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Food Shortage (Southern Africa)

Mr. Laxton: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what steps her Department is taking to tackle the shortage of food in southern Africa. [64798]

Clare Short: I refer my hon. Friend to the answers I gave to the hon. Member for Banbury (Tony Baldry) on 17 June 2002, Official Report, columns 58–59W.

Cotonou Agreement

Mr. Bercow: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development if she will make a statement on the improvements in the development, trade and political relationship between the EU and Africa, the Caribbean and the Pacific that will be achieved by the Cotonou Agreement. [64693]

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Clare Short: The ACP-EU Partnership Agreement, often referred to as the Cotonou Agreement, was signed in Cotonou on 23 June 2000. Pending ratification by all member states and two thirds of the ACP states, it will enter into effect.

The Cotonou Agreement is the successor to the Lomé Conventions. It marks the most important revision of the relationship between EU and the ACP states since the first Lomé Convention was signed in 1975. It provides an overall framework for political dialogue, development co-operation and trade relations with 78 developing countries. Together with the wider on-going reform of EC development assistance, the Cotonou Agreement is a step towards improving the European Community contribution to the meeting of the millennium development goals.

Most importantly, the Cotonou Agreement has established poverty reduction as its central aim. Respect for human rights, democratic principles and the rule of law together with the importance of good governance underpin the agreement and have been given much more emphasis than in past relations. A process for consultations and possible action has been defined if these basic elements of the agreement have been breached. The principle of partnership between EU and ACP states has also been reaffirmed in the agreement, supporting the emphasis on mutual responsibility and dialogue. Likewise, consultations with civil society in all aspects of the implementation of the agreement have been put to the fore.

One of the most important aspects of Cotonou is the new trade deal between EU and the ACP, whereby ACP's access to the EU market will be maximised while promoting their gradual integration into the global economy. The EU is now committed to open its markets to a substantial block of developing countries.

EU Committees

Angus Robertson: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development when the EU Committee on implementation of the programme of assistance to promote the transition to a market economy and to strengthen democracy and the rule of law in the partner states of eastern Europe and central Asia (Tacis) is next due to meet; whether representatives of the Scottish Executive have been members of it; and if she will make a statement. [64907]

Clare Short: The next meeting of the Tacis Committee is scheduled for 24 July 2002.

Schedule 5 of the 1998 Scottish Act sets out areas of policy that are reserved, that is, where responsibility has not been devolved to the Scottish Executive. Section 7(1) of schedule 5 states:


The United Kingdom is represented on the Tacis Committee by officials from my Department and by members of staff from the United Kingdom Permanent Representation to the European Union in Brussels.

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Angus Robertson: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development when the EU Committee on financial and technical assistance and economic cooperation with developing countries in Asia and Latin America is next due to meet, what the UK representation is on it, whether representatives of the Scottish Executive have been members of it; and if she will make a statement. [64906]

Clare Short: The next meeting of the EU Committee on financial and technical assistance and economic co-operation with developing countries in Asia and Latin America (ALA) is scheduled for 18 July 2002.

Schedule 5 of the 1998 Scottish Act sets out areas of policy that are reserved, that is, where responsibility has not been devolved to the Scottish Executive. Section 7 (1) of Schedule 5 states:


The United Kingdom is represented on the ALA Committee by officials from the Department for International Development.

Angus Robertson: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development when the EU MED Committee (financial and technical cooperation between the Community and Mediterranean non-member countries) is next due to meet; whether representatives of the Scottish Executive have been members of it; and if she will make a statement. [64909]

Clare Short: The next meeting of the EU MED Committee is scheduled for 17 July 2002.

Schedule 5 of the 1998 Scottish Act sets out areas of policy that are reserved, that is, where responsibility has not been devolved to the Scottish Executive. Section 7 (1) of Schedule 5 states:


The United Kingdom is represented on the MED Committee by officials from the Department for International Development.

Angus Robertson: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development when the EU Committee on aid for Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia and the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia is next due to meet; whether representatives of the Scottish Executive have been members of it; and if she will make a statement. [64908]

Clare Short: The next meeting of the EU CARDS Committee on aid for Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia and the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia is scheduled for 24 October 2002.

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Schedule 5 of the 1998 Scottish Act sets out areas of policy that are reserved, that is, where responsibility has not been devolved to the Scottish Executive. Section 7 (1) of Schedule 5 states:


The United Kingdom is represented on the CARDS Committee by officials from the Department for International Development.

Commission on Intellectual Property Rights

Dr. Tonge: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what the conclusions were of the Commission on Intellectual Property Rights. [65552]

Clare Short: The Commission on Intellectual Property Rights report is due to be launched in mid-September, DFID will receive an embargoed copy one week prior to this. Conclusions will not be publicised before the launch date.

Western Sahara

Jeremy Corbyn: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what support has been given in each of the past five years to the refugee camps of the Sahrawi people of the Western Sahara. [64860]

Clare Short: Our support to the refugees from the Western Sahara is mostly channelled through the European Commission's Humanitarian aid Office (ECHO).

Total ECHO assistance to Sahrawi refugees in the Western Sahara

Euro 000
19977,000
199817,200
19997,500
200013,935
200115,570

Source:

ECHO Global Plan 2002.


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Approximately 19 per cent. of this support is attributable to contributions from the UK.

We also contribute to the budgets of UNHCR and WFP who cooperate closely with ECHO in providing support to the Sahrawi refugees. In addition in 1997–98 we provided £79,000 in direct humanitarian assistance.

Poverty

Mr. Bercow: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development if she will make a statement on the comprehensiveness of her Department's poverty reduction strategies in recognising the multidimensional nature of poverty. [64697]

Clare Short: The Government's first and second White Papers on International Development clearly recognise the multidimensional nature of poverty and commit us to supporting the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). My Department has set out comprehensive strategy papers for achieving the MDGs and thus reducing poverty. These papers provide DFID with the necessary skills and knowledge it needs to engage with partner government and support their efforts to implement nationally owned and administered plans for reducing poverty.


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