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Baroness Amos: The Government continue to press the Indonesian Government bilaterally and multilaterally to assist the efforts of international humanitarian organisations in the return process. The Department for International Development has also provided substantial funding to the International Organisation for Migration and UNHCR to assist the repatriation of refugees.
Baroness Amos: In April 2000, the World Forum on Education in Dakar will assess the progress that has been made since the Education for All Summit in Jomtien in 1990. It will note that 130 million children (two-thirds of whom are girls) still do not or cannot go to school. The forum will pay particular attention to analysing why some countries, including some of the poorest, have managed to achieve considerably more than others.
Among countries in the Africa, Caribbean and Pacific group, the UK is supporting bilateral technical assistance programmes in Malawi (£0.25 million), South Africa (£0.1 million), Zimbabwe (£0.5 million) and the 14 CARICOM countries in the Caribbean (£1.1 million). In Asia, assistance has been provided to Bangladesh (£0.56 million). This technical assistance comprises advice, studies and training in trade policy and negotiating skills.
ACP and Asian countries also benefit from UK contributions to multilateral advisory and capacity building programmes managed by the WTO, UNCTAD, the World Bank and the Commonwealth Secretariat. These are designed to prepare developing countries to participate in the new round of WTO trade negotiations, seminars on key issues for the WTO negotiations, training for trade policy officials and a handbook for trade negotiators from developing countries.
Baroness Amos: The Secretary of State for International Development is doing all she can to persuade other bilateral donors to contribute. She intends to invite fellow development ministers to London early in the new year to discuss this issue.
Baroness Amos: The Secretary of State for International Development has so far committed £6.5 million to the Disarmament, Demobilisation and Reintegration (DDR) programme for combatants in Sierra Leone. A substantial part of this is pledged to
Additional pledges are needed urgently in order to reach the overall estimate of the cost of DDR, and the Secretary of State is intending to press Sierra Leone's case for further donations with development ministers early in the New Year.
Lord Bassam of Brighton : The relevant authorities take this offence seriously, but female genital mutilation (FGM) is deeply steeped in the cultures and traditions of those communities who practise it and it is rarely reported. There have been no prosecutions to date. New government guidance Working together to safeguard children to be issued in the new year recommends that in local areas where there are communities who traditionally practice FGM, the policy of area child protection committees (on which the police are represented) should focus on a preventive strategy involving community education.
Lord Bassam of Brighton: Police powers to arrange for the removal of vehicles from the highway are contained in the Road Traffic Regulation Act 1984 and the Removal of Vehicles Regulations 1986. Under this legislation the precise arrangements adopted by police forces for the safe recovery of vehicles, including the terms and conditions of individual contracts entered into by the police and contractors to carry out the work, are an operational matter for individual chief officers of police.
Police vehicle recovery contracts vary from force to force, but the norm is for police forces to pay a commercial rate for the recovery of their own vehicles. A few police forces may have negotiated free recovery but there is no evidence to suggest this would increase the cost of recovery services to the public because most police vehicle removals are effected by the use of police powers and thus attract the prescribed statutory fee.
Lord Bassam of Brighton: The term emergency services in primary legislation commonly covers the police, ambulance and fire service. However, there are other services that can provide emergency response, for example Ministry of Defence bomb disposal or the Royal Air Force Mountain Rescue. These organisations are also granted certain exemptions to allow them to carry out their functions; for example, the use of blue lights.
It is for the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) to rule on whether advertisements are legal, decent, honest and truthful. In August 1999, the ASA published their adjudication on the use of the term "Fourth Emergency Service" by the Automobile Association, finding the advertisement acceptable. The claim is qualified by the preceding words "To our members, we are the Fourth Emergency Service".
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