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Kyoto Protocol

17. Dr. Cable: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what steps she is taking to help developing countries contribute to carbon dioxide reduction under the Kyoto protocol. [157660]

Clare Short: Over the last three financial years, we have provided around £200 million of development assistance to developing countries for projects and programmes which have contributed to mitigation of, or adaptation to, climate change. The UK has also provided around £215 million since 1992 to the global environment facility (GEF). One of the GEF's four focal areas is climate change, where it has looked in particular at developing renewable energy resources in developing countries.

28. Mr. Malcolm Bruce: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what assessment she has made of the impact of the US President's decision not to ratify the Kyoto protocol on sustainable development in developing countries. [157671]

Clare Short: Climate change is a global problem which needs a global agreement. The UK believes that the Kyoto protocol provides the only framework for this. Developing countries are the most affected by climate change. We therefore believe that their best interests would be served by continuing to pursue our aim of ratification and entry into force of the Kyoto protocol by 2002, so as to start to deliver emissions reductions by developed countries. We will of course continue to encourage the US to engage in global efforts to tackle climate change and to take domestic action to reduce its emissions.

Generic Drugs

18. Ms Drown: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development if she will make a statement on her policy in respect of the use of World Trade Organisation sponsored and unilateral trade sanctions as a response to developing countries providing generic drugs to treat diseases. [157661]

Clare Short: The TRIPS agreement does not apply to generic medicines, which are off-patent. Copies of patented drugs can be legitimately made under the TRIPS agreement through voluntary or, in certain circumstances compulsory licensing. There have been no cases of the WTO dispute settlement panel imposing sanctions on a developing country providing generic drugs.

Malawi

19. Mr. Corbett: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what assistance her Department is providing to the Government of Malawi to support its anti-corruption measures. [157662]

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Clare Short: We are working with the anti-corruption bureau through the provision of a technical adviser, support to undertake prosecutions, training and equipment. We are also helping to tighten Government-wide financial controls, supporting the Accountant-General in developing an integrated financial management information system, and have recently agreed support for the Public Accounts Committee of Parliament.

Sierra Leone

20. Dr. Julian Lewis: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what assistance her Department is giving to amputee victims of the RUF in Sierra Leone. [157663]

Clare Short: We are providing support to various NGOs including World Vision for work with displaced people in Sierra Leone. World Vision is providing support to amputees and others.

Third-world Debt

21. Mr. Brake: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development if she will make a statement on discussions with the US Administration on third-world debt. [157664]

Clare Short: I expect to meet members of the new US Administration to discuss debt issues when I am in Washington later this month for the spring meetings of the World bank and the IMF. My officials maintain regular contact with their US counterparts.

Maternal Mortality

23. Jean Corston: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what steps her Department is taking to help reduce levels of maternal mortality in developing countries. [157666]

Clare Short: The International Development goal of a three quarters reduction in maternal mortality by 2015 is a key priority within DFID's health strategy.

Functioning health systems are needed to achieve sustained progress in lowering maternal mortality. We have committed £1 billion since 1997 to help developing countries put in place effective health care systems, vital if maternity services are to be improved. We are also spending around £85 million on bilateral reproductive and sexual health, including projects specifically focusing on maternal health in Malawi, Nepal, Kenya and Ghana.

We are making significant contributions to the maternal health programmes of the European Community, the World Bank and international and national civil society groups, and collaborating with the health and development agencies of the United Nations system, particularly the World Health Organisation, the UN Children's Fund and the UN Population Fund to intensify efforts to make pregnancy safer.

Firearms

25. Mr. Burstow: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what assessment her Department has made of the impact of the availability of small firearms on developing countries. [157668]

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Clare Short: Our work on analysing conflict-related issues and our experience and that of others in implementing development programmes demonstrates that the availability of arms, especially small arms and light weapons, exacerbates conflict and undermines sustainable development.

Trade Unions

26. Mr. MacShane: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development if she will make a statement about the role of trade unions in developing countries in promoting social justice. [157669]

Clare Short: Trade unions and other civil society organisations have an important role to play in promoting social justice. A strong independent civil society is essential for holding Governments to account and for ensuring that the voice of poor people is heard. Trade unions have traditionally drawn their membership from workers in the formal sector. The challenge for trade unions today is to reach the vast majority of poor people who work outside the formal economy.

Corruption

27. Mr. Fraser: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what assessment her Department has made of the level of corruption in British Government aid programmes. [157670]

Clare Short: My Department continuously reviews and assesses mechanisms for the delivery of, and accounting for, UK development funds in order to minimise the risk of corruption.

I am confident that our carefully designed programme management systems, supported by Internal Audit and National Audit Office scrutiny, are sufficiently robust to prevent or detect fraud or corruption.

In developing countries, my officials work closely with Governments, civil society and other development agencies to improve the quality of public sector financial management reform. These measures help to reduce the risks. In addition we may call for special programme management, audit and accounting systems in order to satisfy ourselves that funds are used for the intended purpose.

Former Yugoslavia

Mr. Dalyell: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what the value was of her Department's aid to (a) Macedonia, (b) Kosovo and (c) Serbia for the most recent six month period for which figures are available; and if she will make a statement. [157575]

Clare Short: The most recent period for which bilateral aid figures are published is the financial year 1999-2000.

In that year, my Department spent £111 million in emergency assistance for Kosovo refugees in the region including Macedonia, Serbia and Montenegro, and in

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Kosovo itself. The UK's share of EU aid to Kosovo and Kosovo refugees in the calendar year 1999 was £56 million.

Our bilateral spending on non-emergency aid to Macedonia in 1999-2000 was £0.84 million. The UK's share of total multilateral aid to Macedonia in the calendar year 1998, the latest for which figures are available, was £4.7 million.

We did not support a bilateral aid programme to Serbia in 1999-2000, in view of the lack of commitment to reform by the then Serbian Government. Our activities in Montenegro were confined to provision of advice to the Privatisation Council.

Azerbaijan

Mr. Flynn: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what new proposals she has to reduce fatalities in childbirth in Azerbaijan. [157644]

Clare Short: Azerbaijan is not a priority for direct assistance, due to poor progress in democratic reform. My Department does, however, provide financial support to international institutions including the WHO and the UNFPA, which operate safe motherhood and reproductive health projects in Azerbaijan.

Commission on Intellectual Property Rights

Ms Oona King: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development if she will list the members of the Commission on Intellectual Property Rights; and if she will make a statement on its objectives. [159344]

Clare Short: The commission, which we promised to set up in the international development White Paper published last December, will be headed by John Barton, Professor of Law of Stanford University in the USA. He is an expert on intellectual property law, who has long studied the impact that international and national rules have on developing countries.

The other members of the commission are:






The terms of the reference of the commission are to consider:



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I hope that the commission will advance understanding of how IPR regimes could be sensibly implemented in ways that promote sustainable development, and better livelihoods and health for poor people in developing countries.

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The commission will hold its first meeting in London on 8-9 May to chart out its objectives and how it will go about its work. The aim is that it will report to me by March next year. The commission will be supported by a secretariat whose members will be drawn from the staff of the Department for International Development and the UK Patent Office.