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23 Jan 1995 : Column WA63

Written Answers

Monday 23rd January 1995


Lord Redesdale asked Her Majesty's Government:

    What directives they intend to pursue at the Social World Summit for Development in March.

The Minister of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs (Baroness Chalker of Wallasey): I refer the noble Lord to the answer I gave the noble Lord, Lord Judd, on 19 January at col. WA49.


Lord Redesdale asked Her Majesty's Government:

    In view of their commitment at the Rio Summit to support sustainable agriculture, what steps are being taken to stimulate organic systems of agriculture in developing countries with a view to improving the productivity of farmers unable to afford imported chemical inputs.

Baroness Chalker of Wallasey: The ODA has prepared a sustainable agriculture strategy aimed at maintaining or enhancing the productivity of the natural resource base while improving long–term food security. A copy has been placed in the Libraries of the House. ODA officials are in regular contact with representatives of the UK organic movement about the contribution that organic systems can make to the strategy, and a number of project proposals are being developed.

During 1994, the ODA supported eight projects in east and west Africa on organic approaches to sustainable agriculture at a total cost of over £1 million.


Lord Redesdale asked Her Majesty's Government:

    What steps they are taking with other members of the European Union and the United Nations to end the refugee crisis in Zaire and facilitate the return of refugees to Rwanda.

Baroness Chalker of Wallasey: Increased refugee return depends on greater security in the camps outside Rwanda and efforts to rebuild the country's economic and social fabric. We are, with EU partners, pressing the UN to take urgent action to improve security, At the Rwanda Round Table on 18–19 January, the international community, including the UK and EU partners, pledged about 578 million dollars in support of Rwanda's 1995 Programme of National Reconstruction, Rehabilitation and Recovery.


Lord Kennet asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Whether former members of the Warsaw Pact, which are signatories of the Non-Proliferation Treaty and are now associated with NATO through

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    "Partnerships for Peace", are now recipients of the security guarantees which hitherto were extended by the NPT signatories only to non-nuclear signatories of that treaty not allied to a nuclear power.

Baroness Chalker of Wallasey: The United Kingdom's Positive and Negative Security Assurances, announced in 1968 and 1978, have always been applied to non-nuclear weapons States Parties to the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) or States Parties to other internationally binding commitments not to manufacture or acquire nuclear explosive devices. Under the Negative Security Assurance the United Kingdom undertakes not to use nuclear weapons against such states except in the case of an attack on the United Kingdom, its dependent territories, its armed forces or its Allies by such a state in association or alliance with a nuclear weapon state. This has not changed.

Lord Kennet asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Whether, in the run-up to the Review Conference of the Non-Proliferation Treaty, the attention of the signatories to the Treaty has been drawn to: the absence of Israel from their number; the undenied reports of Israel's substantial nuclear stockpile; and the provision to Israel by one of the treaty's signatories of massive financial, technical, intelligence, and military assistance, including nuclear-capable aircraft.

Baroness Chalker of Wallasey: We, and other states parties, have been concerned for some time about reports that Israel has a nuclear weapons programme. We continue to urge Israel to allay suspicions categorically by acceding to the Non-Proliferation Treaty as a non-nuclear-weapon state and concluding a full-scope safeguards agreement with the IAEA.

Lord Kennet asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Whether they consider that the nuclear-capable exercises (such as "Team Spirit") that have been conducted by the USA and its allies in the neighbourhood of the Korean Peninsula have been compatible with the security assurances extended to North Korea when it adhered to the Non-Proliferation Treaty, and whether similar nuclear-capable exercises by Russia in the neighbourhood of the Ukraine would be compatible with the written security assurances that the US, Russia and the UK are now extending to Ukraine and other new signatories of the treaty.

Baroness Chalker of Wallasey: It is for the recipients of security assurances to decide whether, in their view, a threat has arisen incompatible with those assurances. North Korea has not approached us on this matter. It would be open to Ukraine to raise any concerns with us if ever they judged it necessary.

Lord Kennet asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Further to the Answer of Baroness Chalker of Wallasey (HL Deb., 8 December 1994, Col. WA99), whether Ukraine has adhered to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty as a weapon state or as a non-weapon state; and, if the latter, whether it still claims ownership of the weapons which remain on its territory or of the materials of which they are made.

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Baroness Chalker of Wallasey: Ukraine has acceded to the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) as a non-nuclear weapons state. The law passed by the Ukrainian Parliament (Rada) paving the way for the country's accession to the NPT included a proviso referring to its claim to ownership of the nuclear weapons on its territory. This was made against the background of Ukraine's claim to receive compensation for the dismantlement of the weapons. Ukraine had agreed in January 1994 that the weapons on its territory should be removed to Russia and dismantled.


Lord Kennet asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Whether the UK is bound by the 1958 UK-US Mutual Defence Agreement to collaborate with the US in the development of plans for defence against atomic weapons, and specifically in the US Defence Counterproliferation Initiative.

Baroness Chalker of Wallasey: The 1958 UK/US Mutual Defence Agreement is an enabling measure, which facilitates bilateral co-operation on atomic energy for nuclear defence purposes. It imposes no obligations on Her Majesty's Government to collaborate on specific UK projects.


Lord Kennet asked Her Majesty's Government:

    What constructions were erected by Brown & Root in Somalia, for whose benefit and on whose orders, what facilities they included; and for what will they now be used.

Baroness Chalker of Wallasey: Prior to 1 April 1994, Brown & Root provided construction services to the United Nations Operation in Somalia II (UNOSOM II) under a support contract negotiated directly with the United Nations.

According to the UN Secretariat, construction projects assigned to Brown & Root by UNOSOM included fabrication or relocation of the temporary, one-storey, general purpose wooden buildings that UNOSOM used as living accommodation and administrative space; the renovation of UN-owned prefabricated buildings which had outlived their normal lifespan; and the selective refurbishment of indigenous structures so as to make them usable by UNOSOM for the duration of its mandate. In some cases, Brown & Root was tasked to build or relocate entire camps from one location to another. The scope of work included the requirement to construct associated water, power, drainage and septic systems, access roads and walkways, and perimeter security fencing.

In addition, Brown & Root carried out road and runway construction projects, involving limited improvements to existing roads, runways, taxiways and parking aprons, helipads used by UNOSOM supply vehicles and transport aircraft engaged in the logistics tasks of the mission.

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Lord Kennet asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Whether they will confirm that the United Nations peacekeeping forces in Somalia requested $94 million from United Nations headquarters in New York to pay for services from Brown & Root during the spring of 1994, and, if so, what were those services, and by whom were they approved.

Baroness Chalker of Wallasey: According to the United Nations Secretariat, the actual amount paid to Brown & Root for the period 1 November 1993 through 31 May 1994 relating to services in Somalia was $44,614,700.

The UN has issued the following breakdown of the services provided:

I. Equipment acquisition 15,301,000
II. Contractual services
Water distribution 1,415,000
Engineering services 2,950,000
Transportation 4,018,000
Troop support 1,539,000
Equipment rental 1,463,000
Brown & Root mobilisation costs 2,046,000
Parts for US-provided equipment 12,582,700
Airfield matings purchased from US Army 1,298,000
Airport services and freight management 2,002,000
Sub-total 29,313,700
Total 44,614,700

The services provided by Brown & Root were approved by the appropriate Committee on Contracts convened in the field and in the United Nations headquarters in New York.

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