conflict and the grave humanitarian impact. In his discussions with President Rajapakse and Foreign Minister Bogollogama, the Foreign Secretary made clear that the protection of civilians must be paramount.
Mr. Drew: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what recent discussions he has had with the International Criminal Court on the status of Sudanese President al-Bashir. 
Gillian Merron [holding answer 12 May 2009]: Following the announcement of the International Criminal Courts (ICC) decision to issue an arrest warrant for President Bashir on counts of war crimes and crimes against humanity on 4 March 2009, my right hon. Friend the Foreign Secretary issued a statement supporting the ICC as an independent judicial body, urging the Government of Sudan to co-operate with the court, and reiterating UK support to peace in Sudan. We have reiterated this message in contacts with international partners and in other public statements. As with all state parties to the Rome Statute, we have regular contact with the ICC on a range of court business.
Daniel Kawczynski: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs how many UK nationals have claimed to his Department's staff in the last three years that they had been tortured overseas; and how many such cases have been investigated. 
Gillian Merron: The UK is opposed to torture and is one of the most active countries in the world in the fight to eradicate it. Ensuring the welfare of British nationals detained abroad is one of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office's highest consular priorities, and any allegation of abuse or torture is taken particularly seriously.
Since 1 April 2005 we have collated statistics on the number of cases where we have, with the permission of the British national concerned, raised concerns with the detaining authorities over allegations of torture or abuse. These are as follows:
|Number of allegations raised|
Our case files also record all instances where UK nationals have approached departmental staff overseas claiming to have been mistreated overseas. Until this month we did not centrally collate these records, and to extract this information would incur a disproportionate cost. However, since May 2009 we have introduced a new system to record the total number of cases of mistreatment raised with us anywhere in the world, and we expect the first data to be available in October 2009.
While we cannot conduct investigations in another sovereign country ourselves, the objective of our representations to foreign Governments is to end any ongoing mistreatment, and have the incident investigated and the perpetrators of any abuse brought to justice.
Jo Swinson: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs whether he has received reports of alleged video evidence of acts of torture by uniformed police and others in the United Arab Emirates. 
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