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Turkey: Destruction of Newspaper Offices

Lord Hylton asked Her Majesty's Government:

Lord Inglewood: President Demirel condemned the bombings on 3 December and instigated an enquiry, which is under way.

The Kurdish-owned newspaper was served with a closure order on 2 February because of its anti-government stance and sympathy for the PKK, which is fighting for an independent or autonomous Kurdistan. We shall continue to make clear our concerns to the Turkish Government about the human rights performance in Turkey and in particular the constraints on freedom of expression.

Hiroshima: Casualties

Lord Jenkins of Putney asked Her Majesty's Government:

Lord Inglewood: The British Official History of World War II in its final volume of the War Against Japan states that the casualties at Hiroshima were: 78,150 killed and 51,048 injured.

Council of Ministers: Background Information on Members

Lord Pearson of Rannoch asked Her Majesty's Government:

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Lord Inglewood: We do not hold such information centrally, and could only provide it at disproportionate cost.

International Organisations: Cost of UK Participation

Lord Pearson of Rannoch asked Her Majesty's Government:

    What was the cost in 1994, first, in absolute terms and, second, as a percentage of the United Kingdom's gross contribution to the budget of the European Communities in 1994, of the United Kingdom's membership of (a) the Commonwealth, (b) GATT, (c) the United Nations, (d) the OECD, (e) the IMF, (f) the World Bank, (g) the CSCE, (h) the Council of Europe, (i) NATO and (j) the Western European Union.

Lord Inglewood: During 1994–95, the UK either has paid or is expecting to pay subscriptions to the international organisations as follows:

(£m) %
(a) Commonwealth Secretariat 2.9 0.05
(b) GATT 3.1 0.05
(c) United Nations Regular Budget 38.9 0.67
(d) OECD 7.8 0.13
(e) IMF 0.0 0.00
(f) World Bank 0.0 0.00
(g) OSCE Secretariat 0.5 0.01
(h) Council of Europe Regular Budget 15.2 0.26
(i) NATO Civil Budget 17.9 0.31
(j) Western European Union 2.2 0.03

These figures do not, however, show the full associated costs of the UK's membership of these organisations. The percentages indicate the proportion that each figure represents of the UK's post-abatement gross contributions to the budget of the European Communities in 1994.

Commonwealth of Independent States

Lord Kennet asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Whether they wish to see the Commonwealth of Independent States destabilised or dismantled.

Lord Inglewood: Our policy is based on firm support for the sovereignty and independence of all the countries of the region, including the members of the Commonwealth of Independent States. We recognise the right of those countries to decide to conclude agreements among themselves, within the Commonwealth of Independent States and outside it.

Lord Kennet asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Whether they favour the reduction of customs barriers within the CIS.

Lord Inglewood: We welcome regional initiatives to facilitate trade, provided the initiative has the full agreement of all countries involved and is compatible with GATT and World Trade Organisation directives.

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Burma: Attacks on the Karen People

Lord Avebury asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Whether Britain or the European Union will try to persuade the government of Burma to stop the military offensive against the Karen people, which is causing thousands of people to flee across the border into Thailand, and to negotiate a political settlement with the Karen National Union, rather than "eliminate" them as threatened by Lieutenant-General Kyaw Ba, a member of the ruling State Law and Order Restoration Committee.

Lord Inglewood: Together with our European Union Partners, we have consistently pressed the State Law and Order Restoration Council (SLORC) to work with Burma's democratic forces to achieve national reconciliation and democratic reform.

We are therefore very concerned about the recent offensive against the Karen people. Together with our EU partners we intend to put these concerns directly to the SLORC, again pressing for clarification of their commitment to a peaceful solution to the problem of Burma's ethnic groups.

UN Security Council Resolution 706: Escrow Account Payments

Lord Avebury asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Whether they will place in the Library a disk containing a spreadsheet giving details of transactions on the escrow account established by UN Security Council Resolution 706 of August 1991.

Lord Inglewood: The Secretariat of the United Nations cannot make available a detailed breakdown of such transactions. We have been provided with a country by country list of donations made up to June 1994, which will be placed in the Library of the House.

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A six-monthly report is issued by the Secretariat and the one up to December 1994 should be available soon. This will also be placed in the Library.

Payments made to the UN escrow account as at June 1994

Donating country Donation (millions of US $)
Australia 0.5
Canada 1.5
Denmark 2.1
European Community 10.5
Germany 0.6
Greece 0.3
Japan 3.1
Kuwait 22.0
Netherlands 4.4
Saudi Arabia 70.6
Sweden 2.5
United Kingdom 13.6
USA 124.0
Total 255.7

UN Security Council Resolution 706: Turkey's Diesel Imports

Lord Avebury asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Whether the 8 million litres of diesel fuel being imported each day from Iraq into Turkey have been notified to the Security Council Committee established by Resolution 661 (1990), as required by the United Nations Security Council Resolution 706 of August 1991; and, if so, what is the amount of the proceeds of these sales so far paid into the escrow account specified in Resolution 706.

Lord Inglewood: We understand that Turkey does not appear on the latest United Nations list of countries that have made payments to the UN escrow account as at June 1994.

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