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Baroness Amos: The Director of the Northern Ireland Bureau in Washington was appointed by open competition, by the Office of the First Minister and Deputy First Minister. It was conducted in accordance with the Civil Service Commissioners' Recruitment Code.
Candidates were required to demonstrate core competencies in the areas of communication, personal effectiveness and leadership, conceptual and strategic thinking, planning and managing relationships and partnerships. In addition a comprehensive knowledge of current key issues involving Northern Ireland and in particular its administration, and other Northern Ireland bodies, as appropriate, and how these should be represented in the United States.
Baroness Amos: The Natural Resource Rural Tourism Initiative (NRRTi), jointly developed by the Northern Ireland Tourist Board (NITB), the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development and the Department of the Environment, is aimed at developing tourism, including cultural tourism, in selected rural areas throughout Northern Ireland. NRRTi funding has been made available during the period 200206 to the Causeway Coast and Antrim Glens. This funding can be accessed by Larne Borough Council.
The Ulster Scots Agency, which receives core funding from the Department of Culture, Arts and Leisure, provides some financial support for Ulster Scots events in Larne and North Down Council areas. The support of such community activity provides an impetus and focus for the development and marketing of cultural tourism.
Baroness Amos: I would refer the noble Lord to the Answer given on 7 January 2003 (WA 171). In addition to this expert advice the department has received the advice of many people within the Ulster-Scots linguistic and cultural community, for example during the ongoing Future Search consultation process.
Baroness Amos: The Equality Commission has a range of functions and powers under the anti-discrimination and equality legislation including that dealing with religious belief or political opinion. These include general duties of promoting equality of opportunity and working towards the elimination of unlawful discrimination.
It is the Government's clear objective that by developing "separated" conditions for certain prisoners, the prison service staff retain authority over the conduct of prisoners and the regime in which they live.
Baroness Amos: By long-standing convention, observed by successive governments, the fact of and substance of the Law Officers' advice is not disclosed outside government. The convention is referred to in paragraph 24 of the Ministerial Code. This enables the Government to obtain frank and full legal advice in confidence, as everyone else can. Consistent with this convention, the Attorney-General's advice relating to the proposed military action against Iraq has not been disclosed. However, in view of the high-level of public interest in the proposed military action, the Attorney-General, exceptionally, made a Written Statement in Parliament on 17 March 2003 setting out his view of the legal basis for the use of force against Iraq.
Baroness Amos: A number of developing countries have levels of capability in their pharmaceutical sector; a detailed list is attached. The developing countries whose generic drug manufacturing capacity is substantial enough to manufacture their own drugs to treat HIV and AIDS include Mexico, Brazil, China, India and South Africa.
The factors recognised by the World Health Organisation (WHO) that can improve poor peoples' access to medicines are: affordable pricing, sustainable financing, reliable health and supply systems, and the rational selection and use of existing drugs.
The UK Government are pursuing a number of different approaches to make essential drugsincluding those for the treatment of HIV/AIDSavailable in developing countries. These include working with other G8 countries, developing country governments, multi-lateral institutions, the pharmaceutical industry (generic and patent-based), investors and NGOs to encourage companies to reduce their prices in developing countries.
The Prime Minister's high level Working Group on Increasing Access to Essential Medicines in the Developing World recommended differential pricing of essential medicines for the developing world. The UK Government are working to secure greater international commitment to affordable pricing.
Baroness Amos: Yes. The Department for International Development has provided technical assistance worth £480,000 for a project entitled Building Police Support for Harm Reduction managed by International Family Health, which runs from August 2001 to December 2003. The project aims to work in partnership with the Russian police as an integral part of strategies, including harm reduction, for combating the HIV/AIDS epidemic in Russia, and IFH's report is one of its outputs. The report seeks to analyse and raise questions about a range of issues on HIV/AIDS and drugs misuse, and harm reduction
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