|Previous Section||Back to Table of Contents||Lords Hansard Home Page|
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Baroness Amos): We are closely following the situation in Georgia. We have urged both the Russians and Georgians to co-operate over security, including along their border, in a spirit of openness and transparency, and to avoid any actions that would exacerbate tensions. With EU partners we have expressed our support for the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Georgia.
Baroness Amos: The Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (SAR) Government published a consultation paper on 24 September outlining their proposals for legislation to meet their responsibilities under Article 23 of the Basic Law of Hong Kong. Before this we had discussed the general issue of Article 23 with the SAR Government on a number of
We have made clear to the SAR Government that any legislation should be consistent with the principles of the Sino-British Joint Declaration on Hong Kong and the two UN human rights covenants. We welcome the Hong Kong Secretary of Justice's assertion that any new laws would comply with these international covenants. We will watch this closely.
The precise wording of any legislation will be of crucial importance. We are aware that many commentators on Hong Kong have urged that the text of the proposed legislation be published before it is tabled in the Legislative Council. We hope that the SAR Government will use the consultation period to clarify the detail of the legislation.
Baroness Amos: The UK has not received any official confirmation from the Governments of Namibia, Angola and Zimbabwe that the forces of those countries would be withdrawn from the Democratic Republic of Congo by the end of October. The UN mission in the DRC (MONUC) has reported that the Namibian forces have already left the DRC. The Angolans and Zimbabweans recently met in Kinshasa to announce a joint programme to complete the departure of remaining Zimbabwean and Angolan troops. There was a military ceremony on 30 October to symbolise the final departure. We expect UN observers to confirm shortly whether these withdrawals have been completed.
Baroness Amos: The UK will draw attention to the report by the United Nations panel of experts on the illegal exploitation of natural resources and other forms of wealth of the Democratic Republic of Congo to other Commonwealth states. Amnesty
Baroness Amos: We have now completed our review of the report of the Constitutional Review Commissioners and associated papers forwarded by the Governor of the Cayman Islands in August. We have invited representatives of both government and opposition parties to an informal meeting in London on 9-11 December to discuss how to take the various proposals forward. Copies of the relevant reports have been placed in the Libraries of both Houses.
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Ministry of Defence (Lord Bach): The United Kingdom has not employed any weapons containing depleted uranium in Afghanistan. There are no air-launched bombs containing depleted uranium in UK service.
However, the UK Paveway III, which was employed by the RAF in the Balkans, is essentially the same weapon as GBU-24. It is a precision-guided general purpose bomb, not specifically designed for bunker-busting, and does not contain depleted uranium. The United Kingdom does not possess equivalents to GBU-15, 28 and 37.
Lord Bach: Since the establishment of the no fly zones following the Gulf conflict, United Kingdom aircraft have released no munitions containing depleted uranium when responding in self-defence against attacks on them by Iraqi air defence weapons. There are no air-launched bombs containing depleted uranium in UK service.
Lord McIntosh of Haringey: The Government have today published the consultation document The Modernisation of Gambling Taxes: Consultation on the Evaluation of the Gross Profits Tax on BettingOne Year On, copies of which have been deposited in the Library of the House.
|Next Section||Back to Table of Contents||Lords Hansard Home Page|