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Mr. Ivan Lewis: We condemn all instances of violence and discrimination against individuals and groups because of their faith or belief, wherever they happen and whatever the religion of the individual or group concerned. Our overseas missions monitor the human rights in their host countries and routinely raise our concerns with their governments. We take action on individual cases where persecution or discrimination has occurred and lobby for changes in discriminatory practices and laws.
The UK deplores the Iranian authorities' treatment of religious minorities. The Iranian Constitution gives nominal protection to members of the Christian, Jewish and Zoroastrian faiths by recognising them as minority religions. The number of Christians and Christian converts in Iran who have been arrested or detained has increased significantly over recent years and, under Iran's strict interpretation of Islam, anyone converting to another religion could face the death penalty or at least life imprisonment. Other religious minorities, such as the Baha'is, do not receive even this slender protection under law and are subjected to gross human rights violations. Seven members of the Baha'i leadership in Iran are currently standing trial.
In Saudi Arabia, Islam is the official religion and all citizens are required to be Muslims. Renouncing religious belief in Islam is an offence punishable by death. Religious minorities continue to suffer discrimination and are under-represented in the senior government bureaucracy, municipal councils and public companies. Shia leaders have also alleged harassment and civil discrimination.
Under the terms of its constitution the Maldives is an Islamic country. Under Maldivian law non-Muslims are forbidden from practising their religion publicly. President Mohamed Nasheed has made public his commitment to ensuring that the Maldives fulfils its international obligations on human rights. Since he was elected in October 2008, there has been welcome progress in areas such as media freedom and freedom of expression. But there are still some areas where progress can be made, particularly in regards to religious freedom. We continue to encourage his government to make further progress on this as soon as possible.
There is no freedom of religion in the Democratic People's Republic of Korea. Although there are Anglican, Catholic and Russian Orthodox churches in Pyongyang, we believe these to be show churches, for the benefit of foreign visitors.
Paul Rowen: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs how much his Department has contributed to the Government's Conflict Prevention Pool in each of the last three years. 
Mr. Ivan Lewis
[holding answer 21 January 2010]: On 1 April 2009, the Conflict Prevention Pool and Stabilisation Aid Fund were merged to form one single Conflict Pool. The Conflict Pool is governed and managed tri-departmentally by the Department for International Department (DFID), the Foreign and Commonwealth Office
(FCO) and the Ministry of Defence (MoD); however the funding is provided as part of the 2007 Comprehensive Spending Review (CSR) settlement. The FCO does therefore not normally contribute from its own departmental budget.
On 25 March 2009, my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs highlighted in a written ministerial statement the increasing pressure on conflict resources, partly because of exchange rate fluctuations but also because of projected increases in assessed (obligatory) international peacekeeping mission and court contributions. This resulted in less funding being available for discretionary conflict activity (conflict prevention, stabilisation and discretionary peacekeeping e.g. UK secondees to international missions such as EU Rule of Law Mission in Kosovo). The 2007 CSR Settlement agreed that the Conflict Prevention Pool would be the first port of call if assessed peacekeeping costs rose above forecast.
Chris Bryant: The Foreign and Commonwealth Office's departmental report, which is available on our website and in the Library of the House, includes a section on Communication in Volume One, Part Two (The FCO Change Programme).
Mr. Hurd: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs for which Google Adword online advertising keywords his Department and its agencies have paid in the last 12 months; and at what cost. 
Chris Bryant: In the last 12 months the Foreign and Commonwealth Office paid for Google Adwords for two cross-government digital campaigns, and one consular campaign. We publicised the G20 London Summit
at a cost of £991; the Act on Copenhagen campaign www.actoncopenhagen.gov.uk at a cost of £492; and our Go Gap Year campaign
Andrew Rosindell: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs how much his Department spent on maintaining its YouTube channel in the latest period for which figures are available. 
is free. The FCO has had 554,806 views of its videos and we have over 869 subscribers to our channel. The FCO's videos on forced marriages and travel (visa, passports, and travel advice) are the most popular in terms of views, ratings and comments. Time spent on maintaining the FCO's YouTube account is not recorded, but is estimated to total no more than one hour per working day to upload videos, moderate comments, and reference statistics.
Andrew Rosindell: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs how much his Department spent on maintaining his Department's flickr photo stream in the latest period for which figures are available. 
Dr. Cable: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs pursuant to the answer of 26 November 2009, Official Report, column 304W, on departmental pay, how many staff in his Department received both an annual performance bonus and an in-year bonus in 2008-09; what proportion of the total work force this represents; what the largest combined bonus payment to an individual was; and who was responsible for awarding such bonuses. 
Chris Bryant: The Foreign and Commonwealth Office awards non-consolidated, variable performance-related payments to recognise particularly strong performance and to reward those who make the biggest contribution. Last year 948 staff, representing 18 per cent. of the workforce, performed strongly enough to be awarded both an in-year non-consolidated, variable performance related payment as well as an annual one. All these staff come from lower management and administrative grades, because the senior civil service cannot earn in-year awards. The largest combined payment was £3,975. Annual non-consolidated, variable performance payments are solely linked to performance appraisals and have been agreed as part of a collective bargaining, negotiated pay settlement. In-year payments are devolved to Directorates to allow them to recognise achievement by their own staff. Nominations are moderated within the Directorate for balance and fairness to all staff.
Mr. Watson: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what guidance is issued to Government departments on the use of wine from the Government wine cellar; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Watson: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs pursuant to the Aaswer of 12 January 2010, Official Report, column 954W, on Government hospitality: wines, from what wine merchants his Department purchased wine in the last 12 months. 
Corney and Barrow Ltd
Justerini and Brooks Ltd
O W Loeb Ltd
Averys of Bristol
Liberty Wines Ltd
Lea and Sandeman Ltd
Berry Bros, and Rudd Ltd
Ridgeview Estate Winery Ltd.
Armit Wines Ltd
Lay and Wheeler Ltd
These merchants and producers are included on Government Hospitality's list of approved suppliers, which is reviewed annually by the Government Hospitality Advisory Committee for the Purchase of Wine.
Mr. Watson: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs pursuant to the answer of 18 January 2010, Official Report, column 101W, on Government hospitality: wines, how many people are employed to input data into the Windows SharePoint system used to manage transactions for the Government wine cellar; and when he expects the current backlog of data to have been entered. 
Chris Bryant [holding answer 29 January 2010]: One civil servant currently has responsibility for the input of data into the Government Hospitality wine database, among other duties. It is hoped that the backlog of data will soon be cleared.
Mr. Watson: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs how many times the Government Hospitality Advisory Committee for the purchase of wine has met in each of the last three years. 
Mr. Ivan Lewis: My right hon. Friend the Foreign Secretary speaks regularly to the US Administration about Iran's nuclear programme and, of course, we consult closely with them as members of the E3+3 on an ongoing basis.
Mr. Soames: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs pursuant to the answer of 20 January 2010, Official Report, column 336W, on Palestinians: international assistance, if he will instruct officials within his Department to carry out research on whether Israeli restrictions on Gaza constitute collective punishment. 
Mr. Ivan Lewis: The extent of Israeli restrictions, and the threat to Israel from militants in Gaza, varies constantly. Rather than focus on whether the restrictions at any given time amount to collective punishment, we have consistently pressed the Israeli government to comply with their obligations under international law and allow passage of relief supplies.
Mr. Clappison: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will make representations to the government of Turkey on the future of Mor Gabriel monastery as a place of worship for the Syrian Orthodox community. 
Mr. Watson: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs how many scholarships have been awarded by the Marshall Aid Commemoration Commission in each of the last five years. 
Mr. Drew: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what recent reports he has received on (a) the activities of the Lords Resistance Army and (b) prospects for the resumption of peace negotiations involving Joseph Kony in Uganda. 
Mr. Ivan Lewis:
Our posts liaise regularly with the governments in the region on the joint military operation to pursue the Lords Resistance Army (LRA), as well as with the regional UN Peace Keeping Operations and the UN secretariat in New York, and report back on the latest developments. The latest information indicates that LRA fighters number between 200 and 300 in total
and they are scattered in small units throughout Northeast Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Southeast Central African Republic and Southern Sudan.
We assess that while Joseph Kony remains at large, the LRA has no will to re-enter negotiations with any government, nor do they have any credible interlocutors. The LRA's main objective is survival, and they continue to perpetrate brutal acts of violence and intimidation in order to expropriate supplies and funds from civilians across South Sudan, the Central African Republic and North Eastern DRC. The LRA has also been known to target aid distribution efforts in the region.
Mr. Evans: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what consultations have taken place with the Saharawi since the 2006 EU-Morocco Fisheries Agreement came into effect on the subject of their desire for the agreement. 
Mr. Ivan Lewis: The Government have not held any such consultations with the Saharawi since the 2006 EU-Morocco Fisheries Agreement came into force. The Government are not aware whether any such consultations have taken place with other parties.
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