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Sir David Hannay

Mr. Baker: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, pursuant to the answer to the hon. Member for Hendon (Mr. Dismore) of 29 January 2001, Official Report, column 58W, on Sir David Hannay, what work has been undertaken by Sir David for his Department. [148875]

Mr. Vaz: Sir David Hannay was appointed as the UK's special representative for Cyprus in May 1996 to give full support and new impetus to the UN's long-running efforts to achieve a settlement of the Cyprus problem. As such he is in regular contact with all those involved in the search for such a settlement, including with high level interlocutors in Cyprus. His work involves travel to Cyprus, Turkey and Greece in particular, and to the two UN headquarters (in New York and Geneva) where negotiations have been taking place since November 1999. His work also requires him to maintain close links with the EU (Presidency and Commission) and other Governments who are working to strengthen the UN efforts to achieve a peaceful settlement. He advises the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs on all matters relating to a Cyprus settlement.


Mr. Dalyell: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will make a statement on those responsible for the Lockerbie bombing other than Abdelbaset al-Megrahi. [148881]

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Mr. Battle: I refer my hon. Friend to the answer given by the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs in the House on 31 January 2001, Official Report, columns 307-17.

Entry Visas

Mrs. Gillan: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs how many applications for entry visas from the Islamabad high commission the Minister with responsibility for entry clearance accepted after previously being declined by the High Commission in (a) 1992-93, (b) 1993-94, (c) 1994-95, (d) 1995-96, (e) 1996-97, (f) 1997-98 and (g) 1998-99; and if he will make a statement. [148827]

Mr. Vaz: I regret that the information requested could be obtained only at a disproportionate cost.

The only way we could obtain this information would be for the high commission to review every refusal case file. Moreover, visa case files at posts are routinely destroyed after two years for issued visit visas, five years for refused visit applications, 10 years for other refused applications and 10 years for settlement applications.

Common Fisheries Policy

Dr. Godman: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if discussions took place concerning the fishing fleets of Poland and Estonia and the review of the Common Fisheries Policy when he last met his colleagues from other member states of the European Union to discuss enlargement; and if he will make a statement. [147897]

Mr. Vaz: I last discussed enlargement with my EU colleagues at the General Affairs Council on 22 January. We did not discuss the fisheries chapter of the negotiations. This has been provisionally closed with Cyprus, Hungary, Estonia, the Czech Republic, Slovenia and Slovakia. The indicative timetable for negotiations set out in the Commission's strategy for enlargement of November 2000 envisages conclusion of negotiations on this chapter with other candidates in the second half of this year. All candidates will be expected to apply the common fisheries policy in full upon accession and access to fisheries resources within EU waters will be based on the principle of relative stability, which allocates national quotas according to historic catch levels.


Mr. Hilary Benn: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what definitions of temporary and permanent employment are used in considering applications for entry clearance to the United Kingdom; and if he will make a statement. [148163]

Mrs. Roche: I have been asked to reply.

There are no definitions of temporary or permanent employment in the Immigration Rules. There are a number of categories for entry to the United Kingdom that enable an individual to take employment. The type of employment varies between the categories and ranges from work incidental to their main purpose of entry to full employment by a United Kingdom company.

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Abortion and Sterilisation

Mrs. Ann Winterton: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what plans she has to review her policy on the provision of public funding to overseas aid organisations involved in compulsory abortion and sterilisation in the third world and China; and if she will make a statement. [147697]

Clare Short: My Department does not fund organisations involved in compulsory abortion and sterilisation. DFID makes annual contributions towards the work of the United Nations Population Fund and the International Planned Parenthood Federation in over 150 countries. These organisations have programmes in China aimed at promoting international standards of freedom of choice reproductive health. We strongly support these efforts.

Education for All

Mr. Hilary Benn: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development if she will make a statement on the steps taken by UNESCO to implement the education for all programme following the Dakar Summit. [148164]

Clare Short: UNESCO was given a mandate at the World Education Forum to monitor and co-ordinate implementation of the Dakar framework for action. Its Director-General was asked to convene annually an education for all (EFA) high level group to review progress. This has not yet met, but a working group (for informal technical consultation among EFA partners) has been established. UNESCO is implementing major organisational changes to mainstream EFA throughout its programmes.

We will continue to encourage UNESCO to provide leadership and technical guidance on how to achieve the international development targets for education and the goals of the Dakar framework, within a clearly defined poverty framework. I will be discussing progress to date with the Director-General in London on 5 February.

Long-term Conflicts

Mr. Tony Lloyd: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what her policy is with respect to providing development assistance to countries involved in long-term conflict. [147020]

Clare Short: It is usually impossible to provide long-term development assistance to countries involved in violent conflict. We provide humanitarian relief and support for conflict resolution and development where possible. But 20 of the 38 poorest countries are involved in conflict or recently emerged from conflict. Such conflict leads to growing impoverishment and is a barrier to development. We are therefore working to try to focus greater international effort on the resolution of such conflicts.

Indian Earthquake

Mr. Blunt: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development if she will make a field hospital immediately available to the Indian authorities for victims of the recent earthquake. [148263]

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Mr. Gardiner: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what provision her Department is making to assist in the relief operations for the Indian earthquake. [148091]

Clare Short: DFID's emergency response centre has been working round the clock since the earthquake struck. With the assistance of the Ministry of Defence, we despatched on 27 January a UK search and rescue team of 69 personnel, available under our contingency arrangements, made up of 25 UK fire service volunteers from Lancashire, Lincolnshire, Greater Manchester, Chester and Leicestershire and specialist rescue organisations. Officials from my Department led the team. They have been working in close co-operation with the Indian authorities and have so far managed to rescue six people alive.

In a joint operation with my Department, 75 search and rescue personnel from the Russian Ministry of Emergencies (EMERCOM), funded by DFID, arrived in Bhachau on 28 January and have rescued nine persons to date. They also have with them an airmobile hospital. A second Russian aircraft, part-funded by my Department, is awaiting clearance from the Indian authorities to bring in 3,000 blankets and 45 family tents.

In the last 48 hours, we have despatched three aircraft carrying 1,200 tents and other shelter items from the DFID's emergency stockpile in Staffordshire. A fourth aircraft has also flown from Brindisi carrying medical supplies, trauma equipment and plastic sheeting. These supplies are already beginning to arrive in Ahmadabad and Bhuj. Further relief efforts will be co-ordinated by the UN.

We have allocated a total of £10 million to support this emergency relief effort without reducing our spending in other parts of India. Nearly £3 million of this has already been spent. We are in close contact with operational agencies, including the Red Cross, UNICEF, WHO, and a number of operational NGOs (Care, Save the Children, Christian Aid) to determine the provision of immediate relief items and medical assistance. The Disasters Emergency Committee (DEC), the UK umbrella organisation for a number of humanitarian NGOs, is launching a public appeal on Thursday 1 February.

The Indian Government did not immediately request assistance but, as the scale of the disaster became apparent, did so. Medical and para-medical personnel continue to assist local civilian and military personnel already engaged in the rescue effort. The Indian authorities are well organised and are providing food, army personnel, heavy lifting equipment, mobile operating theatres and medical supplies, but the scale of the emergency is such that some of the resources cannot be supplies, but the scale of the emergency is such that some of the resources cannot be supplied in the region. We are working closely with the Indian Government and operational agencies to support their efforts and to ensure that all those who survived the earthquake are provided with health care and other basic essentials until they can rebuild their homes and livelihoods. Copies of our regular situation reports are available in the Library.

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