|Previous Section||Back to Table of Contents||Lords Hansard Home Page|
Baroness Scotland of Asthal: The United Kingdom is playing an active role in the discussion of a possible optional protocol to the United Nations International Convention on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights at the current session of the Commission on Human Rights in Geneva. The United Kingdom will be seeking clarity on the mandate and timescale of any new working group before taking a final position.
Baroness Scotland of Asthal: We strongly support the Millennium Forum's commitment to ensuring that the event be truly representative of global civil society by securing the participation of civil society groups from developed and developing countries. We have offered financial assistance to the forum to help fund the attendance of civil society representatives from less developed countries.
Baroness Scotland of Asthal: KFOR operations are kept under constant review, both nationally and in NATO. The North Atlantic Council is briefed on developments at its weekly meetings. The NATO Secretary-General sends monthly reports on KFOR to the United Nations Secretary-General. NATO Ministers will have an opportunity to take stock of the situation in Kosovo at their ministerial meetings in May and June.
Baroness Scotland of Asthal: We are aware of reports of aerial bombings of civilian targets in Sudan. It has been through our dialogue, both bilateral and EU, that we have been able to raise both the general issue and specific incidents with the Government of Sudan.
At last year's UN Commission on Human Rights, the EU also sponsored a consensus resolution on Sudan which called on the Government to "stop immediately the indiscriminate bombardment of civilian and humanitarian centres, which runs counter to the fundamental principles of human rights and humanitarian law". We expect the EU to sponsor a resolution again this year and shall continue to keep this issue high on our agenda.
Baroness Scotland of Asthal: There has been substantial progress, although much remains to be done. Almost 400 local judges and prosecutors have been appointed, including Kosovo Serbs and other minorities. The UN Mission has also appointed over 200 lay judges. Three hundred and fifty Kosovars have graduated from the new police training school, including Serbs, other minorities and around 100 women. We have 40 UK police officers at the training school. We intend to offer UK candidates to serve as international judges and prosecutors in Kosovo.
Baroness Scotland of Asthal: Yes. The UK has deployed 60 police to the UN International Police and we intend to double this contribution. We also contribute 40 UK police officers to the school training the future Kosovo police. We intend to contribute the core of a new Criminal Intelligence Unit to work in the UN police. We intend to offer UK judges and lawyers to work with the UN Mission in Kosovo.
Baroness Scotland of Asthal: Information on statutory and constitutional provisions prohibiting discrimination on grounds of religion in all EU and Commonwealth states is not held centrally. To provide the information requested for all 69 states would be a major undertaking which would incur disproportionate cost.
The Home Secretary has commissioned research into the nature and scale of religious discrimination in England and Wales. This project, to be completed in autumn this year, will consider the legal and constitutional position in other jurisdictions. The interim report, published on 31 January, includes an initial analysis of approaches to tackling religious discrimination in several Commonwealth and EU jurisdictions. Copies are available in the Libraries of both Houses and on the research project's website at: www.multifaithnet.org.
Baroness Scotland of Asthal: We have asked our Embassy in Bahrain for full details of Mr Hussein's case and in particular the circumstances surrounding his recent re-arrest, which we view with concern.
The Minister for Science, Department of Trade and Industry (Lord Sainsbury of Turville): The following 86 companies hold licences granting code powers, which allow the operator to install and maintain equipment on the public highway, subject to conditions laid down in the New Roads and Street Works Act 1991 and subsidiary legislation.
The number of individual licences with code powers is greater than 86 as a number of companies hold more than one regional licence. The full list is regularly updated and available on the OFTEL web site (www.oftel.gov.uk).
|Back to Table of Contents||Lords Hansard Home Page|