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Field Boundary Widths and IACS Rules

Earl Peel asked Her Majesty's Government:

The Minister of State, Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food (Baroness Hayman): IACS rules have always allowed farmers in the United Kingdom to use the full field areas which are shown on Ordnance Survey maps as the basis of their claims under the Arable Area Payments Scheme (AAPS) provided that their fields are fully utilised. If this condition is not fulfilled, then only that part of the total area which is actually cropped can be claimed. The use of total field areas is of considerable benefit to our farmers but it can only be justified if the extent of uncropped areas around field margins, including the area occupied by any hedges which may be present, is kept within reasonable limits.

AAPS applicants have recently been notified about new guidance from the European Commission about the maximum width of field margins that is consistent with the use of full Ordnance Survey areas in aid applications. We recognise the concern that the application of the rules could in some circumstances have an adverse effect on the width of field boundaries and their biodiversity. We have, therefore, also urged applicants to seek advice about minimising the environmental impact of any action they may need to take in order to comply with the new guidance.

School Milk Scheme

Lord Inglewood asked Her Majesty's Government:

Baroness Hayman: The Government are currently considering the proposal from the Commission to Council on the future financing of the EC School Milk Scheme. Our position remains unchanged, in that we prefer the continuation of the scheme in its present form.

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Food Labelling

Baroness Gould of Potternewton asked Her Majesty's Government:

    What progress has been made towards a new labelling regime for food products[HL696]

Baroness Hayman: The Government are committed to giving consumers clear, easily understood information so they can make informed choices about the food they buy. We have already taken a number of steps for labelling ingredients derived from genetically modified crops and for labelling the quantities of key ingredients. We are encouraging the development of voluntary industry guidelines aimed at providing better, more consistent information to those consumers with specific allergies and will continue to press for appropriate changes to European and international rules.

We are also launching a new initiative to stimulate public debate on food labelling and find out what information ordinary consumers want to be given about the food they buy. We will also be considering different ways of making information available, including the use of modern technology, and whether new approaches are called for to deal with internet shopping. We are funding consumer research into these questions. We shall be holding open meetings and inviting consumers to write or e-mail us with their views.

The results of this exercise will feed into the work of the Food Standards Agency, to which the Government have given responsibility for developing food labelling policy. The aim is to improve the clarity of information for consumers, and help establish appropriate labelling regimes at national and international level.

Yugoslavia: Export of Demining Equipment

Baroness Nicol asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Whether they will grant a licence for the export of a Load Handling System and Container Unit to Norwegian People's Aid in Kosovo.[HL667]

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Baroness Scotland of Asthal): We have granted a licence for the export to the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (FRY) of a Load Handling System and Container Unit for use by Norwegian People's Aid, an organisation engaged in humanitarian demining activities in Kosovo on behalf of the United Nations Interim Administration Mission in Kosovo (UNMIK). These goods are on the UK's Military List.

UN Security Council resolution (UNSCR) 1160 imposed an arms embargo on the FRY. The only exception to this embargo is that in UNSCR 1244, which provides that prohibitions imposed by UNSCR 1160 shall not apply to the sale or supply of arms and related material for use by the international civil and security presence in Kosovo. We have notified the UN Sanctions Committee of this export and it has raised no

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objection. The export of the equipment required for demining purposes is not prohibited by the EU arms embargo.

Kosovo Joint Interim Administrative Council

Lord Moynihan asked Her Majesty's Government:

    What steps they are taking to secure the participation of a Serb representative on the new United Nations Mission in Kosovo--Kosovo Joint Interim Administrative Structure.[HL567]

Baroness Scotland of Asthal: Her Majesty's Government have supported, and continue to support, the United Nations Mission in Kosovo's attempts to convince the Kosovo Serb leadership of the desirability of their participation in the Joint Interim Administration Council. In discussions with Serbs in Kosovo we take every opportunity to urge them to participate in the shaping of the province.

Kosovo: UK Support to UNMIK

Lord Moynihan asked Her Majesty's Government:

    What response they envisage to the request by the United Nations Special Representative in Kosovo, Dr Bernard Kouchner, who in December 1999 told the Euro-Atlantic Partnership Council, "We need money. Without money, no success. . . without money, no confidence. . . without money, no restarting of daily life".[HL568]

Baroness Scotland of Asthal: We agree that UNMIK needs adequate resources to accomplish its mission. We continue to make a significant contribution and urge others in the international community to do likewise.

The UK pays 6.2 per cent of UN-assessed contributions to UNMIK. We were one of the first nations to contribute bilaterally, giving US$1 million to UNMIK in July 1999. The Department for International Development (DfID) has also contributed US$2 million to support demobilisation of the Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA) and has allocated US$1 million for projects to be carried out by the newly formed Kosovo Protection Corps. DfID has recently contributed £1.25 million for civil registration to prepare for elections in Kosovo later this year.

At the international donors' conference in Brussels last November, the UK announced that it would be devoting up to US$10 million in budgetary support to UNMIK this year. The European Commission announced an EU contribution of up to 35 million euros in budgetary support as part of a broader assistance package for economic reconstruction which could reach some 500 million euros in 2000.

Kosovo: Police Secondments

Lord Moynihan asked Her Majesty's Government:

    How many of the promised 4,800 international police officers due for deployment in Kosovo are now in place; and how many are from the United Kingdom.[HL 569]

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Baroness Scotland of Asthal: There are 1,972 international police officers now in place, 60 of whom are from the United Kingdom. A further 31 British police officers are working at the OSCE-run police school in Kosovo, training the future local police force.

East Timor: UNTAET Funding

Lord Moynihan asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Whether the United Nations Transitional Administration in East Timor (UNTAET) is adequately resourced to cope with the country's transition to independence.[HL570]

Baroness Scotland of Asthal: In its Resolution 1272, the UN Security Council authorised a manpower contribution of up to 8,950 troops, 200 military observers and 1,640 civilian police officers for UNTAET as recommended by the Secretary General. The priority now is to ensure rapid deployment of civilian police and other civilian staff. The UK has deployed 14 civilian police and four military observers to the territory. In addition, a UN-World Bank donor meeting held in Tokyo last December received pledges of US$ 520 million for East Timor's reconstruction, development and humanitarian needs over the next three years. The UK committed US$ 20 million, in addition to our earlier commitment of £5.5 million for humanitarian relief and £1 million to support UNTAET. We are pressing for early and effective disbursement of this.

Peers Appointed to Quangos, Task Forces and Working Parties

Lord Strathclyde asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Whether they will list, with dates of appointment and of service, Members of the House of Lords who have, since May 1997, served on, or been appointed to:

    (a) non-departmental public bodies;

    (b) government-appointed task forces; and

    (c) government-appointed working parties;

    or who have acted as ministerial special advisers, including in the lists for all categories both those who were Members of the House of Lords at the time of appointment or during service, and those who have been made Members of the House of Lords subsequently.[HL349]

The Minister of State, Cabinet Office (Lord Falconer of Thoroton): I regret that detailed information in the form requested is not held centrally, and could only be obtained at disproportionate cost.

The names of current members of non-departmental public bodies (NDPBs), including those government task forces which are classified as advisory NDPBs, are available on the net at

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The following Members of the House of Lords are currently members of Government task forces, reviews and other ad hoc advisory groups.

BodyMember of the House of Lords
Advisory Group to Consider and Recommend on an Appropriate New Statue or Work of Art for the Vacant Plinth in Trafalgar Square (DCMS)Baroness Rendell of Babergh CBE
Cleaner Vehicles Task Force (DETR)Rt Hon Lord Macdonald of Tradeston (Minister for Transport, DETR)
Company Law Review Consultative Committee (DTI)Rt Hon Lord Newton of Braintree OBE
Creative Industries Task Force (DCMS)Lord Alli Rt Hon Baroness of Jay of Paddington (Lord Privy Seal, Leader of the House of Lords and Minister for Women) Baroness Scotland of Asthal QC (Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, FCO)
Human Rights Task Force (HO)Lord Harris of Haringey
Information Age Partnership (DTI)Lord Simpson of Dunkeld
Interchange Steering Council (Cabinet Office)Lord Haskins
Ministerial Task Force on the Government's Response to the Children's Safeguards Review (DH)Lord Falconer of Thoroton QC (Minister of State, Cabinet Office) Lord Warner
Panel 2000 Advisory Group (FCO)Lord Alli Baroness Blackstone (Minister for Education and Employment, DfEE) Rt Hon Baroness Chalker of Wallasey Rt Hon Lord Clinton-Davis Lord Marshall of Knightsbridge Lord Paul Baroness Scotland of Asthal QC (Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, FCO)
Road Haulage Forum (DETR)Lord Macdonald of Tradeston (Minister for Transport, DETR)
Science and Innovation Strategy Group (DfEE)Baroness Blackstone (Minister for Education and Employment DfEE) Lord Sainsbury of Turville (Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Science, DTI)
Scottish Fee Support Review (DfEE)Lord Burns GCB
Service Families Task Force (MOD)Rt Hon Baroness Hollis of Heigham (Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, DSS)
Standards Task Force (DfEE)Lord Puttnam CBE
Steering Group on the Lawrence Inquiry Action Plan (HO)Baroness Howells of St Davids OBE
Task Force for London Transport (DETR)Rt Hon Lord Macdonald of Tradeston (Minister for Transport, DETR)
Thoracic Surgical Services Review (DH)Baroness Emerton DBE
Working Group on Forced MarriageLord Ahmed Lord Dholakia OBE Baroness Uddin

Since May 1997, the only Special Adviser to have also been a member of the House of Lords was Lord Hollick. Lord Warner became a member of the House of Lords after his appointment as a Special Adviser to the Home Secretary had ended.

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