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Mr. Kaufman: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs when he intends to reply to the letters to him dated 31 August, 6 October and 9 November from the right hon. Member for Manchester, Gorton with regard to Mr. M. A. Abdul Rahman. 
Mr. Kaufman: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs when he intends to reply to the letters to him dated 18 July, 24 August and 6 October from the right hon. Member for Manchester, Gorton with regard to Mrs. Fozia Mirza. 
Mr. Vaz: The Secretary of State replied on 21 December 2000, and apologised for the delay. It may be of assistance to my right hon. Friend if he wished to discuss any case with me I would be happy to do so.
Mr. Alexander: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what action he is taking in support of the Convention on the Rights of the Child, with particular reference to through-bonded child labour. 
Mr. Hain: The Government are committed to the principles enshrined in the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC). The Government signed the two new Optional Protocols to the CRC on the protection of children in armed conflict and the sale of children, prostitution and child pornography in September 2000. We are now working on ratification of the protocols. The Government are also fully engaged in preparations for the United Nations General Assembly Special Session on Children due to take place in September 2001.
Mr. Duncan Smith: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs which provisions of the Nice Treaty indicate that NATO is the option of first resort for all types of crisis management. 
Mr. Vaz: The Presidency Report on the European Security and Defence Policy, adopted by the Nice European Council, confirms (paragraph 2 of the report itself) that the EU's aim is to be able to take decisions and, where NATO as a whole is not engaged, to launch and conduct EU-led military operations in response to international crises. It also confirms that NATO remains the basis of the collective defence of its members and will continue to play an important role in crisis management.
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Mr. Vaz: EU governments have repeatedly stated that the goal of the European defence initiative is to be able to take decisions and, where NATO as a whole is not engaged, to launch and conduct EU-led military operations in response to international crises. At its Washington Summit, NATO confirmed that it stood ready to adopt arrangements for NATO support to EU operations
Mr. Duncan Smith: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what assessment he has made of the extent to which the Headline Goal has been harmonised with NATO's Defence Capabilities Initiative; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Vaz: Work within the EU on development of the Headline Goal has been done by national defence planners, supported by NATO experts. The Nice European Council approved a proposal for a capabilities review mechanism, which is intended to support the need for reinforcement of the EU's capabilities goals and those arising, for the countries concerned, from NATO's Defence Capabilities Initiative (DCI). The NATO Ministerial on 14-15 December confirmed that the objectives of the DCI and of the EU's Headline Goal are mutually reinforcing.
Mr. Rendel: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, pursuant to his answer of 12 December 2000, Official Report, column 122W, on entry visas, if he will list the hon. and right hon. Members whose representations were successful in the 19 cases, indicating how often each hon. and right hon. Member was involved; and how many unsuccessful representations he has received from hon. and right hon. Members since October 1999. 
Mr. Vaz [holding answer 18 December 2000]: I regret that the figure given in my answer of 12 December is incorrect. I have in fact overturned 18 entry clearance decisions made at our Post in India. It would be inappropriate on grounds of confidentiality to discuss the names of hon. Members who have been in contact with me on individual visa cases.
Mr. Alan Simpson: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what strategic considerations warrant inclusion of (a) adhesive paper, (b) baking soda, (c) bath brushes, (d) children's balls for sport, (e) candles, (f) chalk, (g) detergents, (h) door knobs and (i) dust cloths on the sanctions list of items which cannot be supplied to Iraq. 
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Over US$37 billion has been made available to purchase humanitarian goods for Iraq under the Oil for Food Programme since its inception in 1996. This year alone revenue is expected to reach more than US$16 billion.
Under the terms of United Nations Security Council Resolution 1284 almost $3 billion worth of humanitarian goods have been "fast-tracked" to Iraq this year. These goods, which include foodstuffs, medical, agricultural, educational, water and sanitation supplies and oil spare parts, no longer require Sanctions Committee approval but only need to be notified to the UN Secretariat. Under Security Council Resolution 1330 the lists of "fast track" goods is being extended to include goods in the electricity and housing sectors also.
Mr. Alan Simpson: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will make a statement on the UN assessment of the number of deaths in Iraq attributable to the current sanctions policy. 
Mr. Hain: We are not aware of a UN assessment linking deaths in Iraq with the UN sanctions policy. With up to $16 billion of humanitarian aid available to the Iraqi people this year alone under the UN Oil for Food programme, we do not accept that sanctions are responsible for the suffering of the Iraqi people.
The UK has always advocated and supported initiatives aimed at better targeting the humanitarian effort to help the most vulnerable. These include the introduction of fast-track procedures for humanitarian goods in the foodstuff, medical, educational, agricultural, oil spare parts and water and sanitation sectors. Almost $3 billion worth of goods were processed in 2000.
Meanwhile according to the UN Secretary-General's latest report the Iraqi regime has spent just 28 per cent. of Oil for Food funds available to it under the last six months phase. More importantly, the regime has ordered no medicines or other health sector items in that time. Significantly also, it has refused access to a UN team of experts intending to assess the humanitarian situation.
Mr. Matthew Taylor: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what directions overriding a note of dissent by an Accounting Officer have been given by the boards of non-departmental public bodies within his Department since May 1997; and if he will place the details of the directions in the Library. 
Mr. Battle: The Government condemn state sponsorship of terrorism and monitor closely any evidence of such activities. The Foreign and Commonwealth Office makes the responsible Governments aware of our concerns.
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Mr. Lilley: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs which areas of responsibility previously within the competence of the EU institutions have been devolved to member states under the subsidiarity clause in the Maastricht Treaty. 
Mr. Vaz: Subsidiarity is not about the repatriation of powers to member states. Rather, it is about ensuring that where the Treaty already allows for action at both EU and member state level, the most appropriate level is chosen each time action is required.
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