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Mr. Straw: I visited the Democratic Republic of Congo, Rwanda, Burundi and Uganda with Hubert Védrine on 2123 January. There are no confirmed plans at present for further joint visits with any of my EU colleagues but I am happy to undertake such visits when opportunities arise, subject to other commitments.
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Mr. Straw: As with all candidates for EU membership, Turkey can only start accession negotiations once it has met the Copenhagen political criteria (relating to democracy, the rule of law, respect for human rights and minorities). Turkey has begun to make progress against the EU Accession Partnership which sets out priorities for reform. But it is important that Turkey picks up the pace of reform, notably with regard to human rights.
Mr. Straw: I refer the hon. Member to the Foreign and Commonwealth Office's current Departmental report (Cm 5110) and website (at www.fco.gov.uk) which details the aims and objectives of British foreign policy.
Peter Bradley: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what steps are being taken to issue new passports once the British Overseas Territories [Lords] Bill is enacted. 
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recent representations the UK Government have made to the Government of Azerbaijan to secure the release or retrial of political prisoners. 
Mr. Bradshaw: Our Ambassador in Baku called on the Chairman of the Parliamentary Human Rights Commission on 25 January to discuss the issue of political prisoners. Prior to the Council of Europe resolution, the Ambassador also discussed the issue with Ilham Aliev, Chairman of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe delegation.
Angus Robertson: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what representations it has made to the Government of Azerbaijan concerning the conscription into the military of Fazil Gazanfaroglu, Deputy Chairman of the Popular Front in Azerbaijan. 
Mr. Bradshaw: No representation has been made about Fazil's military service. Neither he nor his party has approached us about this or asked us to intervene. Fazil has said he is ready to serve his country.
Angus Robertson: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will make representations to the Government of Azerbaijan concerning allegations that local authority permission is needed before representatives of the Azerbaijani Institute of Peace and Democracy can meet local NGOs outwith Baku. 
Mr. Bradshaw: Our ambassador in Baku raised this issue on Monday 4 February at a meeting at the President's office. He was told that no such regulation preventing such meetings existed; that prior permission was not needed but that for security reasons local authorities should be informed; and that Lenkoran, the area involved, was a sensitive area due to previous separatist activity.
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Dr. Howells: TV Licensing, which administers the free television licence scheme for the BBC as Licensing Authority, is not able to provide geographical breakdowns of the number of free licences issued. However, estimates based on the 1991 Census indicate that there were approximately 6,500 people aged 75 or over in the Shrewsbury and Atcham constituency.
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John Barrett: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport, pursuant to her answer to the hon. Member for West Lancashire (Mr. Pickthall) of 21 January 2002, Official Report, column 620W, when she expects to announce her conclusions to her consideration of the report of the Gambling Review Body. 
Mr. Yeo: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport if she will list the members of the viewers panel established to advise the Government on the consumers' view on digital switchover who have ceased their membership of the panel, indicating the reasons for the cessation. 
|Organisations invited to nominate panel members||Nominated members||Changes to membership||Reason given (if any)|
|National Council for One Parent Families||Natasha Benenson|
|Comunn na Gaidhlig||Allan Campbell|
|Royal National Institute for the Blind||Denise Evans|
|Action with Communities in Rural England||Les Roberts||Replaced by Carole Garfield||Left ACRE|
|National Consumer Council||Alison Hopkins|
|Royal National Institute for the Deaf||Stephen Iliffe|
|Age Concern||Gretel Jones|
|National Council for Voluntary Youth Services||Cara MacDowell||Replaced by Rebecca Leete|
|National Family and Parenting Institute||Dean Mahoney|
|Voice of the Listener and Viewer||Vincent Porter|
|Disability Rights Commission||Alun Thomas|
|National Pensioners' Convention||Roger Turner|
|Welsh Language Board||John Walter Jones|
|Consumers' Association||Adam Scorer||Replaced by Allan Williams|
|VCC(3) Wales||Michael Clarke|
|VCC Yorkshire||Ruth Clarke|
|VCC North East||Anthony Gaw|
|VCC West||Karen Gough|
|VCC East||Denise Hitchcock|
|VCC South West||Tony Poole|
|VCC Midlands||Peter Quinn|
|VCC South||Janice Roberts|
|VCC North West||Keith Roberts|
|VCC Northern Ireland||Alison Scott|
|VCC Scotland||Carol Ann McDowell|
|BBC Regional Broadcasting Council (RBC) Wales||Sue Balsom|
|RBC Scotland||John Gerrie|
|BBC Regional Advisory Council for South East||Nancy Elliott||Replaced by Richard Mais||Died|
|Low Pay Unit||Bharti Patel||Resigned||Work commitments|
|RBC Northern Ireland||Brenda McLaughlin||Resigned||Work commitments|
|VCC London||Cynthia Yearwood||Resigned||Work commitments|
(3) ITC Viewer Consultative Council
Mr. Yeo: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport, pursuant to her answer of 6 December 2001, Official Report, column 501W, what advice has the Government given to the BBC and ITC in their consideration of how to improve the coverage of DTT multiplexes across the United Kingdom. 
Dr. Howells: The Government have provided general guidance to the BBC and to the Independent Television Commission on priorities in planning the use of currently unused spectrum for transmitting terrestrial television services. This guidance was last reviewed in 1997. We published on 11 December 2001 a consultation paper inviting views on the basis on which we should plan the use of the spectrum currently used for analogue television broadcasting once analogue transmissions cease. The closing date for responses is 12 March 2002.
Mr. Yeo: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport, pursuant to her answer to the hon. Member for South Suffolk, of 25 January 2002, Official Report, column 1113W, on analogue switchoff, if she will
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list (a) the names of the individuals and the Departments and organisations they represent who are conducting the comprehensive review of progress towards digital switchover, (b) the terms of reference of the review, (c) the dates on which meetings of the individuals conducting the review have been held and (d) the date on which the first review is expected to be sent to Ministers. 
Dr. Howells: The review will be taken forward by officials from my Department and from the DTI who are working on the digital television action plan project, with input from the individual task groups established under the action plan. A first report from the action plan project is due by 31 March 2002.
Mr. Yeo: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport how many (a) integrated digital and (b) analogue television sets have been bought by her Department in each of the last 24 months; and if she will publish the guidance given to officials making decisions on television purchases. 
Dr. Howells: The Department has not purchased any television sets in the past 24 months. We do not have any specific guidance on the purchase of television sets, but any such purchase would be subject to normal Government procurement rules. These rules are produced and published by the Office of Government Commerce.
Mr. Yeo: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport on what dates the viewers panel established to advise the Government on the consumers' view on digital switchover has met; and how many panel members attended each meeting. 
|Date of meeting||Number of members attending(4)|
|27 November 2000||20|
|26 March 2001||18|
|22 June 2001||19|
|27 September 2001||21|
(4) This does not include DCMS officials who provided a chairperson and secretariat for the panel's meetings.
Dr. Howells: Directive 89/552/EEC as amended by 97/36/EC "the television without frontiers directive" came fully into effect in the UK with regulations made under SI 2000 No. 54 on 19 January 2000. The Commission, as required under Articles 4(4) and 25a, are in the process of reviewing the implementation of Article 4; they are also further considering, as required by Article 26, any
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|Organisation||Number of leaflets distributed|
|ASTRA Marketing Ltd.||10|
|Confederation of Aerial Industries Ltd.||50|
|Department for Transport, Local Government and the Regions||20|
|Department of Trade and Industry||50|
|Digital Television Group||6|
|Independent Television Commission||20|
|Local Government Association||650|
|National Assembly for Wales||(5)400|
|National Housing Federation||200|
|Welsh Local Government Association||(6)2,400|
(5) 200 in Welsh
(6) 1,200 in Welsh
Further distribution is a matter for these organisations.
|Number of leaflets distributed|
|Libraries of both Houses||6|
|Lower Press Gallery||15|
|Clerk of the Select Committee||1|
|Public requests to Department for Culture, Media and Sport||Less than 10|
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