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8 Jun 2009 : Column 693W—continued

Nuclear Weapons

Mr. Dai Davies: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what progress has been made at the UN Conference on Disarmament on the negotiation of a treaty prohibiting the production of fissionable materials for nuclear weapons. [278600]

Bill Rammell: The UN Conference on Disarmament formally adopted a Programme of Work (CD/1863) on 29 May 2009 which includes negotiations on a fissile material cut-off treaty (FMCT) based on the 1995 Shannon mandate.

We welcome this decision. Opening negotiations on an FMCT has long been a UK objective.

Pakistan: Religious Freedom

Mr. Drew: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what recent reports he has received in the case of Qamar David, on trial in
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Karachi on blasphemy charges; what representations he has made to the government of Pakistan on the case; and if he will make a statement. [276191]

Bill Rammell: Officials at our high commission in Islamabad are monitoring Mr. David's case. The next court hearing is scheduled for 16 June 2009. While legal proceedings are in progress, we are unable to intervene. As such we have not specifically raised Mr. David's case with the Government of Pakistan.

Bilaterally and with our EU partners we have raised the frequent abuse of Pakistan's blasphemy legislation and have called for reform or repeal of these discriminatory laws.

Republic of Ireland: Treaty of Lisbon

Mr. Hayes: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs how much the EU has spent on providing information in Ireland on the treaty of Lisbon; and if he will make a statement. [277126]

Caroline Flint: I am not aware of how much the EU has spent on providing information in Ireland specifically on the treaty of Lisbon. I understand that the European Commission will provide €1.8 million for 2009 and 2010 to improve the provision of public information on the EU in Ireland. Similar arrangements exist in other EU member states. Communications activities will cover a large variety of European policy areas. For 2009, the priorities are the European Parliament elections, energy and climate change, 20th anniversary of the democratic changes in Central and Eastern Europe and Europe’s response to the financial crisis and economic slowdown.

Further information can be found on the European Commission’s website at:

Tibet: Politics and Government

Mr. Carmichael: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs when his Department next plans to assess the (a) political and (b) human rights situation in Tibet. [278479]

Bill Rammell: The Foreign and Commonwealth Office makes regular assessments of the political and human rights situation in Tibet.

Staff from our embassy in Beijing were most recently able to visit Tibet in May this year. There they were able to assess the situation of the Tibetan people, and found that many monasteries were able to carry out daily religious rites without obvious interference, though there was clear evidence of continued government restrictions in matters such as the numbers of monks and reverence of the Dalai Lama. In general security force presence had returned to similar levels as before the riots in March 2008. The exception was in the old town of Lhasa where there had been a visible increase. Embassy representatives heard that in future access to Tibet for foreigners, including tourists and official visitors would continue to ease. I intend to pursue our concerns in further detail during my own visit to Tibet later next month.

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Shooting Venue

5. Mr. Swayne: To ask the Minister for the Olympics what recent representations she has received on the shooting venue for the London 2012 Olympics. [278222]

Tessa Jowell: I have received around 140 representations since the Olympic Board confirmed Woolwich as the shooting venue in March, including from the hon. Member and 116 other MPs on behalf of their constituents, Southern Counties Shooting Limited and other members of the public.

Environmental Sustainability

7. Linda Gilroy: To ask the Minister for the Olympics if she will make it her policy to ensure that the London 2012 Olympics are environmentally sustainable. [278224]

Tessa Jowell: Sustainability was at the heart of our bid to host the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games and remains so—we are fully committed to ensuring both the Olympic and Paralympic Games are the most sustainable of modern times.

The Games in London will set new standards of sustainable development, with the Olympic Park and venues being designed and built according to sustainable principles.

At the sailing venue in Weymouth and Portland for example, 15-20 per cent. of its electricity is generated by on-site solar panels, all captured rain water is being recycled, and sustainable transport networks are being installed to and from the venue, from cycling and walking paths, to park and ride schemes.

Sporting and Cultural Activities

8. Siobhain McDonagh: To ask the Minister for the Olympics what recent discussions she has had with representatives of local authorities on their involvement in sporting and cultural activities which embody the spirit of the London 2012 Olympics. [278225]

Tessa Jowell: I meet regularly with local authorities in my visits around the country and there are regular discussions between my officials and local authorities on a wide range of Games related issues.

The London 2012 Open Weekend will be held across the UK between 24-26 July 2009.1 encourage local authorities, sports, arts, and cultural organisations to register their projects as part of the London 2012 Inspire programme and to showcase their work at Open Weekend.

Already over 90 Cultural Olympiad projects are included as part of the Inspire programme.


Mr. Joyce: To ask the Minister for the Olympics what criteria will be used to judge the success of the London 2012 Paralympics. [278220]

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Tessa Jowell: The Olympic Games and Paralympic Games in London 2012 will set new standards in accessibility for venues, accommodation and transport, providing a greater athlete, official and spectator experience.

For the first time the Paralympic Games is fully integrated into the organising committee's plans. We are committed to delivering full arenas, accessible infrastructure, and of course more British medals.


Joan Ryan: To ask the Minister for the Olympics what estimate she has made of the number of apprenticeships that will be available on sites being developed to host the London 2012 Olympics. [278223]

Tessa Jowell: In January this year, the ODA announced that an additional 250 apprenticeships would be created on the Olympic Park and Village, bringing the total number to 350. To achieve this, the ODA will mandate that apprentices make up 3 per cent. of project work forces for the remaining £500 million worth of contracts. This exceeds the industry average for London and the south-east.

This increases the ODA's overall target for trainees, apprentices and work placements to 2,250.


Afghanistan: Peacekeeping Operations

Mr. Robathan: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many armed forces personnel taking rest and recuperation from Operation Herrick in Afghanistan have been delayed for more than 24 hours awaiting their return flight to Afghanistan from Brize Norton since 1 January 2009; and if he will make a statement. [260366]

Mr. Quentin Davies [holding answer 3 March 2009]: We record information relating to flight delays, but we do not centrally hold information on why individual travellers are delayed or the purpose of their travel. Therefore, this information could be provided only at disproportionate cost.

Nick Harvey: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many civilians have been killed by enhanced blast munitions in Afghanistan since 2007. [278090]

Mr. Bob Ainsworth: I refer the hon. Member to the answer my predecessor gave on 27 October 2008, Official Report, columns 622-63W, to the right hon. and learned Member for Devizes (Mr. Ancram).


Mr. Willetts: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence pursuant to the answers of 11 February 2009, Official Report, column 1993W and 24 February 2009 Official Report, column 741W, on apprentices, for what reasons the number of apprenticeships in his Department declined from 2007-08 to 2008-09. [262699]

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Mr. Kevan Jones: In the 2007-08 reporting period, the Department delivered 8,758 armed forces and civil service apprentice completions. The apprenticeships detailed in my written answer on 24 February 2009, Official Report, column 741W, refers to a specific pilot scheme for civil servants and not the entire departmental number of apprentice completions. The Department will collate the details of armed forces and civil service apprentice completions during 2008-09 in August 2009. At this stage, we can not compare figures from both 2007-08 and 2008-09.

Armed Forces: Foreigners

Mr. Gordon Prentice: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many and what percentage of personnel in each regiment of the Army were Commonwealth soldiers at the latest date for which figures are available. [278243]

Mr. Kevan Jones: Personnel data by regiment are not held in the format requested. However, the following Army figures provided are available.

Training Regular Army Commonwealth Officers and Soldiers as at 1 April 2009
Army/ Service Number( 1) of personnel with a Commonwealth nationality Percentage of personnel with a Commonwealth nationality




















































AGC (Unknown)






























No Value



(1) denotes provisional. Due to the ongoing validation of data on the Joint Personnel Administration System all Army data from 1 April 2007 are provisional and subject to review.
1. Percentages have been calculated using a denominator that includes all trained regular strength with a known nationality. It therefore excludes FTRS and Gurkhas but includes those individuals who have transferred from GURTAM to UKTAP.
2. Totals have been rounded to the nearest 10 for presentation purposes.
3. Data have been rounded to the nearest 5 to limit disclosure and ensure confidentiality
4. Data less than 5 have been suppressed and replaced with ‘*’.
5. Totals have been rounded separately and so may not appear to be the sum of their parts.

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