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The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Baroness Amos): The Department for International Development has agreed immediate funding of £250,000 for the populations worst affected by the flooding in Cuba which followed Hurricane Michelle. Funding has been allocated through the International Federation of the Red Cross (to deliver shelter materials and medicines) and the United Nations Development Programme (for its work on immediate needs for food production and food security, health and social infrastructure, communication and housing).
Baroness Amos: The EU sponsored UN General Assembly resolution on human rights in Iran, passed by the Third Committee on 30 November, reaffirmed international concern about the situation of Baha'is and other religious minorities.
The international Baha'i community has told us that any improvements in the treatment of Baha'is in Iran over the past year (for example, reductions in prison sentences) have been due to the fact that outside bodies, including the UK Government, have pressed the Iranian authorities over their treatment of religious minorities and Baha'is in particular.
The Minister of State, Home Office (Lord Rooker): In general asylum seekers are expected to stay in the country where they have sought protection until their applications have been finally determined and therefore no travel documents are issued.
Lord Rooker: My right honourable friend the Home Secretary is pleased to say that the noble Lord, Lord Carlile of Berriew, has accepted his invitation to carry out the annual review of the Criminal Justice (Terrorism and Conspiracy) Act 1998.
Lord McIntosh of Haringey: Her Majesty's Government are committed to ensuring that the Prospectus Directive achieves the goal of an effective single passport for issuers of securities (identified as a priority for the completion of the single European market in financial services at the Lisbon Council in spring 2000), and that it meets the aim of reducing the cost of raising capital in the EU for all companies, including small and medium sized companies (SMEs).
However, the directive, as currently drafted, could lead to an increase in disclosure costs. It is important that the Prospectus Directive provides for different models of initial information disclosure for different sorts of securities and different sorts of issuers and that an appropriate balance is struck between protecting
To this end, Her Majesty's Government are consulting with the private sector on an ongoing basis, and HM Treasury Ministers and officials are in close touch with the European Commission, the Belgian Presidency, the European Parliament and other member states so that the necessary changes to this directive can be secured.
The Lord Privy Seal (Lord Williams of Mostyn): The Government condemn the appalling scenes witnessed during the course of the Holy Cross protest. There is no justification for preventing young children and infants from attending school. These children are the victims of the inability of adults from both communities in Northern Ireland to live together in peace. The Government, working alongside officials from the Devolved Administration, have facilitated dialogue between both sides. We welcome the recent decision by the residents to end their protest and the restarting of direct dialogue between the parents and residents. The Government hope that now the children will be able to continue with their education without fear or threat of intimidation.
Lord Williams of Mostyn: The Government accept that the reasons individuals do not join the police are many and complex. As the noble and learned Lord, Lord Falconer, observed in this House in the debate on 23 October:
Lord Williams of Mostyn: The Government launched the statutory consultation process on the draft Police Emblems and Flags Regulations on 19 November. The Government have already received a range of comments. These will be taken into account as part of the consultation process.
Lord Williams of Mostyn: It was the practice prior to the current competition for applicants wishing to serve in the police to be asked whether they had any police relatives. The information has been used for monitoring purposes only and included in monitoring data submitted to the Equality Commission. The rationale for asking the question was to enable the police to demonstrate that having a relative in the police did not affect the impartiality of the recruiting process.
Lord Williams of Mostyn: The designs were made available to the SDLP and the Government of the Republic of Ireland on 19 November, the day the consultation on the Police Emblems and Flags Regulations was launched by the Minister of State, Jane Kennedy.
The chairman of the policing board met the Minister on 11 October. At this meeting, while he was not shown the designs, he was told that work had been undertaken on behalf of the Northern Ireland Office by design consultants.
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