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The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Baroness Scotland of Asthal): My right honourable friend the Prime Minister made clear in his speech at the Mansion House on 22 November that the international community needs an agreed framework on when and how it is appropriate to intervene in the face of massive violations of human rights and international humanitarian law. The United Nations Charter declares that armed force should not be used, save in the common interest. We need to build consensus on what that common interest is and how we define it.
We believe that the development of a set of pragmatic understandings on action in response to humanitarian crises would help the Security Council--acting on behalf of the Members of the United Nations--to reach consensus when such crises occur, thus ensuring effective and timely action by the international community. In this context, we have put to the UN Secretary-General and to key international partners a set of ideas, of which the key elements are:
Baroness Ramsay of Cartvale: I have made a statement under Section 19(1)(a) of the Human Rights Act 1998 that, in my view, the provisions of the Comhairle Nan Eilean Siar (Eriskay Causeway) Order Confirmation Bill are compatible with the convention rights. A copy of the statement has been placed in the Library of the House.
Lord McIntosh of Haringey: The Government have no general policy on the provision of fine art in budgeting for and constructing public buildings. The Government encourages the involvement of artists throughout the design and construction process, but it is for individual client departments to decide whether they wish works of art to be included, and to budget for them accordingly. The Government Art Collection displays works of art by British artists in major government buildings, and the Department for Culture, Media and Sport provides core funding to the Royal Society of Arts for its Art for Architecture scheme.
Lord McIntosh of Haringey: I confirm that this meeting took place on 24 January. The issues discussed at the meeting were the Review of the Royal Parks Agency, next year's Royal Parks Agency Corporate Plan, including funding, and the review of the 1999 season of events in the Royal Parks. The views of the forum will be taken carefully into account when Ministers take decisions on all these subjects.
Lord McIntosh of Haringey: The conclusions and recommendations of the review, and Ministers' decisions on them, will be announced to Parliament and published as soon as Ministers have had the opportunity to consider them.
Lord McIntosh of Haringey: NOF funding is made available to particular groups according to the nature of the initiative concerned. Funding for future initiatives will be made available to relevant groups, following consultation, on the same principle. Non-maintained special schools are currently eligible for funding from the Out of School Hours programme but not for the ICT Training for Teachers programme.
The Minister of State, Department for Education and Employment (Baroness Blackstone): Since 4 November 1999, Ministers of the two departments have met regularly and are actively considering what help could be provided nationally through the New Deal for Disabled People taking account of emerging findings from the pilots. Ministers hope to make an announcement on this in the near future. In these meetings they have not discussed the tourism industry specifically. However, Ministers are aware of the importance of tourism to the economy of this country and the variety of employment opportunities available within the industry for disabled people, given the right level of training and support. Since the pilots began in autumn 1998, disabled people have found jobs in a wide range of industries, including tourism and other service industries.
The Minister of State, Cabinet Office (Lord Falconer of Thoroton): This is not necessary. The Government support the rule of law in the European Union and will not put legislation before Parliament which they consider to be incompatible with the United Kingdom's obligations under EC law.
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