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Baroness Rawlings: I thank the noble Earl, Lord Sandwich, for his kind words. I am grateful to all those who contributed to the debate on this amendment. I thank the Minister for her explanation. I beg leave to withdraw the amendment.

Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.

[Amendment No. 7 not moved.]

Baroness Rawlings moved Amendment No. 8:

( ) reducing conflict or the potential for conflict in one or more such countries"

The noble Baroness said: Amendment No. 8 seeks to give the Secretary of State the power to provide assistance, whether financial or technical, to reduce the potential for conflict in developing countries. That could include the provision of assistance to countries in central and eastern Europe, to assist with the controlling of the supply of small arms from those countries to areas of conflict.

16 Jul 2001 : Column 1297

It is vitally important that no measures to prevent the potential for violent conflict in developing countries are made illegal by the narrow terms of "poverty reduction" within the Bill. We believe that explicit reference needs to be made to conflict as it is so often one of the root causes of poverty and political instability. The Government agree with that. They have said that the promotion of peace and stability is indispensable if countries are to attract investment and trade and promote pro-poor development.

Violent conflict is one of the biggest barriers to development in many of the world's poorest countries, according to the globalisation White Paper.

The Chancellor of the Exchequer has said that countries will struggle to make the necessary commitment to poverty reduction and economic growth if they are affected by conflict. That appeared in the Herald of 8th July 2000. Action to prevent the proliferation of small arms in developing countries could legitimately mean British aid money being used to help strengthen customs and excise activity or economic diversification in countries where the arms originate. Those tend to be countries of central and eastern Europe and Russia. We have concerns that the poverty focus of the Bill may render such assistance illegal. The Government have already reduced schemes to eastern Europe such as the Know-How Fund. That is a great shame. The Know-How Fund did marvellous work, especially in stabilising eastern and central Europe, which is so important for these accession countries.

The Government are also pressing the European Union to take such action by 2006. Seventy per cent of EU spend is to be used on low-income countries. In the light of reduced commitments to eastern Europe, it is important that the Government can ensure that arms programmes aimed at reducing small arms flows from eastern Europe to conflict situations in Africa can continue to be funded by DfID.

Lord Redesdale: I support the aims of the amendment. However, I believe that it would place a great deal of strain on the Secretary of State. I am not sure whether reducing conflict is quantifiable. If implemented, the Export Control Bill, which is to be introduced, should stop the flow of small arms which will do a great deal to reduce conflict. However, I am not certain that the amendment would help this Bill.

Baroness Amos: Amendment No. 8 would add to the purposes for which development assistance can be provided and make explicit that the Secretary of State is able to support activities which reduce conflict or the potential for conflict.

I can confirm that under the provisions of the Bill the Secretary of State will be able to support activities in this area. The Bill will allow us to continue to support security sector reform where such support is likely to prevent violent conflict and increase stability,

16 Jul 2001 : Column 1298

thereby decreasing suffering and poverty. To specify that area as a separate purpose for development assistance is therefore unnecessary.

I can also confirm to the noble Baroness, Lady Rawlings, that the Government are committed to tackling and reducing conflict. We have established a conflict prevention fund and, as part of the process of ensuring that government departments work together to achieve and secure the same objective, the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, the Ministry of Defence and the Department for International Development are working together on that issue. A good example of that is the work being done in Sierra Leone.

The noble Baroness may also be aware of the initiative on conflict Diamonds. One of our concerns is that resources such as diamonds, where available, fuel conflict in particular parts of the world. The noble Baroness will also be aware of the considerable amount of work we are doing in the Balkans. I assure the noble Baroness that her amendment is unnecessary. In the light of that explanation, I hope that she will feel able to withdraw it.

Baroness Rawlings: I thank the Minister for her explanation. I am sorry that she took that view. This is an important amendment which, reluctantly, in the circumstances I shall press. I should therefore like to test the opinion of the Committee.

4.54 p.m.

On Question, Whether the said amendment (No. 8) shall be agreed to?

Their Lordships divided: Contents, 77; Not-Contents, 135.

Division No. 1


Alton of Liverpool, L.
Anelay of St Johns, B.
Astor of Hever, L.
Attlee, E.
Beaumont of Whitley, L.
Blatch, B.
Bridgeman, V.
Burnham, L. [Teller]
Buscombe, B.
Caithness, E.
Campbell of Croy, L.
Chadlington, L.
Clark of Kempston, L.
Colwyn, L.
Dean of Harptree, L.
Denham, L.
Dixon-Smith, L.
Dundee, E.
Elles, B.
Elton, L.
Ferrers, E.
Finlay of Llandaff, B.
Fookes, B.
Fowler, L.
Freeman, L.
Gardner of Parkes, B.
Garel-Jones, L.
Geddes, L.
Glenarthur, L.
Glentoran, L.
Gray of Contin, L.
Greenway, L.
Hanham, B.
Hayhoe, L.
Henley, L. [Teller]
Hooper, B.
Howe, E.
Howell of Guildford, L.
Joffe, L.
Kimball, L.
Knight of Collingtree, B.
Lane of Horsell, L.
McColl of Dulwich, L.
Marlesford, L.
Miller of Hendon, B.
Monro of Langholm, L.
Mowbray and Stourton, L.
Murton of Lindisfarne, L.
Naseby, L.
Northesk, E.
Norton of Louth, L.
O'Cathain, B.
Perry of Southwark, B.
Peyton of Yeovil, L.
Platt of Writtle, B.
Rawlings, B.
Renton, L.
Roberts of Conwy, L.
Rochester, Bp.
St. John of Bletso, L.
St John of Fawsley, L.
Seccombe, B.
Selborne, E.
Selsdon, L.
Sharples, B.
Shaw of Northstead, L.
Simon of Glaisdale, L.
Skidelsky, L.
Soulsby of Swaffham Prior, L.
Stewartby, L.
Stodart of Leaston, L.
Strathclyde, L.
Trefgarne, L.
Trumpington, B.
Vivian, L.
Waddington, L.
Warnock, B.


Acton, L.
Addington, L.
Alderdice, L.
Allenby of Megiddo, V.
Amos, B.
Ampthill, L.
Andrews, B.
Archer of Sandwell, L.
Ashton of Upholland, B.
Avebury, L.
Bach, L.
Bassam of Brighton, L.
Bath and Wells, Bp.
Berkeley, L.
Blackstone, B.
Blease, L.
Boothroyd, B.
Bragg, L.
Brennan, L.
Brett, L.
Brooke of Alverthorpe, L.
Brookman, L.
Brooks of Tremorfa, L.
Burlison, L.
Carter, L. [Teller]
Christopher, L.
Clark Of Windermere, L.
Clarke of Hampstead, L.
Clinton-Davis, L.
Cohen of Pimlico, B.
Craig of Radley, L.
Crawley, B.
Dahrendorf, L.
Davies of Coity, L.
Davies of Oldham, L.
Desai, L.
Dholakia, L.
Dixon, L.
Donoughue, L.
Evans of Parkside, L.
Falkland, V.
Farrington of Ribbleton, B.
Faulkner of Worcester, L.
Filkin, L.
Fitt, L.
Fyfe of Fairfield, L.
Gibson of Market Rasen, B.
Gilbert, L.
Gladwin of Clee, L.
Goldsmith, L.
Gould of Potternewton, B.
Greaves, L.
Gregson, L.
Grenfell, L.
Grocott, L.
Hannay of Chiswick, L.
Hardy of Wath, L.
Harris of Haringey, L.
Harris of Richmond, B.
Haskel, L.
Hayman, B.
Hilton of Eggardon, B.
Hollis of Heigham, B.
Holme of Cheltenham, L.
Hooson, L.
Howells of St. Davids, B.
Howie of Troon, L.
Hoyle, L.
Hughes of Woodside, L.
Hunt of Chesterton, L.
Irvine of Lairg, L. (Lord Chancellor)
Janner of Braunstone, L.
Jay of Paddington, B.
Jeger, B.
Jenkins of Putney, L.
Judd, L.
Kirkhill, L.
Lea of Crondall, L.
Levy, L.
Lipsey, L.
McIntosh of Haringey, L. [Teller]
McIntosh of Hudnall, B.
MacKenzie of Culkein, L.
Mallalieu, B.
Marsh, L.
Masham of Ilton, B.
Mason of Barnsley, L.
Mishcon, L.
Morgan, L.
Nicol, B.
Northover, B.
Orme, L.
Palmer, L.
Patel, L.
Patel of Blackburn, L.
Paul, L.
Ramsay of Cartvale, B.
Rea, L.
Redesdale, L.
Rendell of Babergh, B.
Richardson of Calow, B.
Rooker, L.
Roper, L.
Russell, E.
Sainsbury of Turville, L.
Scotland of Asthal, B.
Scott of Needham Market, B.
Sharp of Guildford, B.
Sheldon, L.
Shutt of Greetland, L.
Simon, V.
Stoddart of Swindon, L.
Stone of Blackheath, L.
Strabolgi, L.
Symons of Vernham Dean, B.
Taverne, L.
Taylor of Blackburn, L.
Temple-Morris, L.
Thornton, B.
Tomlinson, L.
Turnberg, L.
Turner of Camden, B.
Uddin, B.
Wallace of Saltaire, L.
Walmsley, B.
Warner, L.
Warwick of Undercliffe, B.
Watson of Invergowrie, L.
Watson of Richmond, L.
Weatherill, L.
Whitaker, B.
Wilkins, B.
Williams of Elvel, L.
Williams of Mostyn, L. (Lord Privy Seal)
Woolmer of Leeds, L.

Resolved in the negative, and amendment disagreed to accordingly.

16 Jul 2001 : Column 1300

5.4 p.m.

[Amendments Nos. 9 and 10 not moved.]

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