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The Minister of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Baroness Chalker of Wallasey): According to provisional figures which are subject to audit Wilton Park exceeded all four of the agreed targets set for the 1995-96 financial year, for the number of conference participants, income, cover recover and cost per head to the FCO overall.
Baroness Chalker of Wallasey: It is impossible to predict accurately yet what the exact costs of EU and NATO enlargement will be. EU and NATO enlargement are complementary steps in securing long-term peace and prosperity throughout Europe.
Baroness Chalker of Wallasey: As my right honourable friend the Prime Minister said in another place on 21st May there is no question of the UK "indulging in actions that would be illegal before the British Courts or the European Court". The question of compensation does not, therefore, arise.
Baroness Chalker of Wallasey: Article 14 of Amended Protocol II of the UN Weaponry Convention provides for States Parties to take appropriate measures to ensure the imposition of penal sanctions against persons, who, in relation to an armed conflict and contrary to the Protocol, wilfully kill or cause injury to civilians, and to bring such persons to justice. The Government accept that jurisdiction may be exercised in such cases pursuant to international agreements. We are however currently assessing the full implications of the Amended Protocol.
Baroness Chalker of Wallasey: We support UN regular budget funding of the Human Rights Committee's annual report to the Economic and Social Council and General Assembly. We welcome publication of the voluntarily funded compilations of the committee's documents, which is not mandated by the General Assembly, when resources allow.
Baroness Chalker of Wallasey: The rights and freedoms secured by the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and the European Convention on Human Rights are set out in those instruments, the text of each of which is a public document. I would refer the noble Lord to those sources as well as to the Answer by Lord Chesham on 5th June.
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of National Heritage (Lord Inglewood): Responsibility for the subject of this question has been delegated to the Royal Parks Agency under its Chief Executive, Mr. David Welch. I have asked him to arrange for a reply to be given.
Permits to park on the Mall are issued to some Commissioners and staff of the Museums and Galleries Commission, Royal Fine Art Commission and Commonwealth Secretariat and Government Hospitality Fund. Some Downing Street staff are also allowed to park there whilst parking on Horse Guards Parade is temporarily suspended during ceremonials. There are approximately 250 parking spaces on the Mall.
Permits are issued free of charge. The criteria for deciding who should be eligible for parking spaces are that the individual works unsocial hours, or is disabled, or a car is essential for official business.
The Council had an initial exchange of views about the principles and objectives for the next series of measures designed to bring all member states' fishing fleets into better balance with available fish stocks. My honourable friend made it clear that the UK could not agree to the possibility of further reductions in the UK fleet until there is satisfactory progress towards sorting out the problem of quota hoppers. He also drew attention to the inconsistencies in the scientific advice underlying the Commission's thinking, for example in their assessment of Irish Sea stocks and the lack of any proposed reduction in industrial fishing. He stressed that the approach had to be credible and command the confidence of the industry whose livelihoods are at stake. Significant further technical work will be needed before decisions can be taken. Other member states also had difficulty with the Commission's ideas and supported our view that any measures must be seen to be necessary, fair and workable. Discussion will be resumed at the next meeting of the Council inOctober.
The Council agreed unanimously that the Community should at the earliest opportunity sign the United Nations Agreement on Straddling Stocks and Highly Migratory Fish Species. It is designed to ensure international co-operation in the long term conservation and sustainable use of these fish stocks. My honourable friend indicated the UK's strong support for such international measures.
The Council agreed by qualified majority, with the United Kingdom and Ireland voting against, the allocation between member states of the 1996 quotas for redfish under the North-East Atlantic Fisheries
The Council unanimously agreed a short term arrangement so that no more than 3,000 tonnes of the 43,000 tonne sprat total allowable catch for the Skaggerak and Kattegat could be fished using 16 millimetre meshes for the remainder of 1996. This restriction is designed to limit the by-catch of juvenile herring.
The Commission reported the latest scientific advice on North Sea herring. This indicates that catch reductions of 50 per cent. are necessary during the current year in order to avoid closing the fishery next year. My honourable friend outlined the UK's view that early action is essential to prevent a stock collapse and to avoid a complete closure. He supported quota cuts for North Sea herring this year subject to the juvenile herring by-catch in other fisheries, including industrial fisheries, being reduced in parallel; the same proportionate cut applying to both the northern and southern North Sea herring stocks; and the cut in herring quotas being applied equitably to all member states. This approach secured support from a number of other member states and the Commission will be having urgent discussions with Norway before making specific proposals for action to protect the herring stocks.
The UK expressed its continuing concern about the market for farmed salmon and asked the Commission to continue to monitor the position very carefully over the summer.
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