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Lord McIntosh of Haringey: The proposals which are currently the subject of a preliminary consultation exercise clearly set out the principles which should guide the proposals, as advised by English Heritage, the Royal Parks Agency and the Historic Royal Palaces trust, which is responsible for the Orangery and sunken garden. The preliminary consultation document recognises that any design for area 3, which extends up to the Bayswater Road, would be constrained by the
Lord McIntosh of Haringey: I understand that the leaflets and questionnaires have been distributed in addresses closest to Kensington Gardens in postal areas W1, W2, W8, W11 and W14 and SW1, SW3, SW5, SW7 and SW10. The principal purpose of the leaflet is to inform people of the exhibition, where they can see the full information on the proposals. The aim is to gain a broadly representative sample of views and suggestions, and this exercise provides a very much greater opportunity for public comment at a much earlier stage than normal. Posting to all persons on the electoral register would have been expensive, excessive and inappropriate for a preliminary exercise of this nature.
Lord McIntosh of Haringey: My right honourable friend the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport has received several representations from one company about the provision of commercial radio services for people aged over 55 years and officials have met the company concerned. However, decisions on the award of commercial radio licences are solely a matter for the Radio Authority under the terms of broadcasting legislation.
Lord McIntosh of Haringey: In general, when the Museums and Galleries Commission has been informed of the offer of an object in lieu of tax by the Capital Taxes Office, it is required to provide the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport with an opinion of the value of the object on the open market. The Commission in turn consults the appropriate experts both in museums and the art trade. Because of taxpayer confidentiality, it would not be appropriate to comment on any particular case.
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Baroness Symons of Vernham Dean): The Palestinian authorities are very active in bringing these and other events to the attention of tourist, cultural and business organisations around the world. The Palestinian Delegate General in London is an energetic and effective part of that exercise. He is aware that he and his colleagues have the support of the UK and its EU partners for these efforts.
These events are likely to generate significant interest in travel to the region at the time of the millennium, and we will continue to ensure that our consular guidance to tourist organisations and individual travellers is accurate and relevant.
Baroness Symons of Vernham Dean: We have read with interest the white book, handed to the Foreign Office on 30 June 1998 by Mr. Adada. This claims that former President Pascal Lissouba was guilty of genocide during the 1997 civil war in the Republic of the Congo. We have seen no independent evidence to that effect.
We have diplomatic relations with the Republic of the Congo. We remain concerned at the reliance of Congolese authorities on the continued presence of foreign forces in the Republic of the Congo. We will continue to press for the return to an inclusive democracy that allows all the key players to participate.
Baroness Symons of Vernham Dean: An international framework governing such activities in space already exists and is primarily based upon the United Nations Treaty on Principles Governing the Activities of States in the Exploration and Use of Outer Space, including the moon and other celestial bodies.
Details of this treaty and other relevant international agreements are contained in the United Nations publication Treaties and Principles on Outer Space a copy of which has been placed in the Library of the House.
Baroness Symons of Vernham Dean: Following the United Nations Security Council's resolution of 27 June 1950, the Security Council delegated responsibility for United Nations Command operations in Korea to the United States of America, as its executive agent. This remains the position, with the United Nations Command reporting to the United Nations on a fixed annual and "as-required" basis. We are satisfied that this arrangement allows adequate UN supervision.
We are aware of the positions of the US and Republic of Korea on the deployment of anti-personnel landmines in Korea. As one of the first countries to ratify the December 1997 Ottawa Convention, the United Kingdom continues to use its contacts with all countries to encourage their early accession to the convention. However, three permanent members of the United Nations Security Council, as well as the Republic of Korea, have not signed the convention, and there is at present little or no prospect of agreement to revise the mandate of the UN Command in Korea, to take account of the convention's provisions.
Baroness Symons of Vernham Dean: We remain committed to the statement by the Contact Group on 8 July that the Kosovo Albanian leadership should urgently establish a negotiating team which is fully representative of all political opinion in Kosovo. We welcomed the announcement by Dr. Rugova on 13 August of the establishment of a negotiating team, and we continue to urge those political parties who are not represented on it to align themselves with the team. President Milosovic told the EU Troika mission to the FRY in July that Belgrade remained willing to negotiate with the Kosovo Albanians. We will continue to press both sides for an early start to this negotiating process.
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