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Baroness Amos: We understand that, over the last three years (1998-2000), UNHCR received a total of US$66,918,423 from the Regular Budget of the United Nations to cover the cost of some 220 administrative posts. This was broken down as follows:
Baroness Amos: There are no English language learning projects in Sudan funded by Her Majesty's Government. We provide assistance for humanitarian emergencies through the United Nations and international non-governmental organisations and will continue to do so.
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Baroness Scotland of Asthal): Our Ambassador in Sana'a raised the case of Mohamed Omer Haji with the Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs, Abdullah al-Sayedi on 9 July and made clear our concerns. We understand that Mohamed Omer Haji has not yet been sentenced. The court in Aden convened on 12 July and was immediately adjourned. The next hearing is due to take place on 19 July. We will continue to monitor the case and stand ready to raise the matter again with the Yemeni Government.
Baroness Scotland of Asthal: The Prime Minister of Belize raised the dispute during his visit to the UK on 13-18 June. He met my right honourable friends the Prime Minister, the Foreign Secretary, the Development Secretary and my honourable friends Mr Battle, Foreign and Commonwealth Office Minister of State, and Mr Spellar, Armed Forces Minister.
As all Ministers he met made clear, the UK fully supports Belize's sovereignty and territorial integrity. We welcome the talks currently taking place between Belize and Guatemala under the auspices of the Organisation of American States. We also welcome the meeting that took place on 7 July between the Guatemalan and Belizian military, and hope that this signals the full resumption of peaceful military to military contacts, and a positive dialogue to resolve this dispute.
Baroness Scotland of Asthal: Following consultations with this department and the Ministry of Defence, the Department of Trade and Industry recently issued a licence for the export of mine clearance equipment for the use by the HALO Trust to aid their demining activities in Afghanistan. This licence was granted for humanitarian purposes. This decision does not affect the Government's continued support for the EU Common Position on arms exports to Afghanistan.
Baroness Scotland of Asthal: The territory's immigration laws and policy are currently the subject of an action in the High Court. We are aware that some of the Ilois community have expressed an interest in returning to settle on the outer islands of the archipelago. We have been studying the feasibility of settlement on the outer islands, which have been uninhabited for 30 years, and the potential environmental impact. This work is not complete and we will continue it.
We shall maintain our sovereignty over the BIOT as for as long as our treaty obligations require it. Thereafter, we stand by the undertaking we have made that we would cede sovereignty of the territory to Mauritius.
The Minister of State, Department for Education and Employment (Baroness Blackstone): My right honourable friend the Secretary of State for Education and Employment reached his decision on Bristol's proposals to close Merrywood School on 10 April 2000.
Baroness Blackstone: In reaching his decision on the proposals to close Merrywood School, my right honourable friend the Secretary of State for Education and Employment fully considered all the information available to him. The safety of routes to alternative schools was not raised as an issue by objectors to the proposals. Funding is, however, to be made available to improve vehicular access to one of the receiving schools: Hengrove Secondary. Bristol Local Education Authority's transport policy will apply.
Baroness Blackstone: I am not aware of any discussions having taken place regarding Merrywood's playing fields. As the noble Lord is aware, the Government are committed to preventing the indiscriminate disposal of school playing fields and want to ensure that playing fields needed by schools and local communities are retained. To this end, the School Standards and Framework Act 1998 requires local authorities to obtain the written consent of the Secretary of State before disposing, or changing the use, of any playing field that has been used by a maintained school in the past 10 years. I can confirm that no application has been received from Bristol to dispose, or change the use, of the playing fields at the Merrywood School.
The Minister of State, Ministry of Agriculture Fisheries and Food (Baroness Hayman): Thirty-seven replies were received to this consultation, and we have arranged for copies to be placed in the Libraries of the House, and also to be made available for public inspection in the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food's library at Whitehall Place, The proposal for a government-industry forum on non-food crops was widely welcomed. The Government are now studying the responses in detail and considering how to put the proposals into effect.
The Minister of State, Ministry of Defence (Baroness Symons of Vernham Dean): Key targets set for the Chief Executive of the Defence Evaluation and Research Agency for the financial year 2000-2001 are set out as follows. Key Target 1 Consistent with Treasury requirements, to achieve at least a 6 per cent return on capital employed. Key Target 2 To increase new business income (from customers other than the UK MoD) from £137 million forecast to be achieved in 1999-2000 to £165 million. Key Target 3 To increase the number of staff elected as fellows of professional bodies by 5 per cent from a baseline at 31 March 2000.
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