|Previous Section||Index||Home Page|
Mr. Burrowes: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice what timetable he has set for the publication of the strategy on the health and social care needs of children and younger people across the youth justice pathway, referred to in his Department's response to Lord Bradley's report. 
A strategy to meet the health and social care needs of children and young people across the youth justice pathway is being developed following the launch of Lord Bradley's review of people with mental health problems or learning disabilities in the criminal justice system. The strategy for children and young people is expected to be published in the autumn 2009 following approval from the forthcoming Health and Criminal Justice Programme Board.
10. Mr. Jim Cunningham: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what assessment he has made of the effect of President Obama's recent visit to Europe on US-EU relations. 
Bill Rammell: This was an important visit to Europe by President Obama. His meetings with partners in the G20, NATO and EU reinforced the importance of working together and helped to build further the shared sense of direction we need for a strong transatlantic relationship.
11. Rosie Cooper: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what assessment he has made of the implications for UK policy of the outcomes of the recent London G20 Summit. 
Gillian Merron: The G20 London Summit was a significant success for the UK, with key agreements on: financial regulation; reform of financial institutions; preventing protectionism; development, and climate change. All of these are critical for restoring growth, building stability and supporting jobs.
12. Tom Levitt: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what recent assessment he has made of discussions with his European counterparts on a united European approach to the Middle East peace process. 
Bill Rammell: The EU has a hugely important role to play in achieving peace in the Middle East. When we last discussed this issue at the end of April, all 27 EU Foreign Ministers agreed that the EU approach to the Middle East Peace Process should be clear: support a two-state solution as the only viable outcome of a final settlement. Both the EU and the UK will pursue this goal vigorously in the coming months.
Bill Rammell: We are encouraged by recent developments in the Middle East Peace Process (MEPP). The new Israeli Government has signalled a commitment to resume peace negotiations including a political track. The Palestinian Authority is also ready to enter peace negotiations with the new Israeli Government when the conditions are right. The Obama Administration has made a priority of the MEPP, appointing Senator Mitchell as a Special Envoy. The United Nations Security Council, chaired by Russia, discussed the MEPP on 11 May and issued a Presidential Statement.
The MEPP remains a priority for HM Government. We shall continue to support efforts towards a two-state solution. My right hon. Friend the Foreign Secretary reiterated this during his intervention at the UN on 11 May.
15. Mr. Flello: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what recent discussions he has had in the General Affairs Council on EU policy to tackle trade protectionism; and if he will make a statement. 
22. Gordon Banks: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what recent discussions he has had in the General Affairs Council on EU policy to tackle trade protectionism; and if he will make a statement. 
My right hon. Friend the Foreign Secretary has not had any recent discussions at the General Affairs council on EU policy to tackle trade
protectionism. Agreement at Spring European Council ahead of the London Summit to keep markets open and avoid all form of protectionist measures demonstrates Europe is committed to rejecting protectionism in order to facilitate a recovery of the world economy.
Bill Rammell: The UK remains concerned with the severe humanitarian situation in Gaza. We have continually urged Israel to open the crossings into Gaza, particularly for humanitarian aid, but also for reconstruction materials and trade and have already raised this issue with the new Israeli Government. My right hon. Friend the Foreign Secretary made this clear in his meeting with the Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman on 13 May 2009 and also in his statement to the UN on 11 May 2009.
17. Anne Moffat: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what discussions he has held with his US counterpart on EU-US relations following President Obamas recent visit to Europe. 
Bill Rammell: Close dialogue between the EU and US remains essential as we tackle the range of challenges we share. My right hon. Friend the Foreign Secretary will continue to engage with my European and American colleagues closely on how we can work together to address these issuesas he last did with US Secretary of State Hilary Clinton in Washington on 12 May 2009.
Bill Rammell: We believe that there are about 80,000 British nationals in Pakistan at any one time. All but a small percentage are dual nationals either resident in Pakistan or visiting family members. We do not have accurate figures for the number of British nationals in Swat but this is not an area recognised as having particularly high concentrations of British nationals when compared to other parts of the country.
19. Mr. Joyce: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what reports he has received on the suspension of the BBC Kinyarwanda service for Rwanda; and if he will make a statement. 
The BBC Kinyarwanda service for Rwanda is suspended on FM due to Government action. I am concerned at this development and assured by BBC World Service that they are seeking urgent clarification
of the Governments decision. The World Service refutes allegations of misreporting and is making every effort to get FM broadcasts in Kinyarwanda restored.
20. Ann Winterton: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what recent assessment he has made of the extent to which the Governments political objectives for Afghanistan have been achieved since 2001. 
Bill Rammell: My right hon. Friend the Prime Minister set out our assessment of the current situation in Afghanistan and the way forward in his statement to Parliament on 29 April 2009, Official Report, column 869, and the associated strategy document. We keep progress against our objectives in Afghanistan under constant review.
21. David Wright: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what discussions he has had with his Swedish counterpart on the Swedish Presidencys programme for the General Affairs Council. 
Caroline Flint: I visited Stockholm on 28 April for talks with the Swedish Europe Minister, Cecilia Malmstrom. Sweden has clearly prioritised: tackling the global financial crisis; overseeing the coming EU institutional changes; and working towards an ambitious global agreement at the UN Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen this December. We welcome these priorities.
Mr. Blunt: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what discussions he has had with his Swedish counterpart on the Swedish Presidencys programme for the General Affairs Council. 
Caroline Flint: I visited Stockholm on 28 April for talks with the Swedish Europe Minister, Cecilia Malmstrom. Sweden has set clear priorities: tackling the global financial crisis; overseeing EU institutional changes; and working towards an ambitious global agreement at the UN Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen this December. We support these priorities.
23. Sir Nicholas Winterton: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will seek an early meeting with the Prime Minister of Zimbabwe to discuss the political situation in that country. 
Gillian Merron: My right hon. Friend, the Foreign Secretary welcomed Finance Minister Biti to a meeting on 30 April 2009. My noble Friend the Minister for Africa, Asia and the UN, Lord Malloch Brown, also met Biti on that day, and met Prime Minister Tsvangirai and Foreign Minister Mumbengegwi in South Africa on 9 May 2009the first official meetings between British and Zimbabwean Ministers since April 2000 and reflecting the UKs concern to support the ongoing process of reform in Zimbabwe.
Daniel Kawczynski: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs how many British citizens are directly employed by his Department in (a) Afghanistan and (b) Iraq; and in what capacities. 
The number of British citizens employed in Afghanistan and Iraq includes all FCO staff (civil servants and inward secondees), those employed under an individual contract with the FCO as well as those contracted to a hiring company under contract to the FCO. Contracted staff include cleaning, catering, security, medical and facilities management.
Mr. Keith Simpson: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what recent reports he has received on the health of Aung San Suu Kyi and the medical treatment that she is receiving; and if he will make a statement. 
Bill Rammell: Following the arrest of Aung San Suu Kyi's doctor on 7 May 2009, an assistant doctor was permitted to visit Aung San Suu Kyi on Friday 8 May 2009 and reported that she suffered from low blood pressure and dehydration. Mrs Suu Kyi was reported to be in good spirits during a further visit permitted on Monday 11 May 2009. We have received reports that she appeared to be in good health on arrival for her trial on 18 May 2009. We understand that her doctor has now been released but we are not aware that he has been able to see Mrs Suu Kyi since her arrest.
Mr. Keith Simpson: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what recent reports he has received on the conditions in Insein Prison in Burma; and if he will make a statement. 
Bill Rammell: On 16 February, the UN Special Rapporteur on Human Rights in Burma, Tomas Quintana, was able to visit Insein prison as part of his fact finding tour to the country. He was able in inspect certain areas of the prison, although his visit was heavily stage-managed by the Burmese authorities. In his report of 11 March 2009 he drew attention to some prisoners being shackled and their lack of access to legal representation. We support his call for the release of all political prisoners in Insein prison and elsewhere.
Mr. Keith Simpson: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what plans there are for the UN Security Council to take steps in response to the arrest and detention of Aung San Suu Kyi by the Burmese regime on 14 May 2009; and if he will make a statement. 
We are continuing to discuss the situation with our international colleagues in the UN. Once the outcome of the trial is known, we will actively consider how best to engage members of the UN Security Council further on the situation in Burma.
Gillian Merron [holding answer 18 May 2009]: The British and Australian Governments are in regular and close contact at ministerial and official level to discuss the full range of international security challenges. My right hon. Friend the Foreign Secretary has regular discussions on security issues with his Australian counterpart most recently in London in April 2009.
During the visit of the Australian Prime Minister for the London summit in April, a joint statement was issued by my right hon. Friend the Prime Minister and Prime Minister Rudd, which agreed a new and comprehensive security partnership covering key areas of common concern.
Mr. Keith Simpson: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what recent discussions he has had with his UN Security Council (UNSC) counterparts on implementation of UNSC Resolution 1843 in South Kivu. 
Gillian Merron: The UN Security Council most recently discussed the uplift of personnel and resources for the UN peacekeeping mission in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) (MONUC) in consultations on 9 April 2009. This matter will also be raised during a UN Security Council visit to the DRC between 17 and 18 May 2009. On 13 May 2009, my noble Friend the Minister for Africa, Asia and the UN, Lord Malloch-Brown, discussed the issue with Alan Doss, the Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General for DRC.
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs how much his Department paid for telecommunications services in
the most recent year for which figures are available; when the contract with its existing telecommunications supplier referred to on page 131 of the Budget Red Book 2009 was signed; who the telecommunications supplier is; and what steps he plans to take to achieve the £6 million per annum saving referred to on page 131 of the Budget Red Book. 
Gillian Merron: In the financial year 2008-09 the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) spent £26 million on centrally funded telecommunications services, net of VAT. The contract with the current supplier, Global Crossing, was signed on 10 May 2000.
The contract provides a review mechanism enabling the FCO to ensure that it continues to receive value for money over the term of the agreement. Savings arising from changed technologies and market conditions have been identified and passed on by the supplier as an agreed series of cost reductions. As a result the amount paid in 2008-09 was £26 million, not the £32 million originally agreed. This mechanism will operate for the remaining duration of the contract.
|Next Section||Index||Home Page|