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We keep in regular touch with the EU, IGAD and others on the situation in the Sudan, including on the impact of oil. We are making the case strongly, including in Khartoum, that revenues should be used for development projects and that there should be transparency in accounting for expenditure. We note that certain public assurances have been given to that effect, and look to the Government of Sudan to implement them.
Baroness Scotland of Asthal: UNMIK has judged that the Trepca mines are under public ownership and thus under UNMIK's jurisdiction. It is therefore a matter for UNMIK (supported by KFOR) to decide on the most appropriate method of assessing the potential of the mines and to decide how, if and when they should reopen.
An agreement signed earlier this month will allow 200 Albanian miners to return to the Stari Trg mine, part of the Trepca complex, to carry out a six-week assessment. A dozen Serbs who have been maintaining the mine will continue to work there.
Baroness Scotland of Asthal: We have opened certain posts to open competition as part of our continuing strategy to ensure that the Foreign and Commonwealth Office is as professional, adaptable, effective and innovative as possible. We ran an open competition in 1998-99 to fill the post of Consul-General in New York. There is an open competition currently in progress for the posts of Deputy High Commissioner Mumbai (Bombay), Consul-General Toronto and Consul-General Sao Paulo.
Baroness Scotland of Asthal: It is essential that enlargement of the United Nations Security Council should include additional seats for developing countries if we are to make the Council more representative of the modern world. Better representation for developing countries must mean new permanent seats as well as non-permanent seats. For any agreement on enlargement to take effect, the members of the United Nations will have to adopt, by a two-thirds majority, an amendment to Articles 23 and 27 of the UN Charter. This must then be ratified by two-thirds of the UN membership, including all the permanent members of the Security Council.
Baroness Scotland of Asthal: Since the beginning of the term of the new Commission, EU relations with Africa have been the responsibility of four Commission bodies: DG (Directorate General) External Relations, DG Trade, DG Development, and the European Community Humanitarian Office (ECHO). The Service Commun Relex (SCR) is responsible for implementing the financing decisions for all external relations DGs. We supported reorganisation as part of the reform of the Commission's structures and are working closely with these bodies in order to maximise their effectiveness.
Baroness Scotland of Asthal: Government officials are able to provide factual information about the European Convention on Human Rights and the Court to anyone considering pursuing an application, whether against a foreign government or Her Majesty's Government.
Baroness Scotland of Asthal: The Council of Europe has its own effective system of legal aid for applicants to the European Court of Human Rights. Her Majesty's Government does not intercede in such cases. The court will decide on the merits of Mr Erickson's case.
Baroness Amos: The UN estimates that 3.7 million war-affected people will need to be provided with humanitarian assistance during the year 2000. The UK has committed over £48 million bilateral humanitarian assistance since the first UN appeal in June 1993 (of which some £43 million has been disbursed). About £7.5 million of this has been committed in 1999 to international Non Governmental Organisations and UN Agencies, and includes US$6 million (some £3.75 million) for food aid through the World Food Programme. In addition, we contribute through our membership of the European Community.
Prevailing insecurity has made the delivery of assistance dangerous and expensive. The United Kingdom, as a member of the UN Security Council, has called on all concerned to help facilitate safe passage for humanitarian personnel and the delivery of emergency assistance in areas under their control.
Lord McIntosh of Haringey: The Government's position on this directive was set out in its paper of September 1999 entitled International bonds and the draft Directive on Taxation of Savings, a copy of which is available in the Library.
The Minister of State, Department for Education and Employment (Baroness Blackstone): Ufl Ltd is a private company limited by guarantee established by the Secretary of State in October 1998. The company is seeking charitable status. By making use of information and communications technologies it will encourage innovative and cost-effective ways to learn.
The funding agreement between the Secretary of State and Ufl Ltd provides for a number of checks and controls on the spending of public funds. It specifies that a financial plan which sets out the company's financial proposals and reflects the guidance the Secretary of State may give Ufl Ltd shall be submitted to the Secretary of State annually. The financial plan must take into account guidance issued by the Secretary of State annually. The financial plan must be approved by the Secretary of State and it is subsequently monitored by the department. The financial plan relates Ufl Ltd's costs to its activities in the year covered by the plan. The funding agreement and the financial plan provide the basis for financial support.
In recognition of the market in which Ufl Ltd will operate, the company will own the assets it creates (mainly intellectual property rights on learning products) and retain any receipts from the disposal of assets. The department will take account of any income received by the company as a result of government investment, including asset disposal proceeds, in fixing the level of future financial support. This regime will apply only so long as the company receives government support; any such income received by the company after it has achieved financial independence will be treated as its own.
The funding agreement also provides for Ufl Ltd's intellectual property rights to be assigned to the Secretary of State if the funding agreement is terminated due to Ufl Ltd's breach of contract or insolvency. The memorandum of the company provides that if the company is wound up or dissolved the Secretary of State has a right of veto over the disposition of any remaining assets.
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