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Lord Howell of Guildford: My Lords, I am extremely grateful to the Minister for letting me intervene. Are the Government as worried as the US Government seem to be about the political manipulation of food aid going to Zimbabwe? I heard a suggestion from Washington that the US Government would send in their own teams to try to get food aid out of the hands of ZANU-PF. Does she share that worry?
Baroness Amos: Yes, my Lords, we are concerned about the politicisation of food aid; that is one issue that the EU discussed with SADC. However, that does not affect food aid from the United Kingdom because
Long-term challenges face us that can be tackled only through international co-operation through the United Nations, the Commonwealth, the European Union and a whole range of other regional and multilateral organisations. The strength of the multilateral system is vital to British interests. My noble friend mentioned the importance of international law and the UN. We need an effective international rules-based system to regulate the conduct of relations between states. The European Union merits particular mention here. On a growing range of issues, from migration to economic reform and energy security, Britain can achieve its objective only through co-operation with our European partners. The noble Lord, Lord Maclennan, talked in detail about Europe.
A number of specific issues were raised. The noble Baroness, Lady Dunn, spoke about Hong Kong. We admire the resilience of the people of Hong Kong and agree that none of its essential features has been undermined by its constitutional change.
The noble Lords, Lord Blaker and Lord Astor of Hever, and the noble Baroness, Lady Hooper, all raised the issue of Gibraltar. We shall stick by our 1969 pledge that there will be no change in sovereignty without the consent of the people of Gibraltar.
The noble Lord, Lord Maginnis, raised the question of Cyprus. We hope that a reunited Cyprus will join the European Union, and fully support the efforts of the UN Secretary-General in that respect. The noble Lord, Lord Williamson, talked about Russia and Kaliningrad. The UK is not a Schengen state and our role in the issue of Kaliningrad is therefore limited.
The noble Baroness, Lady Hooper, mentioned Latin America. Those relationships are of increasing importance, as evidenced by the Prime Minister's visit last year to Brazil, Mexico and Argentina. As the noble Baroness mentioned, there have been several return visits.
In conclusion, let me say something about Britain's role. I agreed with my noble friend Lord Parekh when he talked about our European, Atlantic and global reach. We are a leading member of the European Union and the Commonwealth. We enjoy a cultural influence wholly disproportionate to our size, thanks to the English language and the influence of the BBC World Service. We are a permanent member of the world's supreme decision-making body, the United Nations Security Council. We have the world's fourth largest economy, an active development aid programme, highly effective Armed Forces and more overseas investment than any country other than the United States. As my noble friend Lady Symons said
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