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The Minister of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Baroness Chalker of Wallasey): The UN Commission on Human Rights adopted a resolution on 3 March calling on all governments to co-operate with the Special Rapporteur on Torture and extending his mandate for a further three years. The resolution also called for severe punishment for all those held responsible for acts of torture.
Our Embassy in Mexico City remains in regular contact with the Mexican National Commission for Human Rights, which continues to press the office of the Attorney General of the Federal District of Mexico City to make progress in Sr. Manriquez' case. The Commission recommended that the Judicial Federal Police investigate the allegations that Sr. Manriquez was tortured while in police custody.
Baroness Chalker of Wallasey: No investigation is necessary. It is a matter for the European Parliament (EP) who they invite to observe their plenary meetings and on what terms. We understand it is the EP's custom only to give official welcomes from the chair to delegations invited on behalf of the EP as a whole. The delegation in question was invited unofficially by a number of individual MEPs.
Baroness Chalker of Wallasey: The European Commission has always maintained a network of offices in countries outside the European Community, to distribute aid under Community programmes, to monitor barriers to trade, to give economic and technical assistance, and to disseminate information. The Commission has started to reorganise the management structure of these offices to improve efficiency, and last year renamed it the "Unified External Service". The service comprises some 2,400 staff; 600 of these are Brussels-based Commission officials, subject to the normal Community staff regulations; the remainder are locally-engaged staff. The 1994 budget for the Commission's external representations was 180.472 mecu or £139.64 million; the 1995 budget is 193.444 mecu or £160.48 million. This budget comes under the administrative section of the EC budget (budget Chapter A60, page 484 of Volume 37 of the Official Journal of 31 December 1994).
Baroness Chalker of Wallasey: We do not receive notices of the proceedings of the so called "Kurdish Parliament in exile", which we do not recognise. We have repeatedly made clear to the Turkish Government our
Baroness Chalker of Wallasey: The information is not readily available and could only be compiled at disproportionate cost. Any "A" point which a member of the Council of Ministers wishes to question is automatically remitted for further discussion.
Baroness Chalker of Wallasey: (1) We ratified the 1981 United Nations Weaponry Convention on 13 February; (2) The Review Conference will take place in Vienna from 25 September to 13 October 1995. The UK will participate as a full State Party; (3) In the financial year 199495, the UK gave £5,675,000 bilaterally to mine clearance operations and nearly £2,000,000 through the EC. Our bilateral contributions included a £500,000 donation to the UN's recently-established Voluntary Trust Fund for Mine Clearance. The UK has no personnel seconded to humanitarian mine clearance operations. (4) It is impossible at present to assess whether the use of landmines is more or less prevalent than
Baroness Chalker of Wallasey: We continue to press the Russians to reach a negotiated settlement in Chechnya using all channels available to them. One of the chief objectives of the OSCE mission, which arrived in Grozny on 25 April, will be to pursue dialogue and negotiations with a view to reaching a lasting political settlement.
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of National Heritage (Viscount Astor): I understand that the Imperial War Museum is considering creating a new museum which would cover the Holocaust and other 20th century acts of genocide.
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