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Hilary Benn: Most of the accountancy work in DFID is carried out by our own in-house staff. We paid £100,815 for external accountancy advice in 200001 as part of the preparation for the CDC public-private partnership, and we have paid £17,102 to date in 200102 for external accountancy advice in relation to resource accounting and budgeting. These are the only costs for additional accountancy services which we can readily identify in the past four years.
Mr. Forth: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development if she will list the appointments made by her Department since 1 May 1997 of chairmen of (a) non-departmental public bodies, (b) commissions, (c) inquiries, (d) agencies and (e) task forces; and if she will list their (i) term of office, (ii) salary and (iii) known political affiliation (A) past and (B) present. 
|Commonwealth Development Corporation (CDC)|
|Lord Cairns||For 3 years from July 1998, but appointment cut short when CDC became a public limited company in December 1999. Lord Cairns then became chairman of the new organisation||£30,000 a year||No known political affiliations|
|Commonwealth Scholarship Commission|
|Geoffrey Caston||For second 3 year term from December 1999||No remuneration||No known political affiliations|
|Commonwealth Scholarship Commission|
|Ms T. Harpham||For a 3 year term from December 2001||£5,000 a year||No known political affiliations|
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Mr. Simon Thomas: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what steps are being taken to launch a global initiative to achieve free basic education for all; and if she will make a statement. 
Hilary Benn: At the Education for All (EFA) High-Level Group meeting in Paris in October, my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for International Development made clear that the international response to the Dakar Framework for Action has been slow and has lacked effective co-ordination. She called for international action to be stepped so that we can accelerate current progress and ensure that we meet the target of quality primary education for all children by 2015. DFID's "Children out of school" paper sets out these proposals and urges much greater international energy and co-operation in taking them forward.
Achieving universal primary education (UPE) can happen only through reform and action at country level. A key indicator of commitment is the rapid abolition of user fees and other direct cost barriers to education. Other indicators are the development of sound national education policies, closely linked to the country's poverty reduction strategies; the resources allocated to education, and specifically to primary education; and evidence of efforts to promote gender equality.
Where countries are making these commitments, the international community must deliver the additional resources they require. We believe this is best achieved through analysis and action at the country level. The Dakar resource pledge should be incorporated into all
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country level negotiations on poverty reduction strategies. It will also require a change in the level of international financing to support and sustain UPE, particularly in sub-Saharan Africa. Development agencies and the multilateral development banks, including the World bank, must increase the resources committed to helping reforming Governments deliver UPE.
The Government are involved in three major international initiatives focusing on implementing the commitments made at Dakar. They are: the UNESCO and the EFA High-Level Group; the World bank (which is preparing a paper for its spring meeting); and the G8 (whose education task force will report to this year's summit in Canada).
Mr. Hawkins: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what action her Department has taken in relation to the forced relocation of the Bushmen of the Kalahari of Botswana to New Xhade. 
Hilary Benn: I refer the hon. Member to the answer given to my hon. Friend the Member for Falmouth and Camborne (Ms Atherton) on 16 January 2002, Official Report, column 311W. Further to this, our high commissioner to Botswana met the Minister for Local Government on 22 January. He advised that the severance of essential supplies, such as water, cuts across previous assurances and will provoke criticism from the international community.
Ann Clwyd: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will make a statement on the treatment of UK citizens who have been captured in Afghanistan and held by US forces, with special reference to (a) when consular officials will have access to them, (b) when the International Committee of the Red Cross will have access to them, (c) whether they will have legal representation, (d) whether they are prisoners of war under the Geneva conventions and who made the determination as to their status and (e) whether the UK citizens will be treated in accordance with the Geneva conventions. 
Mr. Bradshaw: A team of British officials visited Guantanamo Bay between 17 and 20 January and saw three British detainees. We continue to investigate reports of a small number of individuals detained in Afghanistan
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who might be British. We are aware of two British nationals who are detained in Kandahar by the US authorities.
The International Committee of the Red Cross have established a presence at Guantanamo Bay and their officials have access to the detainees at any time. They also have access to detainees held by the US authorities in Afghanistan.
Whether any individual is a prisoner of war depends on the facts of each individual case. It is for the US as the Detaining Power in the first instance to take a view. The US authorities have said that the detainees are being treated humanely and consistently with the principles of the Geneva conventions.
Mr. Oaten: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions what targets the Government have set for resurfacing the strategic road network with noise-reducing surfaces; what funding has been earmarked for this work; and what percentage of this financial year's earmarked funding has been spent to date. 
Mr. Spellar [holding answer 14 January 2002]: The Government's 10-year plan for transport tasked the Highways Agency with installing quieter surfaces on more than 60 per cent. of the motorway and trunk road network including all concrete stretches. Funding will be allocated over the period as part of the agency's roads renewals budget. This financial year, the agency plans to spend around £250 million. To date, they have spent nearly 74 per cent. (£184 million) and they expect to spend to budget.
Mr. Swayne: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions what recent discussions the Minister of Transport and his officials have had with their Austrian counterparts regarding Austrian road tax charges at point of entry. 
Mr. Spellar: My Department takes a close interest in developments in lorry road-user charging throughout Europe, including the scheme operated by the Austrian Government and regular discussions are held with national Administrations, including Austria.
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