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Baroness Symons of Vernham Dean: My right honourable friend the Prime Minister visited Camp David on 26 and 27 March. My right honourable friend the Foreign Secretary joined him there on 27 March. The Prime Minister dined with President Bush and the Foreign Secretary with Secretary Powell (in Washington) on 26 March; and they attended a session of plenary talks on 27 March. The Prime Minister and Foreign Secretary then went on to New York to call on the Secretary General of the United Nations.
They noted that the military campaign was on track. The outcome was not in doubt. The coalition were prosecuting it with vigour and determination, but in a way which minimised, as far as humanly possible, civilian casualities and damage to infrastructure.
The coalition were also working intensively to ensure humanitarian relief. In recent days RFA "Sir Galahad" has delivered humanitarian supplies (including water, rice and lentils) at Umm Qasr; the drinking water plant in the same town has been repaired and the drinking water pipeline from Kuwait completed.
At Camp David, the Prime Minister and President Bush agreed that progress on OFF was the key humanitarian priority. More than half of Iraq's people depend on OFF for their food. So it was urgent for the Security Council to give the Secretary General authority to start getting OFF food to them. The necessary security Council Resolution (1472) was indeed adopted unanimously in the Security Council on 29 March.
The Prime Minister and President Bush made clear that we would seek new UN resolutions to affirm Iraq's territorial integrity, to ensure rapid delivery of humanitarian relief and endorse an appropriate post-conflict administration for Iraq.
The Middle East peace process was a major feature of the Prime Minister's discussions with President Bush. President Bush, the first US president to do so, publicly restated his vision of two states, Israel and Palestine, living side by side in peace and security and reiterated his commitment to implementing the roadmap. He noted that he saw an opportunity to bring renewed hope and progresss to the entire Middle East.
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Trade and Industry (Lord Sainsbury of Turville): The Government plan to implement Directive 2002/58/EC on privacy and electronic communications by means of secondary legislation. Consultation on draft regulations started on 27 March and copies of the consultation document are available in the Libraries of the House. Joan
Lord Sainsbury of Turville: The Government play no part in determining the tariffs payable to the Educational Recording Agency. The Secretary of State can only consider matters of clarity when certifying by statutory instrument new tariffs established by the Educational Recording Agency. The independent Copyright Tribunal can, however, be asked by educational establishments to determine whether any of the tariffs are reasonable in the circumstances.
Whether they accept the estimate of the Health and Safety Commission that up to 2,340 lives a year could be saved by outlawing workplace smoking; and[HL2227]
What savings to government and business, including the National Health Service, could be made by a ban on smoking at work; and[HL2228]
When they intend to introduce an approved code of practice on passive smoking at work.[HL2229]
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Work and Pensions (Baroness Hollis of Heigham): The Government are currently looking at possible options to reduce the exposure of people to tobacco smoke. We will announce our conclusions in due course about how best we will achieve further progress in this area.
Whether a regulatory cost impact assessment was conducted before the introduction of the Lifting Operations and Lifting Equipment Regulations 1998; and, if so, with what result; and[HL2283]
Why the Lifting Operations and Lifting Equipment Regulations 1998 did not contain a "grandfather clause" exempting experienced operators; and[HL2284]
When the Lifting Operations and Lifting Equipment Regulations 1998 are due to be reviewed.[HL2285]
A regulatory impact assessment on LOLER was carried out and published during formal consultation in 1997. The 10 year costs of compliance were estimated to range from a saving of £109.4 million to an increased cost of £112.8 million, depending upon the way in which the industry complied with the regulations.
Baroness Hollis of Heigham: The Health and Safety (First Aid) Regulations 1981 require employers to assess their first aid needs appropriate to the circumstances in their workplace. The aim of first aid at work is to reduce the effects of injury or illness suffered at work. The regulations do not require first aid provision for members of the public but the Health and Safety Executive recommends that they are included in the assessment of first aid needs and that provision is made for them.
Lord McIntosh of Haringey: The Chancellor announced on 27 March that a total of £240 million has been set aside for humanitarian assistance in Iraq. £90 million of this is from DfID budgets and £120 million from the reserve. In addition, £30 million has been allocated from the reserve for the MoD to provide immediate assistance on the ground. DfID has so far committed £115 million to support preparations and delivery of assistance by humanitarian agencies. The remainder of the money will be committed in line with emerging humanitarian needs.
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