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RESPITE CARE: FUNDING

Lord Holme of Cheltenham asked Her Majesty's Government:

The Minister of State, Department of the Environment (Viscount Ullswater): The funding of respite care is not the responsibility of the Housing Corporation. This is a matter for social service

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authorities and it is for them to decide the best way of meeting individual needs. The Government has provided an extra £20 million in community care funding for respite and home care services this year, rising to £30 million next year.

PRIVY COUNCIL OATH

Lord Tebbit asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Whether the solemn declaration made by Commissioners of the European Community that they will perform their duties in "complete independence in the general interest of the Communities" is compatible with the oath sworn by those admitted to the Privy Council that they "will bear faith and allegiance to Her Majesty and defend all her jurisdictions, pre-eminences and authorities, against all foreign princes, persons, prelates, states or potentates".

The Lord Privy Seal (Viscount Cranborne): Yes.

CSCE SUMMIT MEETINGS 5th–6th DECEMBER

Lord Colnbrook asked Her Majesty's Government:

    What was the outcome of the conference on Security and Co-operation in Europe Summit in Budapest.

Viscount Cranborne: The Prime Minister represented the United Kingdom at the Summit meeting of the Conference on Security and Co-operation in Europe in Budapest on 5th—6th December, accompanied by the Foreign Secretary.

The meeting adopted the Budapest Summit Declaration; and separate declarations on the 50th Anniversary of the termination of World War II, and on Baltic issues. It also adopted 10 decisions on different aspects of the CSCE's work.

These decisions embraced strengthening the CSCE; regional issues; further development of the capabilities of the CSCE in conflict prevention and crisis management; code of conduct on politico-military aspects of security; further tasks of the CSCE forum for security co-operation; principles governing non-proliferation; a common and comprehensive security model for Europe for the 21st century; the human dimension; the economic dimension; and the Mediterranean.

Copies of all of these documents will be placed in the Library.

The CSCE is no longer just a conference. Its role has widened since the end of the Cold War. Under the Budapest decision on strengthening the CSCE, its title will change from 1st January 1995 to the Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE). This change of title has been accompanied by some structural changes which are set out in the relevant decision.

Among its other decisions, the Summit:


    —initiated planning for a CSCE-led peace-keeping operation in Nagorno-Karabakh. Deployment of a multinational CSCE peace-keeping force will

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depend on progress towards a political settlement, on United Nations Security Council backing, and on the requisite military preparation;


    —adopted measures to strengthen the CSCE in its central role of conflict prevention;


    —reinforced (as a result of a British initiative) the CSCE's arrangements for dealing with the problem of minorities and other human rights questions;


    —set out standards for the democratic control of armed forces, in a new code of conduct;


    —added to military confidence building measures, including provisions for the exchange of information on all conventional forces.

At a separate ceremony in Budapest on 5th December, Ukraine acceded to the non-proliferation treaty. On behalf of the United Kingdom, the Prime Minister extended to Belarus, Kazakhstan and Ukraine the nuclear security assurances which we have given in the past to other non-nuclear weapon states. Presidents Clinton and Yeltsin extended the same assurances on behalf of the United States of America and the Russian Federation.

In the margins of the conference, the Prime Minister had discussions with many of the CSCE heads of government, including the presidents of the Czech Republic, Georgia, Russia, Ukraine and the United States; the German Federal Chancellor; and the Prime Ministers of Hungary, Norway and Turkey.

The future development of the North Atlantic Alliance was one of the subjects mentioned in many speeches to the conference, and also during bilateral meetings. It was a point of particular concern to the Russian delegation. The Prime Minister explained to President Yeltsin that the United Kingdom's aim, which was widely supported by our partners in NATO and the European Union, was to extend to the East the prosperity and stability which members of the European Union and NATO now enjoy. That was why both organisations were developing their links with the countries of central and eastern Europe. NATO had commissioned a study of the principles of enlargement, but had taken no decisions yet on which countries might join the organisation or when. It was very important for NATO to build up its relationship with Russia, and we therefore hoped that the Russian Government would soon sign its agreement with NATO on the partnership for peace programme. It was common ground that there should be no new dividing line across Europe.

The dominant political issue at the Summit was the conflict in Bosnia. CSCE decisions are adopted by consensus, and because of differences of view between certain participants a draft declaration on Bosnia was not adopted. However, the chairman of the conference spoke for many delegations in issuing, in his personal capacity, a call on all warring parties in Bosnia, and particularly in Bihac, to end the fighting, declare a ceasefire and allow free access of humanitarian assistance throughout Bosnia.

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DISCRIMINATION CONVENTION

Lord Lester of Herne Hill asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Further to their Answer of 1st November 1994 (HL column WA 59), whether they will amend the nationality rules for the Armed Forces and Civil Service by eliminating distinctions, exclusions or preferences on the basis of race, colour or national extraction (as distinct from nationality or residence) so as to enable the United Kingdom to ratify the International Labour Organisation Discrimination (Employment and Occupation) Convention 1958; and, if not, why not;

    Further to their Answer of 1st November 1994 (HL col. WA 59), whether they consider that it is appropriate or necessary to maintain rules for the Armed Forces and Civil Service which make distinctions, exclusions or preferences, on grounds forbidden by the International Labour Organisation Discrimination (Employment and Occupation) Convention 1958, namely on the basis of race, colour or national extraction (as distinct from nationality or residence) "to ensure the close identification of the personnel concerned with the United Kingdom"; and

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    Further to their Answer of 1st November 1994 (HL col. WA 59), whether they consider that the needs of the United Kingdom are different from the needs of the 118 States parties to the International Labour Organisation Discrimination (Employment and Occupation) Convention 1958, in making it appropriate and necessary to maintain rules for the Armed Forces and Civil Service which make distinctions, exclusions or preferences, on grounds forbidden by the Convention, namely on the basis of race, colour or national extraction (as distinct from nationality or residence); and, if so, how.

Viscount Cranborne: The Race Relations Act 1976 preserves the validity of nationality rules governing eligibility for employment in the service of the Crown. The special rules relating to national extraction (as distinct from nationality or residence) governing employment in the Civil Service apply only to posts in the Cabinet Office, the Ministry of Defence and the Foreign and Commonwealth Office. The extent to which those rules could be relaxed is the subject of a review which is being co-ordinated by the Minister for the Civil Service. Similar rules govern eligibility for service in the armed Forces and these will be reviewed by the Secretary of State for Defence in the light of the outcome of the current review in relation to civilian employment in the Ministry of Defence.



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