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Extra-Statutory Scheme (Northern Ireland)

Mr. Leslie: To ask the Parliamentary Secretary, Lord Chancellor's Department what criteria the Lord Chancellor will use to assess applications for funding from the extra-statutory ex-gratia scheme, in Northern Ireland. [156081]

Mr. Lock: I can advise my hon. Friend that my noble and learned Friend the Lord Chancellor will consider each application for funding from the Extra-Statutory Scheme on its individual merits and in the round. In so doing the Lord Chancellor will have regard to:

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The Lord Chancellor is writing to interested parties to invite their views on the criteria.

The consultation exercise for these criteria will conclude on 30 June 2001. In the meantime and until the Lord Chancellor reaches a conclusion on the final criteria to be adopted, he will apply the criteria set out to any applications for funding from the extra-statutory fund.

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Parades Commission

Mr. Beggs: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland if he will list the persons who have served on the Parades Commission from the date of the coming into effect of the Public Processions (Northern Ireland) Act 1998, giving in each case the date of the original appointment, the dates of its expiry and subsequent extension, and, in the case of each member

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who resigned before their term of office expired, the date of their resignation and the reason they gave for their resignation. [155601]

Mr. Ingram: The table lists the members of the Parades Commission, together with their dates of appointment, expiry date, subsequent extension if relevant, and resignation date. The reasons given for resignation are a personal matter for the individuals concerned which it would be inappropriate for me to disclose.

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MemberAppointment dateExpiry dateExtensionResignation date
Alister GrahamMarch 1997February 19991 year--
David HewittMarch 1997February 19991 year--
Frank GuckianMarch 1997February 19991 year --
Berna McIvorMarch 1997February 1999--February 1998
Roy MageeMarch 1997February 1999--December 1997
Glenn BarrFebruary 1998February 2000--April 1998
Tommy CheeversFebruary 1998February 2000--April 1998
RoseAnne McCormickFebruary 1998February 2000----
Aidan CanavanFebruary 1998February 2000----
Barbara ErwinJune 1998February 2000----
Billy MartinJune 1998February 20002 years--
Tony HollandFebruary 2000------
John CousinsFebruary 2000------
Reverend Roy MageeFebruary 2000------
Peter OsborneFebruary 2000------
Sir John PringleFebruary 2000------
Peter QuinnFebruary 2000------

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Sierra Leone

15. Mr. Robathan: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will make a statement on the current situation in Sierra Leone. [154101]

Mr. Wilson: Our policy remains to repel the rebels, restore the peace process, and to help rebuild the country. Sierra Leone still has a considerable way to go. But I am encouraged by the start, on 14 March, of the UN peacekeeping force UNAMSIL's deployment forward into rebel held areas.

I also welcome the unanimous adoption of UNSCR 1343 (2001) on 7 March, imposing sanctions on Liberia. We co-sponsored this resolution in response to the UN Expert Panel report, which clearly identified Liberian President Taylor as the primary supporter of the Revolutionary United Front rebels. UNHCR 1343 is designed to persuade President Taylor and his associates to cease their malign activities in the region.

Coca Crops

16. Mr. McFall: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what discussions he has had with the Bolivian Government on the drugs trade in coca crops. [154102]

Mr. Battle: We take every opportunity to discuss drugs with the Bolivian authorities. On 28 February I confirmed to the Bolivian Minister of Justice the UK's continuing support for his Government's efforts. We have contributed over a million pounds in counter-drugs assistance to Bolivia since 1997 and I am pleased to announce to the House that I have just approved a further

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contribution of £100,000 towards a crop survey in Bolivia's Yungas region to identify areas of land currently being used for illicit coca cultivation.


17. Mr. Simon Hughes: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what his latest assessment is of the prospects for the reunification of Cyprus. [154104]

Mr. Vaz: The UK strongly believes that the current UN settlement process, launched in December 1999 by the UN Secretary General, offers an excellent opportunity to achieve a just and lasting settlement in Cyprus. This is in the interests of all concerned. The UN process is currently at a sensitive and difficult stage but the UK has every confidence in the ability of the UN to find a way to resolve the current difficulties and move forward. To that end we will continue strongly to urge all those involved to remain fully and positively engaged in the search for a solution.


18. Mr. Win Griffiths: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will make a statement on his policy on Burma following the International Labour Organisation's decision on forced labour conditions. [154105]

Mr. Battle: In 1997 the European Community suspended GSP privileges to Burma in reaction to the use of forced labour there. My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Education and Employment wrote to employers and workers groups in the UK on 18 February, asking them to draw the ILO decision to their members' attention and to consider how to give effect to the ILO

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Resolution. We too are actively considering what further steps HMG could take; I discussed this issue with ILO Director General Somavia on 21 March in Geneva.


19. Mr. Lammy: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what discussions he has had with the Government of Brazil regarding the problem of forced labour. [154106]

Mr. Battle: We are in regular contact with the Brazilian authorities on a broad range of human rights issues, including forced labour.

During talks between the Foreign and Commonwealth Office and the Brazilian Government in Brasilia in December last year, Embassy officials again raised our concerns about the use of forced labour in Brazil. We have subsequently passed on a copy of Anti-Slavery International's latest briefing on forced labour to Brazil's National Secretariat for Human Rights.

Human Rights (Colombia)

20. Mr. Goggins: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what representations he has made on human rights in Colombia to the 57th session of the UN Commission on Human Rights. [154107]

Mr. Battle: We are very concerned about increasing levels of violence in Colombia in recent months, particularly directed at trade unionists such as Wilson Borja and other human rights defenders. We have raised our concerns directly with the Colombian authorities. I issued a statement on 13 February reiterating our concerns. The President of the European Union intends to issue a statement on the situation in Colombia on behalf of all EU member states at the 57th Session of the UN Commission on Human Rights taking place in Geneva at the moment.

I did discuss these matters in Geneva last week with the High Commissioner for Human Rights, Mary Robinson.

Hawk Aircraft

21. Mr. Jack: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs when he last made representations to the Indian Government on the question of a purchase of Hawk aircraft. [154108]

Mr. Wilson: My right hon. Friends the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry and the Secretary of State for Defence raised this issue with the Indian Government during their respective visits to India in January and December.

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