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Baroness Symons of Vernham Dean: Sponsorship is used to provide financial and in kind support for activities which enhance and extend the work of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office. Areas in which such support has been sought include jointly funded scholarships for overseas students, major conferences, expositions, information and public diplomacy material.
Baroness Symons of Vernham Dean: The sanctions regime was imposed by the UN in August 1990 after Iraq's illegal invasion of Kuwait. The purpose of these sanctions is to ensure that Iraq complies with its obligations under the relevant UN resolutions, including the dismantling of its weapons of mass destruction under international supervision. Iraq remains far from compliance. At the most recent review of sanctions on 25 June the Security Council agreed unanimously that Iraq had failed to fulfil its obligations under the UN resolutions and that the sanctions regime should therefore remain in place unchanged. Sanctions have contained Iraq for eight years, thus preventing it from threatening its immediate neighbours and the wider Middle East region.
Baroness Symons of Vernham Dean: The Government of Iraq have provided no epidemiological research data on either the number of malnourished children or the mortality rate in Iraq before and since 1990. The Government are therefore not in a position to make an assessment of whether or not incidences have increased since 1990.
Since sanctions were imposed, the international community has done its utmost to protect the Iraqi people from the effects of sanctions. Food and medicine have never been subject to sanctions and the UN "oil for food" programme now permits Iraq to export $5.3 billion worth of oil over a six month period. Since 1991 the UK has donated £74 million to Iraq in bilateral aid and a further £27 million via the EU.
Baroness Symons of Vernham Dean: Council Regulation (EC) No. 3381/94 and the Dual-Use and Related Goods (Export Control) Regulations 1996 prohibit the export from the UK to any destination of dual-use or other goods which the exporter has been informed by a competent authority are or may be intended, wholly or in part, or which the exporter knows
In addition, the Orders in Council implementing in UK law the binding UN embargoes against Liberia, Somalia, Libya, Angola and Rwanda also prohibit the supply by persons in the UK or by UK nationals or companies overseas of goods which are or may be intended to be used in connection with the development, production, handling, operation, maintenance, storage, detection, identification or dissemination of chemical, biological or nuclear weapons or the development, production, maintenance or storage of missiles capable of delivering such weapons.
This statement supplements the information given to the House on the scope of arms embargoes observed by the UK by the Minister of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, Baroness Chalker of Wallasey in another place, on 20 March 1997 (Official Report cols. WA 75-77); and by myself on 28 January 1998 (Official Report cols. WA 36-39). An updated version of the list of the Government's commitments regarding the application of strategic export controls, covering this point and other recent changes, has been laid in the Library.
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The Minister of State, Ministry of Defence (Lord Gilbert): I refer my noble friend to the reply I gave him on Monday 27 July (WA 174). We have noted Presidential Decision Directives 62 and 63. Although directives themselves have no direct implications for the Strategic Defence Review, the wider issue of Information Vulnerability was considered carefully, as explained in the SDR Supporting Essay on the Impact of Technology.
Lord Gilbert: The figures to which the noble Lord refers do not include costs incurred in the course of co-operation between the United Kingdom, the United States and other allies on the protection of "vulnerable infrastructures". They do, however, include costs incurred by all computer-related projects in addressing their security requirements to counter vulnerabilities and threats, in accordance with MoD policies.
Lord Gilbert: The Strategic Defence Review assessed that contingencies arising from the United Kingdom's vital stake in European security, our very important interests in the surrounding regions and our wider international responsibilities could each involve us in modern conventional warfare. In all three cases, because of the increasing proliferation of conventional weapons and technology, we concluded that we could face opponents equipped with the most powerful modern equipment.
The risk of their use against UK forces is one of the factors that we take into account when considering export licence applications for defence equipment, in accordance with the criteria announced by the Foreign Secretary on 28 July 1997 and the EU Code of Conduct on Arms Exports adopted on 8 June this year. The Ministry of Defence provides advice to other departments on current and emerging security threats as part of the MoD input to export licensing decisions.
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