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Baroness Hayman: My right honourable friend the Minister has set the Centre for Environment, Fisheries and Aquaculture Science the following performance targets for 2000-01. Delivery of Service 1. To give satisfaction to its customers in the way that outputs are provided taking account of the relevance, timeliness and value for money of outputs and the achievement of ROAME milestones. Quality of Science 2. To make satisfactory progress with the Action Plan resulting from the 1999-2000 Science Audit. Efficiency 3. To achieve the savings forecast in the Efficiency Plan. Financial Performance 4. To recover from Government Departments and Agencies and external customers the full economic costs (calculated according to resource accounting principles) of its services. 5. To operate within 95 per cent and 100 per cent of allocations by the MAFF Management Board for running costs, capital and receipts.
In view of their decision not to subscribe to the 1970 UNESCO and 1995 Unidroit Convention on the illicit traffic of cultural materials, under what alternative international legal framework they might seek to recover British antiquities recently illicitly excavated and illegally exported such as the Icklingam bronzes; and [HL2091]
What were their detailed reasons for deciding not to ratify the 1970 UNESCO Convention on the Means of Prohibiting and Preventing the Illicit Import, Export and Trade of Cultural Property; and whether their two years' consideration of this matter has resulted in any alternative proposals to restrict the illicit trade in cultural property. [HL2090]
Lord McIntosh of Haringey: As Her Majesty's Government announced in another place on 7 February 2000, after a lengthy inter-departmental consultation, we concluded that the UK should not become a signatory to the Unidroit Convention due to the conflicts with our current law. We noted that, in order to implement the convention, changes to our limitation periods and to our personal property law would be required, resulting in a special regime for cultural objects and arguably a less generous position for the original, rightful owners of objects which were later stolen. However, Her Majesty's Government have undertaken to consider the possible options for an alternative legislative approach which would share some of the objectives of the Unidroit Convention.
Following representations made by the noble Lord, I also said that I was willing to look again at the difficulties of implementing the UNESCO convention and that we would be looking at a range of options which might form the basis of an alternative approach to the convention.
Baroness Farrington of Ribbleton: The Assembly has agreed a draft protocol and sent it to the Secretary of State for Wales for consideration by the UK Government. This consideration is currently taking place in the light of the experience of the current parliamentary session.
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