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The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Communities and Local Government & Department for Work and Pensions (Lord McKenzie of Luton): The Inter Faith Framework, Face-to-Face & Side-by-Side, published in July 2008, made provision for funding all nine regional faith forums over the three-year Comprehensive Spending Review period. The total three-year allocation is £1.89 million, representing £70,000 per annum to each forum. Eight of the nine forums have so far drawn down their full allocation. In the financial year 2008-09, eight of the nine forums received additional financial support for specific items amounting to a total of almost £200,000. During the current financial year all nine forums were allocated a further £5,000 each to enable them to support last November's Inter Faith Week across their region.
Lord McKenzie of Luton: The Inter Faith Framework, Face-to-Face & Side-by-Side, published in July 2008, set out the four key building blocks for supporting inter-faith activity. We are continuing to explore the role that structures such as Faith Links can play in the building block which focuses on "structures and processes which promote dialogue and social action". There is no funding allocated to Faith Links.
To ask Her Majesty's Government how much funding has been allocated to each regional development agency to promote community cohesion in 2010-11; and what portion of that funding has been already allocated. [HL1969]
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (Lord Young of Norwood Green): Since April 2002, regional development agencies (RDA) have been financed through a single programme budget (the "single pot"). Money from the six contributing departments (BIS, CLG, Defra, DCMS and UKTI) is pooled into one single budget and allocated to the RDAs. While RDAs take account of community cohesion issues, RDAs do not record expenditure according to community cohesion as a category of corporate spending. Furthermore, to separate out this data would incur disproportionate cost.
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether they have received a request from the United Nations Secretary-General under paragraph 1 of United Nations General Assembly Resolution 64/117 for information and observations on the scope and application of the principle of universal jurisdiction, including information on judicial practice; and if so, whether they have submitted or intend to submit such a document to the Secretary-General before 30 April; whether that document includes or will include details of the arrest warrant procedure in the United Kingdom; and whether they will publish that document. [HL1988]
The Minister of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Baroness Kinnock of Holyhead): Under UN General Assembly Resolution 64/117, the UK has received a request from the UN Secretary-General to provide information on the scope and application of the principles of universal jurisdiction, including information on judicial practice. The UK does intend to submit a response to this request, and the Government are aware of the deadline for response. All responses will be published in a report by the UN Secretary-General.
To ask Her Majesty's Government what proportion of violence against the person offences including physical harm they estimate would not have been recorded prior to the introduction of the National Crime Recording Standard. [HL1856]
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Home Office (Lord West of Spithead): An online report entitled National Crime Recording Standard (NCRS), an analysis of the impact on recorded crime, published in July 2003, evaluated the impact of NCRS on recorded crime figures. The full report can be found here:
The report estimates that the introduction of NCRS led to a 23 per cent increase in recording of overall violence against the person offences in 2002-03. The analysis carried out for the report did not split violence against the person offences into those with or without injury.
The estimate of 23 per cent relates to an estimated effect in the first year of operation of the NCRS. No similar estimate was made for subsequent years as changes continued to be bedded in. However, the Audit Commission undertook substantial audit work on crime recording in the years following NCRS introduction up until 2006-07, this indicating a generally increasing level of NCRS compliance across forces. Furthermore, it is known that some forces had taken steps to make their recording of crime more victim-oriented prior to the formal introduction of NCRS.
To ask Her Majesty's Government further to the Written Answer by Lord West of Spithead on 2 February (WA 16-17), whether the Fixed Penalty Procedures Working Group collects data on the percentage of penalty notices issued for cycling offences which are paid. [HL1869]
To ask Her Majesty's Government further to the Written Answer by Baroness Kinnock of Holyhead on 2 February (WA 17), what steps they have taken, as a guarantor power, to reconcile differences between the Turkish Cypriot Properties Management and Other Measures (Temporary Provisions) Law and the Immovable Property Commission established by the government of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus. [HL1879]
The Minister of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Baroness Kinnock of Holyhead): The Government have not taken steps in relation to the Properties Management and Other Measures (Temporary Provisions) Law in the Republic of Cyprus and the Immovable Property Commission in northern Cyprus. This is an internal issue to be addressed on the island and not by the guarantor powers.
The Minister of State, Department of Energy and Climate Change (Lord Hunt of Kings Heath): The Government are participating in discussions with countries affected by deforestation via the Forest Carbon Partnership Facility demonstration initiative, which is establishing a carbon fund for payments to reduce emissions from deforestation and a readiness fund to support capacity building to facilitate participation by forest countries in schemes to deliver such payments. The Government are also working bilaterally and multilaterally with forest and developed countries to meet the commitment in the Copenhagen accord for the immediate establishment of a mechanism to mobilise financial resources from developed countries to provide positive incentives to reduce emissions from deforestation.
To ask Her Majesty's Government how they ensure that development programmes take account of conflicts; how they assess whether development assistance in conflict-affected and fragile countries addresses the causes of conflict and fragility; and what plans they have to make conflict resolution and security central to their development policies. [HL1945]
Lord Brett: The Department for International Development (DfID) is taking a number of measures to ensure that development programmes take account of conflicts and address the causes of conflict and fragility. DfID has developed a number of analytical tools to help factor conflict into decisions about development, including Country Governance Assessment and Strategic Conflict Assessment. These help DfID officials to examine the causes of conflict, in particular the relationship between poverty, development and conflict, and to consider the implications for programming. DfID is also updating its country planning processes and guidance to ensure all of its development assistance in conflict-affected and fragile states is guided by the OECD-DAC principles for good international engagement in fragile states and situations, which stress the importance of addressing the causes of conflict and fragility.
The 2009 White Paper Eliminating World Poverty: Building our Common Future set out the Government's commitment to treating security and access to justice as a basic service. The White Paper pledges to allocate at least 50 per cent of its new bilateral funding to fragile countries and those affected by conflict, and triple its direct project funding for security and justice.
To ask Her Majesty's Government why they are ceasing to use visa letters for foreign students applying to come to the United Kingdom; what is the difference between such a letter and a confirmation of acceptance for studies (CAS) form; and why the provision of passport numbers on CAS forms is compulsory rather than optional. [HL1762]
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Home Office (Lord West of Spithead): The visa letter is a paper document given by the Tier 4 sponsor to the student. A Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies (CAS) is a virtual document, similar to a database record. Sponsors complete an IT-based process that results in the assignment of a unique reference number. A CAS, which replaces the visa letter, cannot be forged and cannot be tampered with. This is a security feature to further reduce the potential for abuse of Tier 4. As all students require a passport to apply for leave under Tier 4, either overseas or in the UK, it is not unreasonable for this information to be entered on the CAS. It is also an added security feature to combat possible fraud.
The Minister of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Baroness Kinnock of Holyhead): The elections this year in both Burundi and Rwanda remain a top priority for the UK. In both countries, peaceful elections will mark an important step in institutionalising the democratic process. The presence of international observer missions, both from the region and further afield (such as the EU and Commonwealth) constitute an important part of this process.
As a member state, the UK discusses the issue regularly with the European Commission. While the European Commission seeks the views of member states on a proposed priority list of countries for EU Election Observer Missions (EOM), it ultimately falls to the European Commission themselves to decide where these will be deployed. Similarly, the terms and resourcing for any EU EOM are also ultimately a decision for the European Commission.
To ask Her Majesty's Government, what assessment they have made of recent reports by Human Rights Watch and other human rights organisations of incidents of intimidation against members of Rwandan opposition parties in the run-up to the forthcoming presidential election. [HL2051]
The Minister of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Baroness Kinnock of Holyhead): We are aware of reports made by various human rights organisations, including Human Rights Watch, about incidents of intimidation against members of Rwandan opposition parties. We are monitoring the situation in Rwanda, particularly in relation to the elections this year. We meet regularly with political parties, including both government and opposition parties. We continue to engage with the Government of Rwanda on the issues of registration and functioning of political parties, as well as on the wider matter of extending political space in Rwanda.
To ask Her Majesty's Government further to the Written Answers by Lord Truscott on 25 June 2007 (WA 96-8) and by Lord Drayson on 15 January 2010 (WA 197), how the research councils have engaged with concerns raised by Professor Robin Lovell-Badge and Professor Austin Smith about the use of public money for certain types of stem cell work, reported on 2 February 2010; and to what extent they have evaluated the impact of any such publication bias on the peer review system. [HL1804]
The Minister of State, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills and Ministry of Defence (Lord Drayson): The Medical Research Council (MRC) considers excellence as the primary consideration in taking decisions on which proposals to fund and all research proposals submitted to the MRC are subject to stringent scientific peer review. Considerable emphasis is placed on the written proposal submitted. The MRC does not rely solely on the record of published papers; this is just one aspect of an application that is taken into account. The MRC has not been made aware of any evidence that would support the suggestion of any publication bias in the peer review system.
To ask Her Majesty's Government further to the Written Answer by Lord Drayson on 28 January (WA 365), what are the (a) prefix, and (b) title, of each file held by the Better Regulation Executive on the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority. [HL1805]
To ask Her Majesty's Government further to the Written Answer by Lord Drayson on 28 January (WA 365), what recent representations the Better Regulation Executive has received regarding the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority. [HL1806]
To ask Her Majesty's Government further to the Written Answer by Lord Drayson on 28 January (WA 365), whether they will place in the Library of the House a copy of each piece of written evidence presented to the Better Regulation Executive on the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority. [HL1807]
To ask Her Majesty's Government further to the Written Answer by Lord Drayson on 28 January (WA 365), whether they will place in the Library of the House a copy of each piece of research commissioned by the Better Regulation Executive on the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority; and what the cost was of each. [HL1808]
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (Lord Young of Norwood Green): The Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority is one of 36 national regulators who have been subject to a Hampton Implementation Review. The review was conducted last year. The review team consulted a range of the authority's stakeholders as part of the review process. Guidance on the process is available at: http://www.berr.gov.uk/files/file48275.pdf.
Formal written evidence was submitted to the review both by the authority and by external stakeholders. Copies of the relevant documents will be placed in the Library of the House, with two exceptions. These exceptions are where the relevant external stakeholders of the authority have asked for their submissions not to be published and where documents contain potentially sensitive information about individuals and their permission to publish has not been obtained. As with all Hampton reviews, before the report is published there is dialogue between the body being reviewed and the review team to ensure that the evidence is correct and the findings of the review are balanced and based on correct evidence. This dialogue is not appropriate for publication. The findings and evidence to support those findings is found in the published report on the authority available at: http://www.berr.gov.uk/files/file53852.pdf
There are two relevant electronic files held by the Better Regulation Executive on the authority, with the short titles Policy Development: Public Health: Tissues and Embryos, and Hampton Implementation Reviews: HFEA.
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether they will make funding to the International Planned Parenthood Federation and the United Nations Population Fund dependent on those bodies not supporting or participating in the management of a programme of coercive abortion or involuntary sterilisation. [HL1809]
Lord Brett: The United Kingdom is fully committed to the Programme of Action of the International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD), which agreed that human rights and gender equality should guide population and development policy. This includes the respect for reproductive rights and provision of universal access to sexual and reproductive health services, including family planning.
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