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Yugoslavia: Sanctions

Lords Dubs asked Her Majesty's Government:

Baroness Scotland of Asthal: The UK implements the provisions of United Nations Security Council Resolution 1160 (1998), which imposed an arms embargo on the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia and a prohibition on arming and training for terrorist activities there.

The UK also implements the following measures, imposed by the European Union in relation to the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, which are designed to target the Milosevic regime.

    a selective visa ban

    a ban on the provision of government-financed export credit and other forms of export finance

    a selective freeze of funds and investment ban

    an oil embargo (with specified exemptions including in relation to Kosovo, Montenegro and the EU's Energy for Democracy programme).

The EU flight ban in relation to the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia has been suspended until 31 March 2001.

Diplomatic Missions: Unpaid Parking Fines

Lord Dubs asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Whether they will publish figures recording the number of outstanding parking and other minor traffic violation fines incurred by diplomatic missions and international organisations in the United Kingdom during the year ending 31 December 1999.[HL3621]

Baroness Scotland of Asthal: At the end of 1999, unpaid fines in respect of parking and other minor traffic violations incurred by members of diplomatic missions and International Organisations in the United Kingdom totalled 5,112. In April this year the

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Foreign and Commonwealth Office wrote to all diplomatic missions and International Organisations in the United Kingdom giving them the opportunity to either pay their outstanding fines or appeal against them if they considered that they had been issued incorrectly. As a result payments totalling £36,120.00 were received, leaving a total of 4,124 unpaid fines for 1999. The attached table details diplomatic missions and international organisations which have more than 10 fines outstanding.

MissionNumber of Fines Outstanding
1 Nigeria536
2 Angola399
3 UAE285
4 Egypt152
5 Iran125
6 Morocco120
7 Qatar117
8 Algeria109
9 Turkey103
10 Jordan96

Wilton Park Executive Agency

Baroness Gould of Potternewton asked Her Majesty's Government:

    How the Wilton Park Executive Agency performed against the targets agreed for 1999-2000; and what are the agreed targets for the current year.[HL3734]

Baroness Scotland of Asthal: Wilton Park met all four of the agreed targets set for the 1999-2000 financial year, for income, cost recovery, the number of conference participants, and cost per head to the FCO overall. The 1999-2000 targets were:


    Recovery of cost--82.5%

    Number of Wilton Park conference participants--2,400

    Cost to FCO per conference participants--£193.

The following targets have been agreed for the financial year 2000-01:

    To increase overall income to--£2,500,000

    To maintain cost recovery at--82.3%

    To maintain the target for the overall number of Wilton Park conference participants at--2,400

    To achieve an average cost to the FCO of each participant of--£224.

Mr Miroslav Filipovic: Trial

Lord Hylton asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Whether they are able to arrange the independent observation of the trial of Mr Miroslav Filipovic, journalist, starting in Serbia on 25 July, before a military court.[HL3378]

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Baroness Scotland of Asthal: Heads of European Union member state diplomatic missions in Belgrade, including the Head of the British Interests Section of the Embassy of Brazil, are pressing the Belgrade authorities for access to the trial of Mr Filipovic and are demanding that the trial be held according to international standards and procedures and with respect for Mr Filipovic's human rights. The Belgrade authorities have yet to respond.

Trepca Mines, Kosovo

Lord Hylton asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Whether UNMIK has yet been able to bring the Trepca mines in Kosovo into production.[HL3467]

Baroness Scotland of Asthal: UNMIK is in advanced negotiations with a three-company consortium for a one-year project to study the financial, technical and environmental aspects of resuming production at Trepca.

Kosovo: Courts, Judiciary and Prisons

Lord Hylton asked Her Majesty's Government:

    In relation to Kosovo, under the authority of United Nations Mission in Kosovo--(a) whether the civil and criminal courts are now functioning throughout the country, (b) whether there is a shortage of judges, and, if so, how many are needed, (c) what is the backlog of court cases (if any); and (d) whether adequate prisons are available for sentenced criminals.[HL3466]

Baroness Scotland of Asthal: (a) Civil and criminal courts are now functioning throughout Kosovo.

(b) There is still a shortage of judges and prosecutors. UNMIK have recruited over 400 local judges and are seeking to recruit a further four international judges and four international prosecutors. We have offered UNMIK four candidates for prosecutor posts, and expect also to be able to put forward some judges.

(c) A backlog of court cases has accrued in Kosovo due to the need for UNMIK to reform the judicial system in the province. This backlog is currently being addressed.

(d) Prison space in Kosovo is inadequate, with the increasing number of trials resulting in the need for more detention facilities. To date, the UK has given $1 million and the use of an Emergency Engineering Unit to help repair prison facilities.

Alleged Croat Atrocities: Investigation

Lord Jopling asked Her Majesty's Government:

    In the light of a film by Danish television called "Operation Panther" dealing with the atrocities by Croats in Stolac and Dretelj, what actions they have

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    taken or intend to take in order to press the international war crimes organisation to take urgent action.[HL3637]

Baroness Scotland of Asthal: The International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) is an independent body established by the UN Security Council to bring to justice those responsible for serious violations of international humanitarian law in the former Yugoslavia. We understand that ICTY are aware of the allegations in the Danish programme. Her Majesty's Government cannot, and do not, put pressure on the tribunal to investigate particular incidents or individuals.

Irish Republic: Pro-British Community

Lord Laird asked Her Majesty's Government:

    What advice, if any, they have offered to the Government of the Republic of Ireland about the treatment of those of its residents who consider themselves to be members of the pro-British community; how often the advice is offered; on what topics; and whether there have been any substantial changes to Republic of Ireland policy as a result.[HL3723]

Baroness Scotland of Asthal: None.

Workplace Parking Levy

Lord Berkeley asked the Chairman of Committees:

    Whether, when workplace parking is introduced by the Greater London Authority, an exemption for either Members of the House or officials will be sought; and, if so, for what reasons.[HL3774]

The Chairman of Committees (Lord Boston of Faversham): The Greater London Authority Act 1999 gave the Greater London Authority the power to introduce a workplace parking levy on persons providing workplace parking places in Greater London. However, I understand that at present the authority has no plans to introduce such a levy. In the absence of any plans, it is not possible to say whether the House will seek any exemptions from the levy. If any proposals are brought forward in the future, the appropriate House committees (in the first instance, the Administration and Works Sub-Committee) will be consulted as to whether any exemptions should be sought.

Methicillin Resistant Staphylococcus

Lord Lester of Herne Hill asked Her Majesty's Government:

    What has been the extent of outbreaks of methicillin resistant staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) in National Health Service hospitals during each of the past five years; and[HL3604]

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    Whether they will ensure (a) that the Public Health Laboratory Service is provided with reliable data on the extent of outbreaks of methicillin resistant staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) in National Health Service hospitals; and (b) that such data are published, linking data with each hospital.[HL3605]

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Health (Lord Hunt of Kings Heath): The number of hospitals recording methicillin resistant staphylococcus (MRSA) outbreaks are not collected centrally. The Public Health Laboratory Service (PHLS) does collect data on incidents* of MRSA from isolates submitted voluntarily by hospitals in England and Wales for specialist microbiological tests, but there are a number of problems in relation to interpretation and analysis of that data. The Department of Health is currently working with the PHLS and the National Health Service to improve existing surveillance and reporting systems so as to ensure that the data requested are collected and made available as soon as possible. *An incident is defined as three or more patients with the same strain in the same hospital in one calendar month.

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