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Palestinian Authority

Mr. Gareth R. Thomas: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what action she is taking to promote economic development in the Palestinian National Authority. [4141]

Clare Short: I refer my hon. Friend to my answer of 17 July 2001, Official Report, column 120W.

Free Trade

Miss McIntosh: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what targets have been set by her Department to reach global free trade by 2020. [5516]

Clare Short: I refer the hon. Member to today's response from my hon. Friend the Under-Secretary of State responsible for small business, Official Report, column 594W.

Kosovo

Dr. Starkey: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development (1) if she will list the agricultural projects funded by her Department in Kosovo; [5288]

Clare Short: Our support to agricultural projects in Kosovo is mainly through the programmes of the EC. In 2000 and 2001 the EC has committed 30 million euros for supply of fertiliser, seed production, rehabilitation and management of irrigation schemes and an agricultural information campaign. The UK's share of this commitment is £3.5 million.

Through a small projects scheme managed by the DFID office in Pristina we have provided £160,000 in grants to NGOs and the UN Interim Mission in Kosovo for projects to help farmers restock cattle, sheep and goats, construct greenhouses and revive beekeeping.

Ministerial Duties

David Maclean: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development if she will list for each week from Monday 23 July to Monday 8 October which departmental Ministers will be on duty (a) in the United Kingdom and (b) in London. [4896]

Clare Short: A Minister will be on duty throughout the summer period.

Departmental Events

David Maclean: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what (a) national and (b) international awareness events her Department has participated in since June 1997 in the form of (i) sponsorship, (ii) departmental attendance, (iii) similar departmental activities and (iv) a message of support. [5043]

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Clare Short: Both I and my officials attend a huge number of national and international events, and work with a wide range of UK and international organisations, to raise awareness and understanding of international development issues.

A description of our work in this area is provided in the 1997 and 2000 White Papers, and in our annual report.

NORTHERN IRELAND

RUC

Lady Hermon: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland how many officers left the Royal Ulster Constabulary between 1 January and 30 June, broken down by rank. [3236]

Jane Kennedy: The number of officers who left the Royal Ulster Constabulary between 1 January and 30 June is as follows:

Number
Assistant Chief Constable3
Chief Superintendent25
Superintendent45
Chief Inspector37
Inspector106
Sergeant216
Constable469
Reserve Constable F/T76
Total977

Good Friday Agreement

Stephen Hesford: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland if he will make a statement on the effect of the Good Friday Agreement on the lives of people in Northern Ireland in respect of issues relating to their security. [3734]

Jane Kennedy: The Good Friday Agreement both mandated and enabled the Government to pursue a process of normalisation. The general reduction in the level of threat has made it possible to return the security profile across much of Northern Ireland to that consistent with a normal, peaceful society. Troop levels are at their lowest for over 30 years; the Army has closed or demolished 25 bases since the Agreement and withdrawn from another 10 it shared with the RUC; routine military patrolling has reduced by over 50 per cent. Full and final implementation of all outstanding issues should return a secure, peaceful and prosperous society to Northern Ireland. However, the serious threat still posed by dissident terrorist organisations which remain opposed to the Agreement has prevented the community in certain parts of Northern Ireland from benefiting from the kind of progress enjoyed elsewhere.

Plastic Baton Rounds

Mr. McNamara: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland how many police officers have reported (a) faults and (b) misfirings of riot guns used in the course

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of discharging plastic baton rounds in each of the past 10 years; and how many riot guns have been withdrawn from use after faults were discovered. [1225]

Jane Kennedy: None.

Mr. McNamara: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland how many L21A1 plastic baton rounds are held by the police; how many old model PBRs have been withdrawn from use consequently; and what arrangements have been made for the unspent rounds. [1227]

Jane Kennedy: For operational reasons it would be inappropriate to place in the public domain the exact numbers of the new model baton rounds held by the police or old model baton rounds that have been withdrawn. However the old model baton rounds have been withdrawn and are temporarily held in secure premises until arrangements are made for their return to the military.

Mr. McNamara: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland by what means a spent plastic bullet round may be identified for the purposes of forensic evidence. [1228]

Jane Kennedy: A spent plastic bullet round does have 'rifling' detail on the round after firing. However, because plastic does not hold the exact detail of the marks the round cannot be identified with a specific riot gun.

Water Cannon

Mr. Dodds: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland if he will list the costs associated with the deployment of two water cannon vehicles in Northern Ireland. [3081]

Jane Kennedy: The Belgian Federal Police have agreed, as has been the case for the last three years, to lend two water cannon to the RUC during the marching season. They have been provided free of charge on a mutual aid basis between EU police forces. Last year RUC Land Rovers were supplied to the Belgian police for Euro 2000, on a similar basis. The only costs involved are shipping, insurance and maintenance costs amounting to approximately £14,000.

Francisco Notarantonio

Mr. McNamara: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland if he will (a) reopen the investigation of the death of Francisco Notarantonio and (b) make relevant classified information available to a judicial authority; and if he will make a statement. [2312]

Jane Kennedy: The death of Mr. Notarantonio was fully investigated by the RUC at the time and I understand that there was insufficient evidence to mount a prosecution. However, a murder investigation is not closed until those responsible for the crime have been brought to justice. As no one has yet been convicted for the murder of Mr. Notarantonio the investigation therefore remains open. Additionally Sir John Stevens is currently conducting an inquiry into the circumstances surrounding the murder of Patrick Finucane and the terms of reference of this inquiry also cover the allegations of collusion in the murders of individuals like Mr. Notarantonio.

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I am not aware of any information relevant to this case which has not already been forwarded to the Director of Public Prosecutions. Should any further evidence come to light I am confident that it will be reported to the prosecuting authority in the usual way.

Stun Grenades

Mr. McNamara: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland how many stun grenades have been issued to the RUC; how many have been used in the past 12 months; what level of authorisation is required for use of this weapon; and what (a) rules and (b) guidance apply to its use. [1229]

Jane Kennedy: Percussion grenades, often referred to as stun grenades, are ACPO/Home Office approved equipment held by Specialist Firearms Teams throughout the United Kingdom. In the Royal Ulster Constabulary, stun grenades are available for use in hostage type situations. None has been fired operationally in the last 12 months. For operational reasons it would be inappropriate to place figures relating to the exact amount of grenades issued to the Royal Ulster Constabulary. However 201 have been issued for training purposes of which 101 have been fired in the last 12 months. The use of this weapon would be authorised at least at Regional Assistant Chief Constable level. Rules and Guidance are provided under the association of Chief Police Officers' Manual of Guidance on Police Use of Firearms.


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