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UN Culture of Peace

Lord Ahmed asked Her Majesty's Government:

Baroness Symons of Vernham Dean: The Government have supported "Peace One Day", an NGO which promotes the International Day of Peace each 21 September.

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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NHS: Blood Tests

Baroness Masham of Ilton asked Her Majesty's Government:

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.

Obesity Among Children

Lord Moynihan asked Her Majesty's Government:

Lord Warner: Prevalence of obesity among those aged two to 10 in England increased from 9.6 per cent in 1995 to 15.5 per cent in 2002, an increase of around 0.8 percentage points per year.

The increase in prevalence of obesity among children aged two to 10 between 1995 and 2002 in England, is shown in the table.
 
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percentages


19951996199719981999–200020012002
Males9.310.611.311.814.213.515.2
Females10.010.510.411.412.512.215.7
Persons9.610.610.811.613.312.815.5




Notes:

1. Obesity defined by the National Body Mass Index percentile classification (from the 1990 reference population from TJ Cole et al). Children above the 95th percentile of the 1990 reference curve are defined as obese.


2. The 1999 and 2000 datasets were combined due to small sample sizes in each of these years.


Source:

NatCen/UCL. Health Survey for England 2002.





 
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Anticoagulant Rodenticides

Lord Williams of Elvel asked Her Majesty's Government:

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Lord Whitty): Defra has funded several projects on this issue.
 
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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 1995–98. In: Advances in Vertebrate Pest Management II (Eds. H.-J. Pelz, D.P. Cowan & C.J. Feare) pages 149–159, 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:n.zoonoses@defra.gsi.gov.uk.

Rivers and Waterways: Recreational Activities

Lord Moynihan asked Her Majesty's Government:

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 2005–2008 corporate planning process currently underway to determine priorities for funding within the Defra SR04 settlement.

No figures are available for the tidal Thames.

Waterways

Lord Moynihan asked Her Majesty's Government:

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.

The agency funding priorities will be considered as part of the 2005–2008 corporate planning process currently underway.

British Waterways eliminated its safety-related waterway maintenance backlog last April.

Information about the waterways managed by the country's other navigation authorities is not available.

CAP: Sugar Regime

Lord Hylton asked Her Majesty's Government:

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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