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The NHS Commissioning Board will also host clinical networks which will advise and help commissioners to perform their functions more effectively.

OECD: Standards


Asked by The Lord Bishop of Wakefield

The Minister of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Lord Howell of Guildford): The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development's (OECD) due diligence guidance on conflict minerals is a voluntary set of recommendations for companies and the UK does not intend to make it a legal requirement for UK businesses. The UK believes that a combination of voluntary approaches by businesses and existing legal and regulatory measures provide sufficient incentives to achieve greater transparency in the minerals trade. The UK fully supports the OECD's due diligence guidance and will continue to encourage UK companies to implement it.

The UK is working with the international community to find practical and sustainable solutions to the issue of conflict minerals. The UK contributed to the development of the OECD's due diligence guidance and has supported and promoted the guidance being piloted in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). The UK is also providing funding to the OECD for a feasibility study on an institutionalised mechanism to monitor due diligence. In addition, the Foreign and Commonwealth Office has developed an online tool to help British companies that may be trading in minerals sourced from conflict-affected areas of the Democratic Republic of Congo, or whose products include components that include such minerals, to identify ways to ensure that their activities do not contribute to conflict, and to understand their role in improving oversight and management of the sector. This includes a recommendation that UK companies implement the OECD due diligence guidelines.

Overseas Aid


Asked by Lord Ashcroft

2 Feb 2012 : Column WA354

Baroness Northover: The Department for International Development (DfID) undertook a bilateral aid review in 2010. This analysed DfID's programme to ensure we focus our aid where it can achieve the best impact. Of the G20 countries DfID has provided aid to within the past three years, South Africa and India are the only countries with a continuing bilateral development programme. South Africa faces substantial development challenges including nearly one in five of the adult population living with HIV. A distinctive British bilateral aid programme focused on HIV and support of private sector development as an engine for growth can make a significant impact. It is important to recognise that despite progress in India, there are many millions of people living on less than $1.25 per day-20 per cent more than in the whole of sub-Saharan Africa. The bilateral programme in India is focused on supporting growth in low-income states through private investment to deliver basic services, infrastructure and jobs.

Following the bilateral aid review, bilateral programmes in China and Russia were closed and a global partnerships programme was established to work with countries like China, Brazil, India, Indonesia and South Africa. The UK is working with these emerging economies as partners in global development to alleviate poverty in the poorest countries. As a result of their growing economic power and increasing influence on global issues such as climate change, global governance reform, trade, energy, and security, collaboration with these emerging economies on key development issues is essential to meeting our development goals.

Full details of the levels of UK aid to each recipient country can be found in the Statistics on International Development publication at this link:

Asked by Lord Chidgey

Baroness Northover: The coalition Government are committed to enshrining the 0.7 per cent target in law. Legislation to this effect will be introduced when parliamentary time allows.

The Government's legislative agenda for the Second session of Parliament will be set out in the Queen's Speech.

Asked by Lord Chidgey

Baroness Northover: The ministerial team at the Department for International Development have regular discussions with a range of other parties on the issues facing development.

2 Feb 2012 : Column WA355

The coalition Government are committed to enshrining the 0.7 per cent target in law. Legislation to this effect will be introduced when parliamentary time allows.

Asked by Lord Boswell of Aynho

Baroness Northover: The UK Government commission aid programmes by supporting multilateral agencies through core funding and also through individual Department for International Development (DfID) country programmes. Our discussions with multilateral organisations on the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities are encompassed within our overall dialogue with each relevant organisation. However, with respect to inclusive education, we support all our programmes, both bilateral and multilateral, to develop realistic plans to ensure that all children-including those with disabilities-have access to education. DfID's guidance note on inclusive education was published to support our country programmes to develop inclusive education strategies.

We work closely with UNICEF on its work to ensure that all children have the opportunity to develop and reach their full potential. Through child education and health initiatives, child-friendly schools and universal primary education programmes, UNICEF aims to give children the opportunity to learn and attend school. We also work closely with the Global Partnership (GPE) for Education at headquarters and country level. GPE has structured guidelines to promote inclusive education in national education plans of country partners.

Parking: Meters


Asked by Lord Kennedy of Southwark

2 Feb 2012 : Column WA356

Earl Attlee: The Department for Transport has carried out no research on solar-powered parking meters. This is primarily a matter for individual local authorities and the wider parking sector, though the department of course encourages innovations that save carbon. Any parking apparatus must comply with existing UK/European Standards.

Railways: Northern Ireland


Asked by Lord Berkeley

Earl Attlee: The Northern Ireland Administration have not requested such an extension to the derogation for Northern Ireland under the First Railways Package, and consequently the Government have made no decision on such an extension.



Asked by Lord Myners

The Commercial Secretary to the Treasury (Lord Sassoon): The Government currently have no plans to review the tax treatment of carried interest pay received by general partners in private equity management, and whether the current tax treatment reflects the capital risk taken by general partners.

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