|Previous Section||Back to Table of Contents||Lords Hansard Home Page|
The Minister of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Lord Malloch-Brown): We share your concern about the impact of poverty and illiteracy on women in Afghanistan and regularly work closely with the various ministries within the Afghan Government on tackling these issues. We also recognise that, while progress has been made to advance the status of women since 2001, much remains to be done. The UK therefore actively supports the promotion of women's rights in Afghanistan in a number of ways.
In 2007-08 we provided £55 million to the Afghanistan Reconstruction Trust Fund to help finance the salaries of over 100,000 teachers. These resources have contributed to the increase of pupils in school from 2 million in 2002 to around 6 million enrolled today. A third of the pupils in school are now girls, up from virtually none under the Taliban. This has helped to address the problem of widespread illiteracy.
The UK gave the Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission $l million to fund its three-year action plan 2006-08. This Afghan-led and run organisation has around 600 staff and has offices throughout Afghanistan. In its 2007 annual report, the commission states that it organised nearly 600 educational workshops and awareness-raising meetings for almost 20,000 people (including over 6,000 men) on women's rights issues, including tackling violence against women. The commission pays particular attention to reaching community leaders such as mullahs, elders, civil-society representatives and government officials.
Why the Foreign and Commonwealth Office stopped pipers from the Royal Gurkha Rifles and the Royal Irish Guards from honouring their commitment to perform in Moscow in September; what response they received from Brigadier Mel Jameson and other organisers of the event at which they were committed to perform; and what assessment they have made of the effectiveness of the ban for its intended purpose. [HL5324]
The Minister of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Lord Malloch-Brown): In the light of Russia's military actions in Georgia and the situation on the ground at the time, it was not felt appropriate for
4 Nov 2008 : Column WA26
How many members of Her Majesty's Armed Forces are qualified to operate unmanned aerial vehicles in a pilot role; how many are currently undergoing training; and what is the target number when the Watchkeeper unmanned aerial vehicle is in service. [HL5877]
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Ministry of Defence (Baroness Taylor of Bolton): The following table shows, by unmanned air vehicle type, the number of pilots trained and qualified and the number currently in training as at 29 October 2008.
|Type||Number of Qualified Pilots||Number of Personnel in Pilot Training|
How many applications for care orders under Section 31 of the Children Act 1989 there have been since 1 May 2008; and how many in the period from May to October 2007; and what are the reasons for any difference; and [HL5811]
How many applications for care orders were made under Section 31 of the Children Act 1989 between 1 April 2007 and 1 July 2007; and how many were made between 1 April 2008 and 1 July 2008; and [HL5812]
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Ministry of Justice (Lord Bach): Table 1 below shows the number of public law care and supervision applications under Section 31 of the Children Act 1989. A total of 6,200 applications were made from May to September 2007, and a total of 4,800 applications were made from May
4 Nov 2008 : Column WA27
Table 2 below shows the number of public law care and supervision applications under Section 31 of the Children Act 1989. A total of 3,700 applications were made between 1 April and 1 July 2007, and a total of 2,500 applications were made between 1 April and 1 July 2008.
There is no evidence that the decrease in the number of care applications is attributable to increased court fees. It is probable that the decrease has been caused by recent reforms to the care proceedings system. The Public Law Outline and revised statutory guidance issued to local authorities encourage early resolution and exploration of alternatives to care proceedings, where safe and appropriate to do so. A similar pattern of decline in the number of care and supervision applications was also noted when the public law protocol was issued in 2003.
|County Court (2)(3)(4)||Family Proceedings Courts (1)(2)(3)|
|County Court (2)(3)(4)||Family Proceedings Courts (1)(2)(3)|
What is the reason for the delay in answering the Question for Written Answer tabled by Lord Lester of Herne Hill (HL5212) on 1 September on whether they will make representations to the Government of France to recognise United Kingdom civil partnerships in the same way that a French pacte civil de solidarité is recognised in the United Kingdom under the Civil Partnership Act 2004. [HL5718]
The Minister of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Lord Malloch-Brown): The reply to HL5212 was delayed due to an administrative error. It was answered on 21 October, and I apologise for the delay.
Further to the Written Answer by Lord Bach on 20 October (WA 76), whether the Northern Ireland Court Service will amend its guidelines on its website to say that note-taking is a matter for the individual judge and to indicate how permission to take notes may be sought from a judge by a member of the public. [HL5886]
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Ministry of Justice (Lord Bach): The Northern Ireland Court Service has amended the published guidelines on taking notes in court to make it clear that note-taking is a matter for the direction of an individual judge. The guidelines also advise members of the public who wish to take notes that they should make this known to any court official so that the matter can be brought to the attention of the judge.
When the Prime Minister or other Ministers last received the President of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC), Ministers of the TRNC or other elected representatives of the TRNC at Westminster; and when they next intend to do so under their obligation to Turkish Cypriots as a guarantor power under the 1960 Treaty of Guarantee. [HL5383]
The Minister of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Lord Malloch-Brown): The UK fully supports the settlement process launched by the two leaders in
4 Nov 2008 : Column WA29
When they will reply to the Question for Written Answer tabled on 1 September (HL5252) regarding the proposed termination of Foreign and Commonwealth Office support for the Commonwealth Scholarships Programme. [HL5576]
The Minister of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Lord Malloch-Brown): The reply to HL5252 was delayed due to an administrative error. It was answered on 14 October (Official Report, col. WA45), and I apologise for the delay.
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform & Cabinet Office (Baroness Vadera): The Government continue to promote a business-led, voluntary approach and to collaborate with business partners on best ways to promote corporate responsibility (CR) as mainstream business practice.CR can be instrumental in raising competitiveness and innovation and it is important that companies adopt CR in their own commercial interests;CR is the business contribution to sustainable development and business has a central role to play in tackling the social, economic and environmental challenges we face; andCR is about companies operating above minimum legal requirements wherever they operate in the UK and overseas.
We also expect companies to abide by UK and national laws. The UK Government are a strong supporter of responsible business behaviour, and therefore promote
4 Nov 2008 : Column WA30
The Minister of State, Department for Transport (Lord Adonis): The Government continue to believe that sustainably produced biofuels have a role to play in reducing greenhouse gas emissions from the transport sector. The Renewable Transport Fuel Obligation (RTFO) requires the major oil companies and fuel suppliers that supply road fuels to ensure that a proportion of the road fuel supplied in the UK comprises renewable fuels such as biofuels.
The RTFO scheme came into effect in April 2008 and the level of the obligation for the first year (2008-09) is 2.5 per cent. In response to the findings of the Gallagher review on the wider indirect impacts of biofuel production we are currently consulting on proposals to slow down the rate of increase so that we reach a level of 5 per cent in 2013-14 rather than in 2010-11.
The Minister of State, Department of Energy and Climate Change & Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Lord Hunt of Kings Heath): A decision on the Kingsnorth application will not be taken until the Government have considered the responses to the recent consultation on carbon capture readiness. The decision on who wins the carbon capture demonstration competition is a separate one to any decision on a planning application.
|Next Section||Back to Table of Contents||Lords Hansard Home Page|