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The new funding announced is the limit of public investment in Olympic and Paralympic sport. Raising private funds is challenging in the current economic conditions, but British business has a great track record of investing in sport.

Since the summer we have worked with Fast Track Ltd and UK Sport to develop a dedicated sponsorship brand, called Medal Hopes. This will be the only official way to sponsor athletes on the UK Sport's world-class performance programme and directly influence the country’s chances of sporting success at World Championship Games and Commonwealth Games as well as the Olympic and Paralympic Games. The Medal Hopes brand will support a range of schemes giving national, regional and local companies and individuals the opportunity to be a highly visible part of supporting athletes on the international sporting stage.

This work is now moving to a new phase of delivery. We will be working intensively over the next few months with national governing bodies, athletes and sports partners in preparation for the launch of this major fundraising drive to help secure the remaining £50 million from the private sector. In doing so, we have put in place a new partnership with Government: UK Sport will lead on the development of Medal Hopes, utilising its strong relationships with national governing bodies and athletes working with Fast Track and drawing on the expertise and advice from the London Organising Committee of the Olympic Games and Paralympic Games (LOCOG). I will be seeking regular updates from all partners.

UK Sport allocations to national governing bodies

The decision on how this public and private funding is allocated to each of our Olympic and Paralympic sports, and the accompanying support systems, is a matter for UK Sport. Through its success in Beijing, UK Sport has demonstrated its expertise in delivering results through carefully targeted funding.

This record level of investment over the London cycle allows UK Sport to give national governing bodies the certainty they have requested across the full

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Olympic and Paralympic cycle. In return for this enhanced public funding package all governing bodies are being asked to participate fully in the Medal Hopes scheme.

UK Sport has confirmed that this funding package enables it to set a target to attain fourth place in the Olympic Games, and second place in the Paralympic Games in 2012—aiming to win more medals in more sports than in Beijing.

For those sports that have not yet been given funding allocations by UK Sport, we will be working with them and our partners to put in place plans to support their development until private funds come on stream. I will be meeting with the national governing bodies of these sports and our partners before their funding allocations are made in January 2009.


In conclusion, our ambition set out in Budget 2006—a £600 million public and private package to support elite athletes—remains in place and on track. In recognition of the changed economic circumstances we have increased the public funding commitment and reduced the amount of funding that needs to be raised from the private sector. The Government will be working with all partners to raise the funds needed and remain confident that it can be achieved, and in doing so will establish a three-strand funding model—Exchequer, lottery and private funds—that will be the rightful and lasting legacy for the future of British elite sport.

UN: Convention for the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women


The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Ministry of Justice (Lord Bach): My right honourable friend the Minister of State (Michael Wills) has made the following Written Ministerial Statement.

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The review of the experience of the United Kingdom under the Optional Protocol to the United Nations Convention for the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women, announced on 25 June 2007 by my noble friend Lord McKenzie of Luton (Official Report, col. 483), has been concluded.

The CEDAW optional protocol allows women in the UK to submit complaints directly to the United Nations Committee for the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women if they feel that their rights have been violated. The Government accepted the optional protocol to reaffirm our commitment to women’s rights and gender equality, and to gain greater empirical evidence on the value of individual petition to the UN generally.

The review of CEDAW was carried out by Professor Jim Murdoch of Glasgow University School of Law. Professor Murdoch finds that: the CEDAW OP has not yet provided women in the UK with real benefits; non-governmental organisations in the UK have not used the optional protocol in advancing the cause of women; and the quality of the UN committee's adjudication on admissibility of complaints can appear inconsistent.

Government expenditure on cases involving the UK has been calculated at just over £4,000 per case.

Professor Murdoch’s findings suggest that the first three years have not provided sufficient empirical evidence to decide either way on the value of other individual complaint mechanisms. We will need further evidence, over a longer period, to establish what the practical benefits are. In the mean time, the Government will consider the merits of other individual complaints mechanisms on a case-by-case basis.

Copies of Professor Murdoch’s report of the review have been placed in the Libraries of both Houses, the Vote Office and the Printed Paper Office. A copy will also be placed on the Ministry of Justice website at

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