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Baroness Symons of Vernham Dean: An agreement transferring full responsibility for Sombrero Island lighthouse to the Government of Anguilla was signed by the UK on 21 August 2000 and by the Government of Anguilla on 2 November 2000. The agreement came into effect on 1 December 2001.
What measures concerning services, commerce and other economic activities they will propose in order to achieve their aim of "completing the single market", as set out in paragraph 27 of the White Paper Prospects for the EU in 2005 (Cmnd 6450). [HL1310]
Baroness Symons of Vernham Dean: Extending the benefits of the single market to more UK business and consumers is a government priority. We will be working in partnership with Mr Barroso's commission, which is committed to a reform agenda that focuses on "stronger, lasting growth and . . . more and better jobs" (Commission Spring Report, launched on 2 February www.europa.eu.int/growthandjobs). In collaboration with our European Union partners, the Government would like to see further widening and deepening of the single market, through full implementation of existing liberalisation measures, as well as new initiatives such as the directive on services. The Government will also press for more regulatory reform to lift unnecessary burdens on business and a proactive competition policy that increases market access, while reducing distortive state aids.
Whether they plan to discuss with the Israeli Government the release of Palestinian detainees, especially those subject to lengthy periods of incarceration, following the ceasefire announced on 8 February. [HL1313]
What action they are taking to expedite and conclude negotiations to establish an arrangement based on Articles III and IX of the International Atomic Energy Association (IAEA) statute to enable the IAEA to act as guarantor for the supply of fissile material to civilian nuclear users. [HL1329]
Baroness Symons of Vernham Dean: My right honourable friend the Foreign Secretary's Statement to the House on 25 February 2004 (Official Report, cols. WS 4849) outlined the UK's current thinking on fissile material supply. He proposed that states not in compliance with their International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) safeguards obligations, while retaining the right to a civil nuclear programme, might forfeit their right to develop the nuclear fuel cycle. Countries honouring their safeguards obligations could supply fissile material for such programmes under IAEA monitoring while in the receiving country, and reclaim spent fuel after use.
What action they are taking to expedite negotiations in the Conference on Disarmament of a Verifiable Fissile Material Cut-off Treaty which would, on a designated schedule, end the production of highly enriched uranium for all purposes. [HL1331]
Baroness Symons of Vernham Dean: The United Kingdom has been active since 1993 in efforts to begin negotiations at the Conference on Disarmament on a Fissile Material Cut-off Treaty (FMCT) that would ban the production of fissile material for nuclear weapons or other explosive devices, but progress has been prevented by linkages with other issues and, more recently, discussions on whether an FMCT could be verified. We would prefer to see a verifiable FMCT, but we have been encouraging the commencement of negotiations, without preconditions, to prevent further delay.
What action they are taking to ensure that the Director General of the International Atomic Energy Association and the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons are required to report twice yearly to the United Nations Security Council on the status of safeguards and verification processes and on any concerns they may have of falling short of a breach of the Treaty of the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons and the Chemical Weapons Convention. [HL1332]
Baroness Symons of Vernham Dean: The Government support measures that would encourage a deeper relationship between the United Nations Security Council and both the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons and the International Atomic Energy Agency including for the respective directors general to brief the Security Council within the remit of their own organisations. It is for the Security Council to decide how to manage its agenda.
What action they are taking to expedite the successful conclusion of negotiations by the General Assembly of the United Nations to produce a comprehensive convention on terrorism with all the elements listed by the high-level panel on threats, challenges, and change, and explicitly covering all forms of terrorism, including state terrorism. [HL1334]
Baroness Symons of Vernham Dean: The UK shares with other governments the objective of concluding a comprehensive convention on terrorism. We have been working to secure such a convention for many years. The draft convention is well developed with very few articles still outstanding. The first opportunity to move forward will come at the March meeting of the committee charged with developing these drafts. In preparation for this, we are engaging informally with partners to discuss how we can use the added momentum provided by the panel to break the deadlock.
21 Feb 2005 : Column WA163
Whether they consider the abuse of the oil for food programme in Iraq to have contributed to Saddam Hussein's defiance of United Nations resolutions and to the need for the United States and the United Kingdom to take military action in Iraq. [HL1348]
Baroness Symons of Vernham Dean: Saddam Hussein's attempts to subvert the United Nations oil for food programme inevitably helped to bolster his regime. It is difficult to quantify how far this contributed to his defiance of United Nations resolutions.
What is the scope of Mr Benon V Sevan's role as special envoy of the United Nations Secretary-General for issues related to missing persons in the Middle East; and whether those duties extend to the disappeared from both the Turkish Cypriot and Greek Cypriot communities during the 1974 coup against Archbishop Makarios by EOKA-B terrorists. [HL1349]
Baroness Symons of Vernham Dean: We have been unable to establish what the scope of Mr Sevan's role is. His appointment in 1992 as special envoy of the United Nations Secretary-General for issues related to missing persons in the Middle East was a personal appointment by the then Secretary-General Boutros Boutros-Ghali.
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