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19 Jan 2000 : Column WA151

Written Answers

Wednesday, 19th January 2000.

Indonesia: Arms Embargo

Lord Milner of Leeds asked Her Majesty's Government:

    What is the status of the European Union embargo on Indonesia.[HL581]

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Baroness Scotland of Asthal): The EU Common Position of 16 September 1999 imposing restrictive measures, including an arms embargo, against Indonesia for a fixed period of four months, expired on 17 January 2000. Following the expiry of the embargo, all applications for the export of equipment on the Military List to Indonesia will be considered on a case-by-case basis in accordance with the national criteria on arms exports and the EU Code of Conduct.

The UK, together with our EU partners, continues to monitor closely the performance of the new Indonesian administration and in particular the actions of the Indonesian military.

Western Sahara

Lord Judd asked Her Majesty's Government:

    What is their position in the United Nations Security Council on adherence to the provisions of the Operational Directives on the Implementation of the Appeals Process in the preparations being made to register those eligible to vote in the planned referendum on the independence of Western Sahara.[HL514]

Baroness Scotland of Asthal: We fully support the peace process in the Western Sahara. We will do all we can to support the Secretary-General's Special Representative in his efforts to explore the prospects of agreement between Morocco and POLISARIO on the appeals process.

Yugoslavian Anti-Milosevic Refugees

Lord Judd asked Her Majesty's Government:

    What action they are taking to ensure that those Yugoslavs who refused to enlist in the forces of President Milosevic during the Kosovo war, and who left their home country, receive the recognition they deserve and the necessary security and support to rebuild their lives.[HL497]

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Baroness Scotland of Asthal: The UK has no specific programme to help those who have left the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (FRY) after refusing to enlist during the Kosovo war. The responsibility for all bona fide refugees rests with the country to which they have fled. In the UK all applications for asylum are considered on an individual basis in accordance with the criteria in the 1951 UN convention relating to the Status of Refugees and its 1967 Protocol.

Sierra Leone: UN Mission

Lord Judd asked Her Majesty's Government:

    What action they are taking to ensure that the peacekeeping mission in Sierra Leone is fully resourced and funded.[HL183]

Baroness Scotland of Asthal : We are contributing 15 military observers to the United Nations Mission in Sierra Leone (UNAMSIL). As with all UN peacekeeping missions, the UK will pay our assessed contributions for UNAMSIL in full, promptly and without conditions. We encourage other member states to do the same.

Asylum Seekers: Voucher Scheme

Lord Faulkner of Worcester asked Her Majesty's Government:

    When they expect to announce which company has been chosen to operate the new voucher scheme for asylum seekers.[HL649]

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Home Office (Lord Bassam of Brighton): On 7 January, the Home Office awarded a contract for the operation of the new voucher scheme to Sodexho Pass International.

The voucher scheme will form an essential part of the new arrangements for supporting asylum seekers which were included in the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999 and will come into operation on 1 April 2000. The provision of vouchers supplemented by a small weekly cash allowance will enable asylum seekers to meet their essential living needs, while reducing the incentive to economic migration inherent in a fully cash based system of support.

Data Protection Act 1998: Subordinate Legislation

Lord Barnett asked Her Majesty's Government:

    When they intend to lay the subordinate legislation to be made under the Data Protection Act 1998.[HL648]

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Lord Bassam of Brighton: My right honourable friend the Home Secretary intends to lay in draft next week the subordinate legislation subject to the affirmative resolution procedure. My right honourable friend the Home Secretary will be publishing on 19 January a draft of the Data Protection (Notification and Notification Fees)

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Regulations on the Internet at www.homeoffice.gov.uk and placing copies in the Library. My right honourable friend the Home Secretary intends to lay these regulations and the other subordinate legislation subject to the negative resolution procedure in good time before the Data Protection Act 1998 comes into force on 1 March.

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