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Lord McIntosh of Haringey: The information requested falls within the responsibility of the Chief Executive of the Office for National Statistics who has been asked to arrange for a reply to be given.
Regional GDP is a measure of the economic activity of a region. However, when presented in terms of GDP per head, the denominator used relates to the entire population of the region, whether they contribute directly to generating the GDP or not. The population includes those of pension age, children, and the unemployed. The importance of these groups varies from region to region, but all have a similar effect on per capita GDP. A relatively high proportion of non-working population will have a downward effect on the per capita GDP figures, while a low proportion of non-workers will have an upward effect.
The number of people in Wales of pensionable age (men over 65, women over 60) account for about 20 per cent. of the Welsh population, compared with an UK average of over 18 per cent. This implies that if, hypothetically, the proportion of pensioners in Wales was to be the same as that for the UK, then Welsh per capita GDP might be about 2 percentage points higher than it actually is. However, similar assumptions could be made about other demographic groups and for
The Lord Chancellor (Lord Irvine of Lairg): No. Scotland has its own legal system, and any review of the rights of audience of lawyers practising before the Scottish courts would be a matter for my right honourable friend the Secretary of State for Scotland.
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Baroness Symons of Vernham Dean): The US position on legal justification for the use of force is a matter for them. Security Council Resolution 1154, unanimously adopted on 2 March, makes clear that if Iraq violates the agreement signed between the UN Secretary-General and Iraqi Deputy Minister, the severest consequences will follow.
Throughout the crisis with Iraq we pursued a policy of backing up our intensive diplomatic efforts with the threat of force if Saddam Hussein failed to comply. This was a key factor in focusing his mind on reaching an agreement with the UN.
Baroness Symons of Vernham Dean: An official from the British Embassy in Ankara attended the 13th session of the trial of those accused of the murder of Mr. Metin Goktepe. The German Embassy was also represented on that occasion. A British official will attend the next trial session on 12 March.
We are concerned that the trial has continued for 15 months and that it has been subject to numerous changes of location. We understand that these moves have been undertaken for security reasons. We have raised this issue with the Turkish authorities and will be making further representations before the next session of the trial.
Baroness Symons of Vernham Dean: The Association Agreement of 1963 between Turkey and the European Community noted that the contracting parties would consider the possibility of Turkey's accession to the Community when the operation of the agreement had made it possible to envisage the full acceptance by Turkey of the obligations arising out of the treaty setting up the Community.
Turkey's obligations to respect fundamental human rights and freedom of expression are laid out in the European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms. The treatment of those listed in the question appears to fall short of the standards required under the European convention. We have raised these apparent shortcomings with the Turkish authorities and will continue to make representations. We welcome the Turkish Government's stated commitment to increase freedom of expression in Turkey and look forward to early legislation to this end.
Baroness Symons of Vernham Dean: UNSCOM's current mandate allows it to pursue inquiries into all aspects of Iraq's weapons of mass destruction activities, including alleged transfers of materials, know-how, facilities, technology or personnel. We are concerned at recent reports alleging such transfers, although we have not seen evidence to substantiate them.
Baroness Symons of Vernham Dean: The eight members of the Commonwealth Ministerial Action Group met in London on 2 and 3 March, primarily to review the situation in The Gambia, Sierra Leone and Nigeria in the light of developments since the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting in Edinburgh in October 1997. The group recognised the progress made towards the consolidation of civilian democratic and constitutional rule in The Gambia. It welcomed the fact that the rule of the military junta in Sierra Leone had been brought to an end and decided to send a ministerial-level mission, comprising representatives from Britain, Canada, Ghana, Malaysia and Zimbabwe.
1997-98: £2 million
1998-99: £0.5 million
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