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Northern Ireland: Bill of Rights

Lord Laird asked Her Majesty's Government:

Lord Rooker: I refer the noble Lord to the Answer given on 19 February, Official Report, col. WA 46. The appointment of Chris Sidoti was made by Northern Ireland Office Ministers.

In relation to the identification of Mr Sidoti for the post and the information held about him, I refer the noble Lord to the Written Answers given on 5 February,

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col. WA 171; 19 February, col. WA 46; 3 March, col. WA 158; 3 March, col. WA 160; 18 March, col. WA 29; 18 March, col. WA 30; 24 April, col. WA 315; 13 May, col. WA 129 [HL 3312]; 13 May, col. WA 129 [HL 3354]; 2 June, col. WA42; 10 June, col. WA 95 and 21 July, col. WA 215.

Northern Ireland: Equality and Parity

Lord Laird asked Her Majesty's Government:

Lord Rooker: The Government have received a range of representations from individuals, organisations and political parties. The additional funding made available to the Irish Language Broadcasting Fund, which was one of a number of bodies set up in response to commitments made in the Belfast agreement and joint declaration to help support linguistic diversity in Northern Ireland, simply enables the fund to continue beyond its current end date of 31 March 2009, until the end of the CSR period.

Parades: Northern Ireland

Lord Laird asked Her Majesty's Government:

Lord Rooker: During the year 2005-06 there were no specific mediation initiatives carried out by the Parades Commission.

Lord Laird asked Her Majesty's Government:

Lord Rooker: There were 13 monitors on duty on 12 July, and all Parades Commission monitors who were available were requested to attend parades on that day. Monitors are volunteers who receive £25 to cover all expenses incurred—except travel, for which they are paid at the standard Civil Service rate of 40p per mile—associated with monitoring at parades and parade-related protests over a 24-hour period.

Lord Laird asked Her Majesty's Government:



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Lord Rooker: Due to both the sensitive nature of their work and the fact that it is performed on a voluntary basis, it would not be appropriate to name individual monitors.

Lord Laird asked Her Majesty's Government:

Lord Rooker: Advertisements inviting applications for Parades Commission chairman appeared in the press from 26 July 2005.

In accordance with paragraph 2(1) of Schedule 1 to the Public Processions (Northern Ireland) Act 1998, the chairman of the Parades Commission is appointed by the Secretary of State.

Prisoners: Northern Ireland

Lord Laird asked Her Majesty's Government:

Lord Rooker: Twenty two prisoners have been released on compassionate leave, and 359 prisoners have been released on other leave (home and resettlement leave) from 1 January 2008 to 23 July 2008. All have returned to prison.

Royal Mail: Pension Service Post

Lord Taylor of Holbeach asked Her Majesty's Government:

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Work and Pensions (Lord McKenzie of Luton): Royal Mail is working as part of contracted arrangements with the department to open the post received by the Pension Service. While all Royal Mail employees who perform mail-opening duties for the department do have access to personal and private information provided by members of the public, they are subject to a robust range of checks into identity, background and character.

All Royal Mail staff who open and handle the department’s post are bound by confidentiality agreements that specify that all mail will be processed in adherence to DWP and Cabinet Office security requirements.

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Additionally, robust security measures are in place for post-opening; for example, all mail is processed in a separate and secure location designated for DWP mail, with CCTV to monitor post-opening.

Sudan: Crimes Against Humanity

Lord Alton of Liverpool asked Her Majesty's Government:

The Minister of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Lord Malloch-Brown): In 2007 the International Criminal Court (ICC) issued arrest warrants for two individuals, Ahmed Harun and Ali Kushayb, on charges of war crimes and crimes against humanity. On 14 July 2008 the ICC prosecutor applied to the court for a further warrant, for Sudanese President Bashir, on charges of war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide. None of these individuals has travelled to the UK in the past four years. Before allowing any individual under investigation by the ICC into the UK we would consider our legal obligations under the Rome statute, including our obligation to arrest and surrender to the ICC any individual for whom there was an outstanding warrant.

Sudan: Darfur

Lord Alton of Liverpool asked Her Majesty's Government:

What were the circumstances surrounding the deaths of six peacekeepers from the United Nations-African Union Mission in Darfur; and what is being done to identify those responsible. [HL4809]

The Minister of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Lord Malloch-Brown): On 8 July an unidentified militia ambushed a UN-African Union (AU) peacekeeping patrol in north Darfur, killing seven peacekeepers and wounding 22. The UN Secretary-General on 9 July called on the Government of Sudan to do their utmost to ensure that the perpetrators are swiftly identified and brought to justice. The UN and the AU have begun a preliminary fact-finding investigation into the attack, which will be followed by an official investigation. My right honourable friend the Foreign Secretary on 9 July called the attack a,

and has reiterated the UN Security Council's call for those responsible to be brought to justice.

Lord Alton of Liverpool asked Her Majesty's Government:



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Lord Malloch-Brown: In 2007, the International Criminal Court (ICC) issued arrest warrants for two individuals, Ahmed Harun and Ali Kushayb, on charges of war crimes and crimes against humanity. The UK has a long-standing position of support for the work and purposes of the ICC. We have pressed the Government of Sudan at all levels to co-operate fully with the ICC investigation. Most recently, my right honorouble friend the Foreign Secretary reiterated this to the Sudanese president during his visit to Khartoum on 9 July.

On 14 July, the ICC prosecutor announced his application to the ICC judges for an arrest warrant against President Bashir on charges of genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity. It would be premature to comment or speculate on the outcome of the ICC deliberations.

Lord Alton of Liverpool asked Her Majesty's Government:

Lord Malloch-Brown: We are supporting the UN Department for Peacekeeping Operations by lobbying countries to fill the remaining shortfall of 18 medium transport helicopters for the UN-African Union (AU) peacekeeping mission in Darfur (UNAMID). We welcome Ethiopia's offer of five light tactical helicopters for UNAMID.

My right honourable friend the Foreign Secretary, on 9 July in Khartoum, reiterated the UK's willingness to host talks in support of the UN/AU-led Darfur political process when the right conditions are in place. We continue to explore the scope for this with the UN, the AU, Sudan's neighbours, international partners, the Government of Sudan and Darfur movements.

Sudan: Peacekeepers

Lord Alton of Liverpool asked Her Majesty's Government:

The Minister of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Lord Malloch-Brown): The seven UN-African Union (AU) peacekeepers killed in Darfur on 8 July were part of a 65-person patrol, consisting primarily of infantry soldiers. We do not have specific information about the weaponry and ammunition quantities of the patrol.

We are working with the UN Department for Peacekeeping Operations and international partners to ensure that the UN-AU mission has the equipment

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it needs, including through £4 million for training and equipping African troop contributing countries and extensive lobbying for helicopters and other critical enablers.

Ulster-Scots

Lord Laird asked Her Majesty's Government:

Lord Rooker: I refer the noble Lord to the Answer given by Lord Tunnicliffe on 21 July Official Report, col. WA216. No other funds outside the block grant were made available during the timescale referred to in the noble Lord’s previous Question. With that exception, funding for Northern Ireland’s linguistic diversity and culture comes from within the Northern Ireland block.

Zimbabwe: Licence to Print Money

Viscount Waverley asked Her Majesty's Government:

The Minister of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Lord Malloch-Brown): We have welcomed the decision of the German company to cease delivering banknote paper to Zimbabwe with immediate effect, and believe it will have a significant impact on the ability of the Government of Zimbabwe to manage the country's ever-worsening cash crisis. As for the issue of a software licence, we are discussing this with the German Government.

Zimbabwe: SADC Conference

Viscount Waverley asked Her Majesty's Government:

The Minister of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Lord Malloch-Brown): As far as we are aware, there are no plans for such a conference. However, the noble Lord may be referring to a gathering in Kampala on 16 July at which the president of the African National Congress delivered a memorial lecture in

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honour of the late Brigadier Noble Mayombo of Uganda. He made a reference to the instability in Zimbabwe and the need for African leaders to find a lasting solution. The full text is available on the internet at: http://www.anc.org.za.

Answers received between Tuesday 5 August and Monday 11 August 2008

Airports: Heathrow

Viscount Waverley asked Her Majesty's Government:

Lord Bassam of Brighton: Economic considerations do not form part of the criteria set out in the department’s guidelines on flights which may be given dispensations.

Viscount Waverley asked Her Majesty’s Government:

Lord Bassam of Brighton: During the period January to June 2008, airlines were granted the following dispensations to operate during the night quota period at Heathrow: British Airways (69); bmi (30); Qantas (7); Virgin Atlantic airways (7); Olympic (5); Gulf Air (5); United Airlines (3); GB (3); Aer Lingus (3); Sri Lankan (3); Iberia (3); Cyprus Airways (3); Air Canada (2); Lot Polish Airlines (2); Alitalia (2); SAS (2); Thai International (2); Singapore Airlines (2); El Al (2); Malaysia Airlines (2); Cathay Pacific (2); Lufthansa (2); Air India (2); Emirates (2); Jet Airways (2). A number of airlines (American Airlines, Air Malta, South African Airways, Ethiopian Airlines, TAM, Aeroflot, Air France, TAP, EVA and Korean Air) were granted a single dispensation.

Viscount Waverley asked Her Majesty’s Government:


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