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The Minister of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Baroness Chalker of Wallasey): A Foreign Affairs Council was called at short notice in Geneva on 30 June to consider how the Community should respond to developments in the final stages of negotiations in the World Trade Organisation (WTO) on the liberalisation of financial services. My honourable friend the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Trade and Technology (Mr. Taylor) represented the United Kingdom.
The Council noted with regret that the WTO was unable to conclude an agreement containing a high degree of commitment to multilateral and non-discriminatory liberalisation on trade in financial services and expressed concern about the position taken by the US Government in the final stages of the negotiations. The Council agreed that the European Union negotiators should support the extension of the deadline for completion of the negotiations on both financial services and the movement of persons until 28 July 1995.
The Council agreed that the Community and its member states should work during this extra period to achieve maximum liberalisation on a multilateral and non-discriminating basis, thus preserving the benefits of the great efforts made in earlier rounds of the negotiations, and called on other parties to work for the same objective.
The foundation received £2.2 million from the FCO for its activities in 1994/95. With this grant, it has supported 244 projects, compared with 236 projects last year. This has included a significant contribution to a wide range of media organisations in the former Soviet Union; a comprehensive programme of political party training with a range of parties throughout Central and
Baroness Chalker of Wallasey: Aid decisions take account of a range of criteria, including human rights and good governance. We regularly raise our concerns over human rights with the Chinese. Our aid programme in China provides opportunities for dialogue. We are more likely to have a beneficial impact through co-operation than by cutting contacts. Withholding aid would diminish our influence to help those whose rights are infringed.
Baroness Chalker of Wallasey: All ODA's direct humanitarian aid to former Yugoslavia reaches needy victims. There are claims that some supplies, to which ODA and other donors contribute through support to UN and non-government relief agencies, are misappropriated: but the amounts are judged to be small and, in a war, unavoidable.
Baroness Chalker of Wallasey: It is for individual governments to decide, consistent with their international obligations, how to respond to threats to their facilities. The statement to which the noble Lord refers is not related to the US Counter-proliferation Initiative. As regards attacks on nuclear facilities, Her Majesty's Government are of the view that absolute protection cannot be given to installations which may contribute to a state's war effort.
The Minister of State, Department for Education and Employment (Lord Henley): The International Labour Organisation (ILO) has already adopted a number of international instruments designed to eliminate abuses of migrant workers. These are open to ratification by all ILO member states. Workers from overseas, including domestic servants, who are admitted to the United Kingdom are eligible for the same employment protection rights as resident United Kingdom employees. The Government consider that the prison sentences imposed in recent cases brought before the courts confirm that their existing legislation already provides adequate protection against abuse and exploitation in the United Kingdom, and that there is therefore no need for it to consult the ILO on this matter.
The Lord Chancellor: The total resources allocated to the Court Service in England and Wales are based on previous spending patterns, aggregate workload forecasts and efficiency targets. Within the Court Service resources are allocated according to projected activity (planned sitting days in the Crown Court and administrative workload in the county courts) for workload-related expenditure, and on the basis of current spending or contract value, subject to planned efficiency measures, for expenditure (such as accommodation and maintenance) not immediately dependent on workload. The distribution of money therefore takes some account of geographical variations in costs, but workload is the major factor.
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