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Norman Baker: To ask the Prime Minister if he will take steps to ensure that Ministers observe paragraph 9.3 of the Ministerial Code in relation to written ministerial statements on the last days before the summer recess. 
Mr. Watson: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs pursuant to the written ministerial statement of 30 March 2009, Official Report, columns 40-42WS, on Colombia, what progress has been made in his Department's work with trade union partners on labour relations in Colombia. 
Chris Bryant: We continue to work with the Trades Union Congress (TUC) and their Colombian counterparts, the Arbitration and Conciliation Advisory Service (ACAS) and others on opportunities aimed at strengthening labour relations in Colombia.
Representatives from the TUC, ACAS and the Confederation of British Industry visited Colombia in 2008 to look at the relationship between the Government, employers and unions. Their findings highlighted a number of challenges, and we are presently considering proposals for projects to address some of those challenges.
Chris Bryant: Land mine clearance projects in Colombia have been supported by the Conflict Prevention Pool, which is funded jointly by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, the Department for International Development and the Ministry of Defence.
Mr. Watson: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what recent discussions he has had with the Government of Colombia on press freedom in that country; and if he will make a statement. 
Chris Bryant: Freedom of expression and of the press is an issue we raise regularly with the Colombian Government. Our embassy in Colombia has committed over £600,000 to projects in this field over the next two years, which include a programme for strengthening national networks for journalists.
The press in Colombia play a vital role in bringing matters of importance to the public's attention. They have been instrumental in exposing wrongdoings, and have provided an important platform for the political opposition.
Chris Bryant: My right hon. Friend the Foreign Secretary spent 81 hours on his ministerial duties in the week commencing 21 June 2009. This includes meetings, dinner engagements and telephone conversations, as well as overseas trips. It does not include the time spent working on the ministerial box at home or constituency matters. The Foreign Secretary spends as much time as necessary to fulfil his ministerial and constituency obligations.
Mr. Amess: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what steps he has taken at the United Nations on allegations of misappropriation of aid by Hamas; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Ivan Lewis: The UK has had a number of working-level contacts with UN counterparts on this issue. The UN has been putting in place a range of verification and quality assurance procedures to minimise the risk of misappropriation of aid.
Mr. Amess: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what recent discussions he has had with the government of Israel on the status of Jerusalem as capital of Israel; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Ivan Lewis: The Government's position is very clear in support of a two-state solution based on the 1967 borders, with Jerusalem as the capital of both Israel and Palestine. My right hon. Friend the Foreign Secretary made this clear in the House on 30 June 2009, Official Report, column 152.
Mr. Amess: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what reports he has received of the number of settlements removed by the government of Israel since 1997; and if he will make a statement. 
We consider all Israeli settlement activity to be illegal and in contravention of international law. Settlement activity remains one of the major obstacles towards achieving a peaceful solution in the Middle East. My right hon. Friend the Foreign Secretary made this clear during his recent meeting with the Israeli Defence Minister. We will continue to raise this issue both in public and private.
Mr. Amess: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what steps he (a) has taken recently and (b) plans to take during the next 12 months to improve UK relations with Israel; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Ivan Lewis: Israel is a close ally of the UK and we have regular warm and productive exchanges at all levels. Most recently, my right hon. Friend the Foreign Secretary met the Israeli Defence Minister Ehud Barak on 6 July 2009. We shall continue to foster a close relationship with Israel.
Jo Swinson: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what reports he has received on the recent statement by the Head of Shin Bet Yuval Diskin on the West Bank security barrier. 
While we recognise fully Israel's right to self-defence and agree that if it decides to build a barrier, it should be able to do so, we will continue to make clear to the Government of Israel, both in private and in public, that the barrier must be built either on or behind the green line.
Daniel Kawczynski: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs when and where he last met Senator George Mitchell in his capacity as the US administration's special envoy to the Middle East. 
Mr. Ivan Lewis: The Government remain concerned at the continuing high level of instability in the Niger Delta. We welcome the Nigerian Government's announcement of an amnesty and hope that this can lead to constructive dialogue towards reaching political, economic and environmental stability and development benefiting communities in the Delta. The UK stands ready to assist if requested by the Nigerian Government.
My noble Friend the Minister for Africa, Asia and the UN, Lord Malloch-Brown, and my right hon. Friend the Prime Minister will continue to raise the situation in the Delta with senior Nigerians where opportunities arise.
Mr. Ivan Lewis: We fully support the efforts of the UN in regard to the situation in Sri Lanka and welcome the personal engagement by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon. We urged the Government of Sri Lanka to use the opportunity of the Secretary-General's recent visit to recognise that the UN has a central role to play, both in the delivery of humanitarian aid and in encouraging the process of political reconciliation that must be an integral part of rebuilding Sri Lanka's civil society. We would support further UN involvement that would lead to an improvement on the ground.
Mr. Lidington: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what representations the Government has made to the government of Sri Lanka on the freedom of the press in that country. 
Mr. Ivan Lewis: We regularly raise our concerns about media freedom, including attacks against media personnel, with the Sri Lankan Government. We believe the Sri Lankan authorities have a duty to take prompt action to ensure thorough and independent investigations are carried out into all incidents. We have also expressed our concern about media freedom in Sri Lanka through UK and EU statements this year.
Mr. Lidington: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what representations have been made by the Government in the UN Human Rights Council on alleged human rights abuses in Sri Lanka. 
Mr. Ivan Lewis: At the UN Human Rights Council Special Session on 26-27 May 2009, we raised our concerns about the human rights and humanitarian situation in Sri Lanka. We condemned the killing of civilians in the conflict and expressed concern for the many thousands displaced from their homes. We also used the opportunity to draw attention to the worrying reports of extra-judicial killings, politically motivated disappearances and attacks on the media. A copy of the UK's full statement can be found here:
Mr. Clifton-Brown: 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 return of Sri Lankan Muslims in Puttalam who were displaced by the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam in 1990. 
Mr. Ivan Lewis: It is important that all communities, including Muslims, that have been displaced by the conflict over the years are able to return to their homes as soon as possible. We regularly discuss this with the Sri Lankan Government. Our immediate concern remains the humanitarian needs of the 280,000 civilians displaced by the recent fighting who are still held in camps. We support the continued engagement by Walter Kälin, the UN Representative on the Human Rights of Internally Displaced Persons, in addressing the needs of all displaced persons in Sri Lanka.
Mr. Ivan Lewis: My noble Friend the Minister for Africa, Asia and the UN, Lord Malloch-Brown, discussed the comprehensive peace agreement (CPA) with Scott Gration, US Special Envoy to Sudan, in the margins of the African Union summit on 1 July 2009. He also led the UK delegation to the Forum of Supporters of the CPA in Washington on 23 June 2009.
Dr. Kumar: To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office how many cases of cancer have been (a) diagnosed and (b) successfully treated in (i) the North East, (ii) Tees Valley and (iii) Middlesbrough, South and East Cleveland constituency in each year since 1997. 
As National Statistician, I have been asked to reply to your recent Parliamentary Question asking how many cases of cancer have been (a) diagnosed and (b) cured in (i) the North East, (ii) Tees Valley and (iii) Middlesbrough South and East Cleveland constituency in each year since 1997 
The latest available figures for newly diagnosed cases of cancer (incidence) are for the year 2006. Numbers of (a) newly diagnosed cases of cancer from 1997 to 2006 in (i) the North East government office region, (ii) Tees Valley district and (iii) Middlesbrough South and East Cleveland parliamentary constituency are in Table 1.
It cannot be stated definitively whether a patient (b) has been definitely cured. For most cancers, five-year survival rates are often taken to be 'cure' rates. Cancer survival rates are only produced for specific cancers. A figure giving the overall survival rate for all cancer patients is not produced as it would not be meaningful to combine figures for disparate conditions having very different survival rates.
ONS regularly publishes five-year relative survival for patients resident in England, government office regions and strategic health authorities for the most common cancers. The most recent report can be found on the ONS website at:
|Table 1: Registrations of newly diagnosed cases of all cancers( 1) , North East Government office region, Tees Valley district( 2) and Middlesbrough South and East Cleveland parliamentary constituency( 3) ,1997 to 2006|
|(1) All cancers coded to C00-C97 excluding C44 (non-melanoma skin cancer) in the International Classification of Diseases, Tenth Revision (ICD-10)|
(2) Tees Valley is defined as the Hartlepool, Middlesbrough, Redcar and Cleveland, Stockton-on-Tees and Darlington local authorities.
(3) Based on boundaries as of 2008.
Office for National Statistics.
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