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The Minister of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Baroness Chalker of Wallasey): The following countries made general and interpretative statements or expressed reservations on the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action:
Peru, Kuwait, Egypt, Philippines, Holy See, Malaysia, Iran, Libya, Ecuador, Indonesia, Mauritania, Oman, Malta, Argentina, Brunei, Darussalam, France, Yemen, Sudan, Dominican Republic, Costa Rica, United Arab Emirates, Venezuela, Bahrain, Lebanon, Tunisia, Mali, Benin, Guatemala, India, Algeria, Iraq, Vanuatu, Ethiopia, Morocco, Djibouti, Qatar, Nicaragua, Togo, Liberia, Syrian Arab Republic, Pakistan, Nigeria, Comoros, Bolivia, Colombia, Bangladesh, Honduras, Jordan, Ghana, Central African Republic, Cambodia, Maldives, South Africa, United Republic of Tanzania, Brazil, Panama, El Salvador, Madagascar, Chad, Cameroon, Niger, Gabon, United States of America and Canada. The observer for Palestine also made a statement.
Details of the statements and reservations appear in Chapter V (pages 157-176) of the UN Report of the Fourth World Conference on Women (A/CONF.177/20 dated 17 October 1995), copies of which have been deposited in the Library of the House.
Baroness Chalker of Wallasey: The prospect of EU accession negotiations provides both Cypriot communities with new opportunities to make progress. We will continue to exploit these opportunities in 1996 to press for an early resumption of direct talks to pursue a settlement based on a bi-zonal, bi-communal federation.
Baroness Chalker of Wallasey: We understand that reception for MED-TV programmes was unusually poor on the day in question. We are aware of reports that this was due to interference. We have no plans to make representations.
Baroness Chalker of Wallasey: Technical experts met in Geneva from 15-19 January in order to re-examine the questions on which agreement was not possible at the UN Weaponry Convention Review Conference in September/October 1995. Good progress was made on the core technical issues of specifications for self-destruction/self-deactivation mechanisms and detectability.
The third session of the Review Conference will take place in Geneva from 22 April-3 May. We shall work to conclude an agreement there which should deliver a real reduction in the dangers to civilians from the indiscriminate use of landmines.
Lord Lucas: The Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food has just approved two research projects to investigate alternatives to chemicals such as organophosphorus (OP) dips for the control of sheep scab. These will run for three years and cost about
£1.2 million. They will form a significant addition to the existing research programme and will be directed to developing and testing new approaches to the identification of possible sheep scab vaccines and identifying the most effective methods of application. Additionally the research will develop models to maximise the impact of future control strategies.
The Minister of State, Department of Trade and Industry (Lord Fraser of Carmyllie): The total cost to the national insurance fund of statutory redundancy payments made to employees under section 106 of the Employment Protection (Consolidation) Act 1978 is set out in the following table. The figures include payments to former employees of insolvent businesses. Information on the number of companies and employees involved is not available.
The Minister of State, Home Office (Baroness Blatch): Responsibility for this matter has been delegated to the temporary Director General of the Prison Service, who has been asked to arrange for a reply to be given.
Lady Blatch has asked me, in the absence of the Director General from the office, to reply to your recent Question asking which prisons have mother and baby units; how many places are available in each unit; up to what age babies are allowed to stay with their mothers in these units; and how many women are currently in mother and baby units and for what offences they were sentenced.
There are now four mother and baby units in the female prison estate: Holloway, New Hall, Askham Grange and Styal. Holloway has places for 17 mothers with their babies, Styal has places for 22, Askham Grange can take a maximum of 20 mothers with their babies and New Hall has places for 9. In New Hall and Holloway, babies may remain with their mothers up until the age of 9 months. In the other two female establishments, young children may be allowed to stay with their mother up to the age of 18 months. The differing periods have been set in the light of advice from the Department of Health, which monitors regularly the treatment of children within these units.
|Offence type||Number of mothers|
|Violence against the person||6|
|Theft and handling||6|
|Fraud and forgery||1|
|Offences not recorded||1|
(1) Include blackmail, death by dangerous driving, interfering with witnesses, illegal immigrant, handling stolen goods and deception.