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The Minister of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Baroness Chalker of Wallasey): I can confirm that Mr. Mark Higson did not suffer any penalty for voluntary unemployment when he left the Foreign and Commonwealth Office in February 1990.
Baroness Chalker of Wallasey: The concluding statement of the Asia-Europe Meeting re-affirmed participants' "strong commitment" to the Universal Declaration on Human Rights and the 1993 Declaration of Vienna and Programme of Action of the World Conference on Human Rights. The statement also specified that dialogue between the participants should be conducted on the basis of, among other principles, "promotion of fundamental rights".
Baroness Chalker of Wallasey: The United Nations Security Council passed Resolution 616 on 20th July 1988, expressing its deep distress at the accidental shooting down by the USS "Vincennes" of an Iranian civilian airliner.
Baroness Chalker of Wallasey: The US is leading an effort to identify critical training and equipment needs for the Bosniac-Croat Federation, to design a programme to address those needs, and to build a coalition of contributors to support that programme through funds and in-kind contribution of equipment and training.
In addition, Annex 2 to the Chicago Convention, which deals with the rules of the air, has an attachment which sets down the specific actions to be followed by a state if it decides that it has to intercept a civil aircraft. Those actions do not include the use of weapons.
The International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) Council adopted a resolution on 6th March directing the Secretary General of ICAO to initiate immediately an investigation of the incident in its entirety to determine all relevant facts and technical aspects in accordance with the United Nations Security Council Presidential Statement.
Baroness Chalker of Wallasey: Her Majesty's Government were aware that incursions, both on the morning of 24th February and on earlier occasions, had been reported in the US and Cuban press. However, we have had no independent information to substantiate these reports.
Baroness Chalker of Wallasey: Her Majesty's Government are not in a position either to substantiate or discount such reports, but strongly supported the statement by the President of the Security Council requesting that the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) investigate this incident in its entirety. A resolution to this effect was adopted by the ICAO Council on 6th March.
Baroness Chalker of Wallasey: Presidential statements require the concurrence of all 15 members of the Security Council. Her Majesty's Government supported the issuing of a statement by the President of the Council strongly deploring the shooting down by the Cuban airforce of two civil aircraft on 24th February.
The question of a visa to allow the Cuban Foreign Minister to enter the United States is a matter for the United States authorities. However, the Cuban Permanent Representative to the United Nations addressed the formal session of the Security Council on 27th February before the Presidential statement was issued.
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary, Department of Transport (Viscount Goschen): Further to the undertaking given in another place by my right honourable friend the Secretary of State for Transport on 29th February, we have today placed in the House Library copies of a memorandum which summarises the most significant obligations of both London and Continental Railways and the Government under the terms of the contracts which were signed last week. Some aspects of the contracts are, and will remain, commercially confidential and have therefore been
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