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What action they will take to encourage the public to give practical support to the United Nations International Decade for a Culture of Peace and the United Nations International Decade for a Culture of Peace and Non-violence for the Children of the World, bearing in mind that both have been endorsed by the United Kingdom. [HL3744]
Citizenship classes address the objective of the United Nations International Decade for a Culture of Peace and Non-violence for the Children of the World, by teaching schoolchildren about human rights, respect for others and by encouraging them to play a full role in civil society.
Additionally the United Kingdom promotes a culture of peace internationally, in accordance with the objectives of the international decades, through support for peacekeeping and peace support operations, which this year have been allocated some £380.3 million and through the Global Conflict Prevention Pools which this financial year have been allocated £74 million for their work.
The Government also support the promotion of the United Nations and its values in the United Kingdom through provision of a grant to the UK branch of the United Nations Association (UNA). The UNA is active in promoting the UN's work on the culture of peace.
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The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Health (Lord Warner): National Health Service pathology services are essential to the delivery of the high-quality treatments and care which patients receive in the NHS. There are sufficient pathology services to carry out blood tests for all NHS patients in England and Northern Ireland. Matters relating to Scotland and Wales are for the devolved administrations.
What work is being undertaken by government-sponsored science laboratories to monitor the increasing resistance of rats to anticoagulant rodenticides; how that work, if any, is funded; and what bearing the resistance has on the possibility of an outbreak of plague. [HL3613]
The Central Science Laboratory completed the last formal assessment of the anticoagulant resistance status of rats in 1998 under Project VC0309, geographical distribution and incidence of anticoagulant resistance in rats. A summary of the results can be found in the scientific paper: Kerins, G.M.; Dennis, N.; Atterby, H.; Gill, J.E. & MacNicoll, A.D. (2001) Distribution of resistance to anticoagulant rodenticides in the Norway rat (Rattus norvegicus Berk.) in England 199598. In: Advances in Vertebrate Pest Management II (Eds. H.-J. Pelz, D.P. Cowan & C.J. Feare) pages 149159, Filander Verlag, Furth.
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Subsequently a limited amount of ad hoc screening in the Yorkshire/Humberside area has been undertaken by the Central Science Laboratory during projects aimed at developing techniques that reduce reliance on anticoagulant rodenticides and thereby reduce the selection pressure favouring resistance (Project VC0321, Control of rats without the use of pesticides). The final report can be found on the Defra website. A further study (VC0330) on the development of novel techniques for improving the effectiveness, humaneness and safety of managing rat populations, is also currently underway.
Ad hoc screening of rural rat populations was also undertaken during projects PV1015 and PV1016 by CSL on behalf of PSD. Final reports of these projects, which looked at the efficacy of rodenticides and the development of guidelines on best practice for rodenticide use, can both be found on the Defra website.
With regard to plague, the Central Science Laboratory reviewed the risk of an outbreak in the UK in a report considered by the UK Zoonoses Group (UKZG) in 2002. The former Public Health Laboratory Service's Advisory committee on Zoonoses (ACZOO) was asked by the UKZG to assess the report. The ACZOO identified a number of issues, some of which had already been considered by a working group on rodent control chaired by Defra. A protocol on rodent management control was also agreed in 2001 with local authorities, water companies and the Local Government Association.
Reference to the UKZG's consideration of the plague report is contained in the summary of the second UKZG meeting, available on the Defra website at: http://www2.defra.gov.uk/animalh/diseases/zoonoses/ukzg/minutes.htm. Copies of the full minute of that meeting can also be obtained on request to the UKZG Secretariat. The e-mail address is mailto:email@example.com.
Lord Whitty: The Environment Agency, the navigation authority for the non-tidal Thames, estimates that £37.5 million is required to be spent on its navigation assets on the river to meet health and safety needs in the next six years.
The department's spending review (SR04) settlement has now been announced. Thames
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navigation health and safety needs will be considered as part of the agency's 20052008 corporate planning process currently underway to determine priorities for funding within the Defra SR04 settlement.
What percentage of the United Kingdom's waterways are currently classified as being in a "poor" condition; how much money is required to bring them up to modern standards; and what steps they are taking in this regard. [HL3709]
Lord Whitty: The Environment Agency uses the term "poor" to describe navigation assets on its waterways which present health and safety risks. It estimates that 43 per cent of the assets on the non-tidal Thames, 32 per cent of the assets on its Anglian waterways and 47 per cent of the assets on the waterways in its Southern Region fall into this category. The agency estimates that it will need to spend about £54 million over the next six years to address these risks though bringing them up to a modern standard would cost considerably more.
What is their response to proposals by the European Commission for reform of the common agricultural policy as regards sugar; and what impact they consider these proposals will have on developing countries. [HL3888]
Lord Whitty: The Commission's latest communication on its preferred option for reform of the CAP sugar regime was presented to the Agriculture and Fisheries Council on 19 July. The proposal calls for significant cuts in EU price support with a further review of the regime in 2008. My right honourable friend the Secretary of State gave a general welcome to the proposals as a step in the right direction, while urging a swifter end to quotas and emphasising the need to address urgently the impacts on those developing countries which currently enjoy preferential access to the EU market.
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