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Sarah Teather: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what recent discussions he has had with the United States administration on proposals to close the Guantánamo Bay detention camp. 
Mr. Ivan Lewis:
The Government have long called for the closure of Guantánamo Bay and we have welcomed US President Barack Obama's commitment to close the facility. We recognise that there are important practical
challenges to overcome in working for the closure of Guantánamo Bay, and these issues are discussed in the context of our ongoing dialogue with the US on a range of human rights, counter terrorism and international legal issues.
We will continue to discuss with the US government how best we can work with them, and our European partners, to achieve closure in a manner that ensures both human rights and potential security concerns posed in determining the disposition of the detainees are appropriately addressed.
Mr. Drew: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what recent discussions he has had with the government of (a) Sudan, (b) South Sudan, (c) Uganda and (d) Democratic Republic of Congo on the current level of activity of the Lords Resistance Army. 
Chris Bryant: The UK regularly discusses Lords Resistance Army (LRA) activity with the government of Uganda and stresses the importance of continued regional co-operation to deal with the threat and civilian protection from LRA attacks. At the recent UN General Assembly Ministerial week, my hon. Friend the Minister of State (Mr. Lewis), discussed the LRA with Ugandan Foreign Minister Sam Kutesa.
In addition, my right hon. Friend the Prime Minister's Special Representative on Conflict Resolution Mechanisms, Jack McConnell MSP, discussed LRA activity during his recent visit to Goma, Eastern Democratic Republic of Congo.
Mr. Keith Simpson: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what recent discussions he has had with his French counterpart on EU sanctions on Burma; and if he will make a statement. 
France has consistently given its support to calls for the immediate, unconditional release of Aung San Suu Kyi, together with all other political prisoners in Burma, and agreed that the EU should respond with additional, targeted financial and other measures when the guilty verdict was delivered in the trial of Aung San Suu Kyi on 11 August 2009.
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs pursuant to the answer of 28 October 2009, Official Report, column 377W, on Colombia: foreign relations, on what occasions in the
last 12 months the British Ambassador in Bogota has met the Colombian Foreign Minister to discuss (a) bilateral relations and (b) broader global issues. 
Mr. Watson: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs pursuant to the answer of 26 October 2009, Official Report, column 70W, on the Diplomatic Service: databases, for what reason his Department's online registration and crisis database does not break down registrations on an annual basis; and if he will make a statement. 
Chris Bryant: The Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO)'s overseas online registration and crisis database, LOCATE, was designed primarily as a crisis tool. As such it breaks down registrations by countries, by regions or by districts-all of which enables FCO staff to assess the number of British nationals potentially affected in an emergency.
We are examining the costs and benefits of introducing a feature that enables the FCO to track the number of registrations on a yearly basis. The cost of implementation needs to be balanced against other crisis requirements.
Chris Bryant: The UK condemned the removal of the democratically elected President of Honduras, Manuel Zelaya, in June. Since then, along with our EU partners, we have been actively supporting the regionally-led negotiation process to resolve the crisis, notably mediation efforts led by President Arias of Costa Rica and the Organisation of American States.
We are pleased that recent developments in the process signal a willingness by representatives of President Zelaya and the de facto government to come to a resolution ahead of the presidential elections later this month. We welcome, in particular, the signing of an accord on 30 October 2009 that could lead to the establishment of a power sharing government, and a return to democratic, constitutional order in the country. We understand that this agreement still needs to be considered by the Supreme Court and Congress in Tegucigalpa.
Mr. Moore: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what recent assessment he has made of the (a) security and (b) political situation in Kosovo; and if he will make a statement. 
There has been a steady improvement of the security environment in Kosovo over the last 18 months and, although there have been minor security
incidents during that period, Kosovo remains stable. Against this background, North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO) Defence Ministers agreed in June this year to start transitioning NATO's Kosovo Force (KFOR) to a deterrent presence. EULEX, the EU Rule of Law Mission, providing policing, customs and justice sector support, has been operating at full operational capacity since April.
Since independence, Kosovo has made steady progress in establishing the legal and institutional framework set out in the Comprehensive Settlement Proposal of the UN Secretary-General's Special Envoy, Martti Ahtisaari, including in relation to safeguarding the rights of Kosovo's Serb population, and other minority groups.
Kosovo's longer term sustainability and prosperity depends on its EU perspective. The Government fully support the proposals put forward by the European Commission in its study entitled 'Kosovo-Fulfilling its European Perspective', published on 14 October 2009. It is also vital that Kosovo's government addresses the concerns about governance and the rule of law expressed in the European Commission's Progress Report published on the same date.
Mr. Ivan Lewis [holding answer 2 November 2009]: There has been a series of deadly terrorist attacks across Pakistan over the last few weeks. On 2 November 2009, a bomb exploded outside the National Bank in Rawalpindi, with initial reports of 22 people killed and over 40 injured. On 28 October 2009, at least 100 people were killed and over 200 injured in a car bomb attack in Peshawar, North West Frontier Province. Other recent targets have included the UN World Food Programme and the Pakistan Army general headquarters in Rawalpindi. These attacks have been linked to the launching of Pakistan Army operations against Pakistan Taliban militants in South Waziristan.
As my right hon. Friend the Prime Minister stated on 14 October 2009, Official Report, column 300, we will continue to work closely with Pakistan to counter the threat to both Pakistan and the UK from violent extremism.
Lembit Öpik: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what representations he has made to the government of Pakistan on freedom of religion in that country; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Ivan Lewis: We continue to urge the government of Pakistan to fully guarantee the fundamental rights of all Pakistani citizens, particularly the most vulnerable (women, minorities and children) as laid down in the constitution of Pakistan and in accordance with international standards.
The UK supports freedom of religion and condemns instances where individuals are persecuted because of their faith or belief. With our EU partners, we have raised our concerns over the situation of religious minorities in Pakistan and the frequent abuse of the blasphemy legislation.
Sarah Teather: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what recent discussions he has had with the United States administration on Guantánamo detainee (a) Shaker Aamer and (b) Ahmed Belbacha. 
The Government's decision to make representation to the US for the release and return of former residents from Guantanamo Bay was limited to those with links to the UK as evidenced by their past lawful residence here. This does not include Ahmed Belbacha because, although he was present in the UK for a time, he was not here lawfully.
Mr. Tom Clarke: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs (1) what recent representations he has made to the Sri Lankan government on the sexual abuse of children in camps for internally displaced persons in that country; 
The UK has consistently advocated for the treatment of all internally displaced persons (IDPs) held in camps in Sri Lanka to be in accordance with international standards. We continue to press the Government of Sri Lanka to allow humanitarian agencies access to the camps to assess allegations of abuses such as violence against women, the sexual abuse of children and enforced prostitution.
The most effective way to ensure the safety of women and children displaced by the conflict is to restore freedom of movement to the IDP population. I visited Sri Lanka in early October and urged Government representatives to allow freedom of movement and abide by their own commitment to return 80 per cent. of the IDPs to their homes by the end of the year. On my return, I discussed these issues with the deputy high commissioner to Sri Lanka in London. I welcome the recent progress made by the Government of Sri Lanka in returning the IDPs currently held in camps to their areas of origin.
Since September 2008, the Department for International Development (DFID) has allocated £12.5 million of humanitarian aid to assist those displaced by the conflict
in Sri Lanka. This has included support to the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) to undertake child protection campaigns in the IDP camps. A full breakdown of funding can be found at:
Mr. Watson: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs pursuant to the written ministerial statement of 12 October 2009, Official Report, column 9WS, on the Turks and Caicos Islands, when the (a) advisory group and (b) consultative forum last met; and if he will publish the minutes of each meeting. 
Chris Bryant: The Advisory Council last met on 28 October 2009 and the Consultative Forum on 20 October 2009. The formal minutes of the Advisory Council are not made public, but the Turks and Caicos Islands Government Information Service issues a press release summarising the Council's discussions after each meeting. It is hoped that these will be available on the Turks and Caicos Islands Government website
Anne Main: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change what his Department's policy is on the promotion of micro-generation projects powered by (a) bio-diesel produced from used cooking oil and (b) other waste-derived products. 
Joan Ruddock: The Government recognise the contribution which waste-derived products, including those from used cooking oil, can make to our renewable energy targets and to the effective management of waste. We will consider further the position of these types of production under the various financial incentives for renewable energy, and will make specific proposals on their use for heating in the forthcoming consultation on the Renewable Heat Incentive.
Gregory Barker: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change what his policy is on the establishment of a European Commission Directorate General for energy and climate change; and if he will make a statement. 
[holding answer 3 November 2009]: The formation of DECC last year emphasised the Government's belief that energy and climate change policies are inextricably linked. This applies equally at an EU level where it is vital that these policy areas are taken forward together and that, in particular, all necessary links are made between policy makers in the European
Commission in order to deliver shared objectives. This is more important than the organisational structure of directorates general per se.
Charles Hendry: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change how many posts in his Department which were initially advertised six months or more ago are still (a) vacant and (b) unconfirmed. 
Norman Baker: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change what representations he has received from (a) Landis and Gyr Group, (b) African Minerals (UK) Ltd., (c) Eastern Petroleum Corporation Ltd., (d) Gulf Keystone Petroleum (UK) Ltd., (e) Torftech Ltd. and (f) VAL Energy since 1 April 2008. 
Joan Ruddock: Since the creation of DECC officials in the Department have met representatives from Landis and Gyr to discuss smart metering and demand side response. There have been bilateral meetings and the company has been represented, with other stakeholders, at presentations and workshops supporting smart meter policy and demand side response development.
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