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Whether they will seek the removal of the managing director of the World Bank following reported attempts to delete references to contraception from the banks Madagascar country assistance programme.
The Lord President of the Council (Baroness Amos): My Lords, no. President Wolfowitz confirmed at the banks spring meetings that improving reproductive health is absolutely crucial to development and will remain an integral part of the banks new health strategy. We emphasise the great importance that the United Kingdom attaches to reproductive health, including family planning, and to the banks support for this in its country assistance strategies. We will continue to press the bank on the critical issue of sexual and reproductive health and rights.
Lord Avebury: My Lords, has the Minister seen reports of the leaked e-mails from the World Bank official alleging that, on the orders of the managing director, Mr Daboub, all references to family planning were deleted from the Madagascar country assistance programme? Has she seen reports in the newspapers that other programmes in the region have been tampered with and that the World Banks strategic programme, which was presented at a meeting last weekend, has been watered down as regards family planning and contraception?
Baroness Amos: My Lords, we have seen those reports and have been lobbied by a number of our NGOs on this matter. That is precisely why the issue was raised with Mr Daboub himself, not only by the Permanent Secretary of the Department for International Development but also by my colleague Hilary Benn when he attended the spring meetings last weekend. We were assured that sexual and reproductive health remains a key plank in the banks strategy. We will of course continue to ensure that that remains the case.
Lord Lea of Crondall: My Lords, I congratulate the noble Lord, Lord Avebury, in asking this Question. I speak as chair of the All-Party Group on Madagascar. On a recent delegation, we were very impressed by the Madagascar action plan, which includes the provision that the fertility ratethe number of children per familyis, according to the plan, falling from 5.4 as of 2005 to between three and four in 2012. Given that such reductions are absolutely indispensable to give a country such as Madagascar any chance of meeting the millennium development goals, would my noble friend note that the Madagascar action plan is very welcome and needs all the international support that can be given to it? The signs that the World Bank is not giving full support are very regrettable, and I hope that the Government will reinforce the message that Hilary Benn and others have given to the World Bank.
Baroness Amos: My Lords, the Madagascar country assistance plan was approved by the World Bank board on 3 April. It has two pillars: the first is to promote investment and growth in rural and urban
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Lord Bilimoria: My Lords, the World Bank and the IMF are institutions that were founded over 50 years ago and were suitable for the landscape in the world at that time. Today there are serious concerns about the appropriateness of the World Bank and the IMF, let alone the president of the World Banks partners salary. What are the Government doing to initiate and encourage urgently needed reform of the World Bank and the IMF to make them appropriate for todays world?
Baroness Amos: My Lords, the noble Lord may know that we have been at the forefront in pushing for reform at the World Bank and the IMF. He may wish to look at the speech given by my right honourable friend Hilary Benn on 12 April. He talked about the three major issues that need to frame the World Banks long-term strategy. He said that it needed to look at its structure, how it helped its members and how it would tackle issues regarding climate change and natural resource depletion.
Baroness Tonge: My Lords, I hope that all noble Lords, and indeed the Minister, have read the report, Return of the Population Growth Factor, by the All-Party Group on Population, Development and Reproductive Health. It states clearly, as the noble Lord, Lord Lea, said, that we shall not achieve millennium development goals unless we meet the family planning need all over the world.
Baroness Tonge: My Lords, it is extremely worrying, therefore, that the Minister has not really answered this question. Is she not concerned that people in the World Bank are using religious reasons to cut programmes, just as the American Government have done with UNFPA programmes? It is a very serious matter. What representations on this issue will she make to those people?
We raised the issue with the president of the World Bank, and he has assured my right honourable friend the Secretary of State that these issues remain central to the work of the bank. We will continue to monitor that. The noble Baroness should be well aware of this Governments commitment to those issues and to meeting the target on reproductive health by 2015. We have put considerable resources into this issue. I cannot deal with speculation in the newspapers; my job is to deal with the facts as they stand.
Baroness Rawlings: My Lords, Madagascar has so far escaped the worst of the AIDS epidemic in sub-Saharan Africa, but the figures show that sufferers are disproportionately female: there are three times as many young female sufferers as male sufferers. In such a situation, does the Minister agree that contraception and family planning have a vital role to play in combating the disease?
Baroness Royall of Blaisdon: My Lords, on behalf of my noble friend Lord Triesman, I beg to introduce a Bill to confer power to make provision in relation to the Special Court for Sierra Leone corresponding to that made in relation to the International Criminal Court by Sections 42 to 48 of the International Criminal Court Act 2001. I beg to move that the Bill be now read a first time.
Baroness Williams of Crosby: My Lords, I understand that no amendments have been set down to this Bill and that no noble Lord has indicated a wish to move a manuscript amendment or to speak in Committee. Therefore, unless any noble Lord objects, on behalf of my noble friend Lord Chidgey, I beg to move that the order of commitment be discharged.
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Constitutional Affairs (Baroness Ashton of Upholland): My Lords, on behalf of my noble and learned friend Lord Falconer of Thoroton, I beg to move that the Bill be now further considered on Report.
The noble Lord said: My Lords, I am reported as having moved this amendment at the end of the first day on Report, but I did not do so. For clarification, I would like to put the record straight. It is reported at col. 109 that the noble Baroness, Lady Ashton, moved one of my amendments, on judicial review, but she did not. It was reported that the amendment that she moved, which was my amendment, was approved. It was not. It is important that I should clarify the situation. I opened on the judicial review amendment and not on the amendment to leave out Clause 7.
It was getting late and I am not sure what happened, but the Minister spoke to both amendments. I am very glad that she did, because it will save a lot of time today. I accept much of what she said. What she said on the judicial review amendment, which I totally accept, was that she had taken good legal advice and that there was a risk of,
The problem was with the inclusion of the word administrative in relation to decisions. If the noble Baroness is prepared at Third Reading to move the amendment without the word administrative, I will be delighted. If she does not wish to do so, I shall do so myself.
I have one last point. It is said that the clause is in standard form. However, it is far too widely drafted. If it has been picked out of the pigeonhole of the draftsmans formal amendments, it should not be carried into this Bill without qualification. I beg to move.
The Lord Speaker (Baroness Hayman): My Lords, it might assist the House if I report that I understand that, in relation to the amendments to which the noble Lord referred at the beginning of his speech, Hansard incorrectly reported that Amendment No. 38 had been agreed to. In fact, Amendment No. 39 was not moved and a correction to that effect appeared yesterday. I hope that that is helpful.
Baroness Ashton of Upholland: My Lords, I am very grateful to the noble Baroness the Lord Speaker for indicating the correction that has been made in Hansard. The noble Lord, having moved Amendment No. 38, withdrew it. On the issue of judicial review, as the noble Lord will remember from Monday, he was keen to look at my words to consider carefully whether I had done enough in his view to deal with the matter by indicating that of course judicial review would be available, as it would be with other public bodies of this kind. He is of course at liberty to then decide what he wishes to do.
The noble Lord is also correct to say that the amendment to leave out Clause 7, Amendment No. 39, was grouped with Amendment No. 38, and I indeed replied to it. As he rightly says, it was late in the evening. I am afraid that I assumed that, in speaking to Amendment No. 38, he wished me to respond to both Amendments Nos. 38 and 39, as he did not degroup the amendment but left it where it was.
Clause 7 is essential. As I said, it is a standard clausethat is the word that I used. I cited a number of instances where it appears and I hope that the noble Lord will accept that it in no way enables the board to act beyond the parameters of its powers but, rather, gives it within those powers the flexibility that it will need to decide on things such as information technology and staffing. For the benefit of todays debate, I hope that the noble Lord will be able to withdraw his amendment and to reflect on the matter further.
Lord Campbell of Alloway: My Lords, I am very much obliged to the noble Baroness. Of course I will withdraw the amendment, but I do not accept that the clause can stand without qualification, as I suggested, taking the words from the speech of the noble Baroness. I merely say that to avoid misunderstanding. I beg leave to withdraw the amendment.
The noble Lord said: My Lords, Clause 8 establishes the Consumer Panel. It is vital that on the Consumer Panel, to be established and maintained by the Legal Services Board, there should be a fair degree of representation. Paragraphs (a) and (b) of subsection (4) mention a number of interests and persons. Amendments Nos. 40 and 41 are intended to ensure that representatives of corporate consumers are included on the Consumer Panel. I move Amendment No. 40I am very grateful to my noble friends Lord Campbell of Alloway and Lord Kingsland for their supportto ensure that regulation is targeted at the specific needs of different situations, rather than operated through a one size fits all approach. The regulatory arrangements in respect of the provision of services to lay persons and small businesses may well differ substantially and fundamentally
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To achieve its aim, the amendment would guarantee that the Consumer Panel included the full range of consumers of legal services. The prohibition elsewhere in the Bill on any authorised person being a member of the Consumer Panel would undermine efforts to ensure that corporate consumers are represented. In practice, the vast majority of corporate users of legal services instruct law firms through their in-house legal departments. The expertise and knowledge of what corporate consumers require from the law firms that they instruct rests primarily with those in-house legal teams. We in the Joint Select Committee heard evidence from sizeable sections of those in-house legal departments. One lawyer who spoke to us was in charge of an in-house legal team of 500 lawyers, who regularly purchased legal services from outside law firms.
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