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The Minister of State, Cabinet Office (Lord Falconer of Thoroton): Based on information provided by Civil Service departments (including their agencies) participating as employers in the New Deal, the position as at 1 October 1999 is as follows:
|New Deal starts since programmes began|
|Department (including its agencies)||Age 18-24||25 and over||Total|
|Agriculture, Fisheries and Food||9||2||11|
|Culture, Media and Sport||0||3||3|
|Education and Employment||425||22||447|
|Environment, Transport and the Regions||8||1||9|
|Foreign and Commonwealth Office||3||0||3|
|Government Communications Headquarters||0||0||0|
|National Assembly for Wales||13||3||16|
|Northern Ireland Office||8||8||16|
|Trade and Industry||33||6||39|
|Export Credits Guarantee Department||4||0||4|
|Government Offices for the Regions||3||0||3|
Commonwealth Heads agreed my right honourable friend's proposal that we establish a high-level group, under the chairmanship of President Mbeki, to review the role of the Commonwealth in the 21st Century. In addition to South Africa, the UK, Australia, Fiji, India, Malta, Singapore, Tanzania, Trinidad and Tobago and Zimbabwe will be on the group. It will report to the next Heads of Government Meeting in Australia in 2001.
Commonwealth Heads re-affirmed the fundamental political values enshrined in the Harare Commonwealth Declaration. We sent a strong message to General Musharraf in Pakistan calling for a speedy restoration of democracy and the immediate release of Nawaz Sharif and the others detained with him. We agreed that Pakistan should remain suspended from the Councils of the Commonwealth.
Heads discussed the special theme of People-Centred Development: the Challenge of Globalisation. We agreed the Fancourt Declaration, which provides a broad agenda to which all Commonwealth countries agreed to work. Heads agreed that globalisation should bring benefits to all, provided it is a genuine force for liberalisation and is accompanied by structural reform and improved competitiveness. We agreed that the new round of WTO trade negotiations should have a development focus, should cover agriculture, services and industrial products and should be balanced.
Heads expressed concern about the impact of HIV/AIDS, particularly in sub-Saharan Africa. My right honourable friend announced over £22 million of UK assistance for HIV/AIDS related projects, including: £14 million for development of a low-cost vaccine; £7.5 millon for the implementation of an HIV/AIDS strategy in Southern Africa; and £1.2 million to train more than 700 VSO volunteers to raise awareness of HIV/AIDS in Southern Africa.
The Second Commonwealth Business Forum was held in Johannesburg immediately before the Heads meeting. It highlighted the importance of links between government and the private sector throughout the Commonwealth.
My right honourable friend held formal bilateral meetings with President Clerides of Cyprus, President Obasanjo of Nigeria and Prime Minister Vajpayee of India, had a meeting with Caribbean Commonwealth Heads and had the opportunity for informal discussions with many of the other Heads present.
To assist small retailers and their customers with the change to metric units, DTI has set up a helpline and issued information packages. Local authorities have also raised awareness among retailers. The UK Weighing Federation estimates that at least 99 per cent of traders will have converted to metric units by 31 December. A final round of advertising is being undertaken in the trade press.
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Health (Lord Hunt of Kings Heath): We welcome the report as a contribution to the debate on social exclusion. The Government already have a full programme for tackling the social exclusion of those with mental health problems.
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