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Mrs. Gillan: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs (1) what representations he has made to the UN on mediations between the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan and opposition groups; 
Mr. Hain: [holding answers 8 January 2000]: We have frequent contacts with the UN Secretary-General's Personal Representative, Francesc Vendrell, and other members of the UN. We continue to underline our strong support for UN peace efforts in Afghanistan. We welcome the agreement brokered by Mr. Vendrell on 30 October in which the Taliban and Northern Alliance gave their written agreement to peace talks. We were disappointed, however, that the Taliban withdrew from this process in protest at the adoption of UN Security Council Resolution 1333 on 19 December. We urge both sides to co-operate with the UN and enter genuine peace negotiations for the sake of the long-suffering people of Afghanistan.
Mr. Hain [holding answer 8 January 2001]: We remain deeply concerned at the tragic situation in Afghanistan where years of warfare have had a devastating effect on the country as its people. We strongly support the UN's efforts to bring peace. We are particularly concerned that the Taliban continue to support terrorism, benefit from the drugs trade and violate human rights, especially those of women and girls. We support UNSCRs 1267/99 and 1333/00 which impose targeted sanctions on the Taliban because of their refusal to hand over to justice Osama Bin Laden and their continued support for international terrorism.
Mrs. Gillan: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will make a statement on proposals being considered by the UN Security Council from Russia and the US to increase existing sanctions against the Taliban. 
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Mr. Hain [holding answer 8 January 2001]: Our High Commissioner in Islamabad met the senior Taliban representative to Pakistan on 10 November and 12 December. The High Commissioner underlined our strong concerns on Taliban support for terrorism and drugs trafficking, as well as their treatment of women and girls. On this last point, the High Commissioner said that the British Government regarded this as an affront to human rights. He urged the Taliban to reconsider their policy and, as a matter of urgency, rescind their edict banning Afghan women from working for international organisations. The High Commissioner also called on the Taliban to engage seriously in UN brokered peace talks.
Mr. Hain [holding answer 8 January 2001]: Our officials and I have raised Jason Pope's case with the governments of Angola, South Africa, Philippines, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Namibia, France, Cote d'Ivoire, Morocco and Libya, and those of the Troika of Observer States to the Lusaka Protocol peace process (Russia, US and Portugal). We have also raised the case with the UN, UNITA officials, NGOs (including the Angolan Red Cross, ICRC and UNHCR) and church groups (including the Vatican).
Mr. Battle [holding answer 8 January 2001]: Baroness Scotland, the Under-Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, last wrote to Jason's mother on 22 November 2000. On 18 December 2000, Jason's mother cancelled her meeting with Baroness Scotland which was due to take place the following day. Foreign Office officials remain in regular contact with the Pope family.
Mr. Ruane: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what measures he has taken to co-ordinate policy on export licences with the Department of Trade and Industry; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Hain [holding answer 8 January 2001]: Licences to export arms and other goods whose export is controlled for strategic reasons are issued by the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry acting through the Export Control Organisation (ECO). All relevant individual licence applications are circulated by the Department of Trade and Industry to other Government Departments with an
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interest as determined by those Departments in line with their policy responsibilities. These include the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, Ministry of Defence and the Department for International Development. These Departments give advice to the Department of Trade and Industry on whether the application should be approved or refused, in accordance with the consolidated European Union and national export licensing criteria I announced on 26 October 2000, Official Report, columns 199-203W.
Export licensing is a joined-up process. Officials in the FCO are in contact with officials in other Government Departments, including the DTI, on a daily basis, and there is an inter-departmental steering group that meets regularly to discuss export control issues. There are also regular meetings between officials in the main Departments to identify specific ways of improving the efficiency and effectiveness of the export licensing system, as well as to discuss particular licence applications.
Government Departments have worked together since 2 May 1997 to publish Annual Reports on Strategic Export Controls. Three such reports have been published so far: copies are in the Library of the House.
Details of the roles and responsibilities of the Government Departments involved in the export licensing process have been set out in a Memorandum from the FCO and DTI to the "Quadripartite" Committee (Defence, Foreign Affairs, International Development and Trade and Industry), published on 15 June 1999 (HC540).
Mr. Soames: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what criteria he uses to decide whether to mention particular countries in his Department's Human Rights Annual Report 2000. 
Mr. Hain [holding answer 8 January 2001]: The FCO Human Rights Annual Report 2000 gives an overview of the main international human rights challenges and the Government's response to those challenges from June 1999 to June 2000. The report does not aim to provide an exhaustive analysis of human rights in every country in the world. This is already available from many other sources. Rather, the report provides specific examples of action in a number of countries--from the most widely reported to less publicised but still important grassroots initiatives--to illustrate and explain our wider human rights policies. Countries or issues not covered in past reports may well be covered in future reports.
Mr. Tyrie: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs (1) what categories of submissions from civil servants to Ministers, other than those relating to (a) intelligence and (b) personnel matters, are not circulated to Special Advisers; 
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Mr. Tyrie: To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland (1) what categories of submissions from civil servants to Ministers, other than those relating to (a) intelligence and (b) personnel matters, are not circulated to Special Advisers; 
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