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Overseas Investment (Human Rights)

Dr. Tonge: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry how his Department ensures that investments made by UK companies overseas are in projects that comply with the international human rights commitments to which the Government are a signatory. [155138]

Mr. Caborn: Advice on the prevailing market conditions is made available to UK companies on request. This reflects the Government's position on human rights elements, for example on the desirability of trade with certain countries. It is however for UK companies to judge whether to bid for projects or invest in particular markets.

More generally, the Government have sought to raise the profile of human rights considerations in the operations of companies overseas, for example in promoting the OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises.

Export Control and Non-Proliferation Bill

Liz Blackman: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry when he will publish the draft Export Control and Non-Proliferation Bill. [156094]

Mr. Byers: I am today publishing for consultation the draft Export Control and Non-Proliferation Bill. Copies of the "Consultation on Draft Legislation: the Export Control and Non-Proliferation Bill" (CM5091) will be laid before the House and will be available at the Vote Office. Copies will also be available from the Stationery Office and on my Department's website.

The draft Bill replaces in full the export control powers in the Import, Export and Customs (Powers) Defence Act 1939. Export controls currently imposed under the 1939 Act include both strategic export controls which are the responsibility of my Department and export controls on cultural objects which are the responsibility of the

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Department for Culture, Media and Sport. The Bill is intended both to provide for improved accountability for and transparency in export controls and to provide a more up-to-date and comprehensive legislative framework for export controls.

The draft Bill establishes the purposes for which export controls can be imposed and will provide for parliamentary scrutiny of secondary legislation made under it. These measures will meet recommendations made by Sir Richard Scott in his report of the Inquiry into the Export of Defence Equipment and Dual-Use Goods to Iraq and Related Prosecutions. The Bill also provides for annual reports to be laid before Parliament.

The draft Bill provides Government with new powers to impose controls on the transfer of military and dual-use technology by intangible means and the provisions of related technical assistance, and on activities connected with international trade (usually referred to as trafficking and brokering) between overseas countries in military or dual-use equipment.

The Introduction to the Bill in Part I of the "Consultation on draft legislation" sets out the controls which the Government propose to introduce in secondary legislation to be made under these new powers. These are as follows:

The Bill will also allow for the imposition of export licensing procedures and includes a power to require the provision of certain information which is intended primarily to ensure that the Government can meet their reporting obligations to international bodies, such as the UN Conventional Arms Register. The Bill allows for the maximum penalty for offences in respect of matters controlled under the powers in the Bill to be raised from the current maximum level of seven years' imprisonment to a maximum of 10 years.

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Views are invited from all those with an interest in either strategic export controls or export controls on cultural objects by Thursday 24 May.



Dr. Starkey: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what response the Government are making to the humanitarian crisis in Afghanistan; and if she will make a statement. [156479]

Clare Short: Afghanistan is currently suffering from its worst drought in 30 years. This, combined with continuing conflict and the absence of significant economic recovery, has led to dramatic deterioration in the humanitarian situation. The UN indicates that about 12 million people (over half the country's population) have been affected by the drought; 3 to 4 million of them seriously. One million people are thought to be at risk of famine. Neighbouring countries are becoming increasingly unreceptive to population flows from Afghanistan and there have been reports of border closures over recent months.

We have continued to provide humanitarian assistance to the people of Afghanistan where this can be done effectively. This financial year, we have provided some £10.5 million through UN agencies, the Red Cross and NGOs. As well as drought relief assistance, this includes a longer-term programme of humanitarian assistance to the Afghan population, both in Afghanistan itself and to Afghan refugees in Pakistan and Iran. We intend to continue with this programme in the coming year, and stand ready to respond to additional needs as required.

We have also reviewed our policy of not financing NGO activities that involved UK nationals, because of the personal security risks. There have been no serious security incidents involving expatriates for some time. With this in mind, we have decided to consider funding on a case by case basis for NGOs that send UK nationals into the country. As before, the appraisal proposals will continue to include an assessment of the agency's personnel security arrangements. Only if these arrangements are judged to be appropriate would the agency be eligible for funding.

Mine Clearance

Dr. Tonge: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development if she will list the organisations to which the Government have given money for the purpose of mine clearance in each year since 1996, and, in each case, the amount received by each organisation. [155997]

Clare Short: The table gives the figures requested:

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The HALO Trust1,417,6001,092,0001,751,4684,166,000
UN Office for the Co-ordination of Humanitarian Assistance for Afghanistan (UNOCHA)500,0002,000,000--1,700,000
Mines Advisory Group (MAG)1,033,307951,9082,204,0002,999,000
Cambodian Mine Action Centre (CMAC) (via UNDP)------187,500
Government of Egypt500,00087,308----
UN Mine Action Centre (UNMAC) (Sarajevo)220,000------
Government of Yemen (via UN Development Programme) (UNDP)47,772------
International Trust Fund for De-mining------500,000
Croatian Mine Advisory Centre------100,000
Government of Jordan------581,000
Organisation of American States (Nicaragua de-mining)------283,000
United Nations Mine Action Service (Sierra Leone)------4,500
United Nations Mine Action Service (Kosovo)------489,600
BACTEC (Kosovo)------691,000
DSL (Kosovo)------1,290,000
ELS (Kosovo)------833,000
UNMAS (Global)------29,000
Geneva International Centre for Humanitarian De-mining (GICHD)------275,138
Cranfield Mine Action------74,000
Warwick University------165,000
Landmine Monitor------185,000

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Dr. Tonge: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development how much was spent by Government on (a) humanitarian mine clearance, (b) commercial mine clearance, (c) military initiative

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mine clearance, (d) mine awareness, (e) victim assistance and (f) research and development for mine clearance in each year since 1996. [155893]

Clare Short: Disbursements are as follows:

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(a) Humanitarian mine clearance(1)(3)4,288,860(3)4,149,642(3)3,990,46812,300,000
(b) Military initiative mine(2)----205,000--
(c) Mine awareness70,000(4)250,000--1,292,339
(d) Research and development--376,673548,343500,000

(1) Includes clearance of anti-personnel landmines and other unexploded ordnance as well as mines awareness. As programmes are often integrated separate costs of awareness are not available.

(2) Military mine clearance have taken place in the Balkans since 1992. Military advisers have been attached to UN Mine Action Centres assisting in the development of mine action programmes. They have also supervised the mine clearance carried out by the Entity Armed Forces and provided mine awareness to local populations. The Mine Information Training Centre (MITC) at Minley has provided mine awareness training to over 30,000 people. The MOD has also continued to monitor minefields in the Falkland Islands. This work is part of the wider responsibilities of those involved and is impossible to cost accurately.

(3) Includes integrated mine awareness activities.

(4) Payment made from Foreign and Commonwealth Office funds.

(5) Value of surplus equipment re-deployed to mine clearance projects.


1. Figures for 2000-01 will be available June 2001.

2. Expenditure by Department of International Development (DFID) unless otherwise indicated. DFID has not funded commercial mine clearance. There are no records of UK commercial demining activities currently available in Department of Trade and Industry.

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Dr. Tonge: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what Government expenditure was on humanitarian mine clearance for each year since 1996, broken down by country. [155897]

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Clare Short: Government expenditure on mine action programmes is indicated in the table:


Guinea Bissau------138,860
Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (Kosovo)275,000----5,664,339

(6) Foreign and Commonwealth Office funded activities.

(7) Value of surplus equipment re-deployed by DFID and MOD to mine clearance projects.


1. Figures for 2000-01 will be available June 2001.

2. Expenditure by Department for International Development unless otherwise stated.

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Dr. Tonge: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what proportion of funds made available through the UN Mine Action Service to support the work of the Croatian Mine Action Centre in 1999 to 2001 was expended on UNMAS administrative costs. [155896]

Clare Short: Of the £250,000 made available towards the United Nations Mines Assistance Programme in Croatia, UNMAS administrative costs were 3 per cent.

Dr. Tonge: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what proportion of grants to commercial organisations for humanitarian mine clearance in Kosovo has been taken as profit. [155996]

Clare Short: Under the terms of the contracts between DFID and the commercial organisations engaged for mine clearance work in Kosovo, profit details are commercially confidential. DFID operates well established procurement and contractual procedures designed to ensure value for money.

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