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Mr. Maude: To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office with reference to the Prime Minister's speech at Britain's Everyday Heroes Book Launch of 24 July 2007, on what dates the Forum on Social Leadership has met since July 2007. 
As Director General for the Office for National Statistics, I have been asked to reply to your Parliamentary Question asking what the level of unemployment in Leeds, North-West constituency was in each year since 1997. (319604)
The Office for National Statistics (ONS) compiles unemployment statistics for local areas from the Annual Population Survey and its predecessor the annual Labour Force Survey (LPS) following International Labour Organisation (ILO) definitions. However, estimates of unemployment for the Leeds, North-West constituency are unavailable.
As an alternative, in Table 1 we have provided the number of persons claiming Jobseeker's Allowance for the Leeds, North-West constituency for January 2010 and January of each year since 1997.
National and local area estimates for many labour market statistics, including employment, unemployment and claimant count are available on the NOMIS website at:
|Table 1. Number of persons resident in Leeds, North-West parliamentary constituency claiming jobseeker's allowance|
|January each year||Number|
Jobcentre Plus administrative system
Mr. Ivan Lewis: The UK welcomes Israel's easing of some restrictions on movement and access in the west bank as a step in the right direction. While recognizing Israel's legitimate security needs, we shall continue to urge the Israeli Government to reduce movement and access restrictions further.
16. Ms Katy Clark: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what representations he has received on the law in relation to universal jurisdiction, with particular reference to the case of Tzipi Livni. 
Mr. Ivan Lewis: I have discussed the law in relation to universal jurisdiction, and in particular the case of Tzipi Livni, with Israeli Ministers. I have also received correspondence from a number of non-governmental groups. Government officials have also been asked for information on the UK's position by US and EU counterparts.
Chris Bryant: The December European Council called upon the European Commission to publish a report in order to provide orientations on priorities during 2010. The Government remain committed to reform of the EU budget to make it fit for the 21st century, and will continue to explore ways of achieving this with like-minded member states.
Chris Bryant: Reform of the EU budget was last discussed at the December European Council. Heads of Government agreed conclusions language calling on the Commission to produce a report in order for the Council to provide orientations on priorities during 2010. The Government remain committed to reform of the EU budget to make it fit for the 21st century and will continue to work with like-minded member states to achieve it.
18. Mr. Gerrard: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what recent assessment he has made of the political situation in Sri Lanka; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Ivan Lewis: My right hon. Friend the Foreign Secretary released a written statement on 23 February 2010, Official Report, columns 36-38WS, updating the House on the political situation in Sri Lanka and outlining recent UK actions.
19. Mr. David Hamilton: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what recent assessment he has made of the importance of the stability of Pakistan for the Government's policy on the region. 
David Miliband: A stable, secure Pakistan enjoying good relations with her neighbours is important for UK objectives in South Asia and Afghanistan, particularly given the ongoing threat to UK forces in Afghanistan emanating from Pakistan's border areas. The UK and Pakistan, together with other international partners, are working closely together to support the extension of Government control over the border areas. £50 million of the Department for International Development (DFID)'s £665 million programme for Pakistan is going to support this stabilisation effort. The UK also strongly supports renewed dialogue between Pakistan and its neighbours, notably India, as an important component of wider regional stability.
Mr. Ivan Lewis: The UK is deeply concerned by the humanitarian situation in Gaza. We continue to press the Israeli authorities to ease border restrictions further and to permit a greater flow of humanitarian aid, reconstruction materials, trade goods, and people into Gaza. This was most recently raised by the Secretary of State for International Development.
21. Sir Malcolm Rifkind: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what recent assessment he has made of the political situation in Iran; and if he will make a statement. 
David Miliband: Iranian authorities continue to suppress legitimate protest, restrict civil liberties and threaten violence, even execution, to silence dissent. But many Iranians continue to demand their fundamental rights. We urge the authorities to heed their citizens' calls, and ensure a better future for all Iranians.
Chris Bryant: There has been no Argentine ambassador to the UK since July 2008. I have had no recent discussions on the sovereignty of the Falkland Islands with the Argentine embassy. The UK Government have no doubt about their sovereignty over the Islands.
23. Harry Cohen: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what reports he has received on discrimination against pregnant women in Burkina Faso; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Ivan Lewis: The Foreign and Commonwealth Office has noted Amnesty International's recent report on this issue. We are pleased to learn from Amnesty that President Compaoré of Burkina Faso met them on 12 February 2010 and committed to lifting all financial barriers to emergency obstetric care and access to family planning.
Dr. Pugh: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs pursuant to the answer of 10 February 2010, Official Report, column 978W, on Burma: arms trade, whether his Department has had discussions with the government of (a) Canada, (b) New Zealand and (c) Brazil on a UN-mandated arms embargo against Burma. 
Mr. Ivan Lewis: Following my right hon. Friend the Prime Minister's letter to the UN Secretary General and Security Council members in August 2009, we have made broad appeals to international governments to join the EU and ban the sale of arms to Burma. We have recently focused our diplomatic effort on raising the issue of a universal arms embargo with Burma's neighbours. We have also communicated our views to the Russian Government, as Russia is a notable supplier of arms to Burma. We have not yet raised an arms embargo with the Governments of Brazil, New Zealand or Canada. These and many other countries will be covered in a structured global campaign that will be launched shortly by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office.
Dr. Pugh: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs pursuant to the answer of 10 February 2010, Official Report, column 979W, on Burma: human rights, what discussions he has had in the United Nations Human Rights Council and the United Nations General Assembly on reports of crimes against humanity and war crimes in Burma. 
Mr. Ivan Lewis:
In both the Human Rights Council and UN General Assembly we have consistently raised our serious concern at reports of human rights abuses in Burma. Our approach reflects the representations we have had from a number of concerned parties who report on situations they believe amount to crimes against humanity and war crimes. Our judgment is that we would not be able to secure support within the UN Security Council for the actions that would be necessary to follow up with formal charges on those grounds.
However, resolutions secured with strong UK support in the UN's human rights bodies make specific reference to human rights violations by the military regime.
Mrs. Moon: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what recent reports he has received of statements by senior Colombian government officials linking senior members of the political opposition in that country to terrorist and subversive activity. 
Chris Bryant: We have not picked up on recent reports of officials linking members of the opposition to terrorist and subversive activity. But we are aware of such statements having been made in the past, which are damaging to the credibility of Colombian politics and, more importantly, potentially dangerous to those whom the statements are directed at.
Mr. Sanders: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what assessment he has made of the activities of the Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda following Rwanda's accession to the Commonwealth. 
Mr. Ivan Lewis: The Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda (FDLR) continue to pose a destabilising presence in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo as violent attacks on civilians, particularly sexual violence against women, still occur. However efforts against the FDLR are ongoing, including recent military operations in the Kivus which have weakened the command and control structures, as have the arrests of key members of the leadership in Europe. Efforts in 2009 through the Disarmament, Demobilization, Repatriation, Resettlement and Reintegration programme have led to 1,997 FDLR being demobilised, with 1,552 repatriated to Rwanda, three times as many as in 2008.
Mr. Bain: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what estimate he has made of the savings in travel costs likely to be made consequent on the use by officials of his Department of economy class tickets for flights of up to five hours. 
Chris Bryant: As part of a review of allowances we have proposed that all journeys of up to five hours (by train or air) should be taken in economy/standard class (including Eurostar). The Trade Union Side are now consulting their members about the proposals in the review. We estimate that using economy class for journeys up to five hours would save in the region of £600,000 per annum.
Andrew Mackinlay: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs whether his Department has received advice on the permissibility of making redundant management service officers and replacing them in that capacity with locally-engaged staff; and if he will make a statement. 
Chris Bryant: To date there have been no compulsory redundancies as a result of localisation of management officer positions. Some management officers have chosen to take voluntary early retirement. However no one has been forced to leave. Our policy is to avoid compulsory redundancies wherever possible. In response to concerns raised by the trade union side, we sought advice on this question and we are fully committed to following our legal obligations in any redundancy situation should it arise.
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