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The Lord Chancellor: The Northern Ireland Executive Committee has recently decided to become a party to the Memorandum of Understanding originally agreed by the UK Government, Scottish Ministers and the Cabinet of the National Assembly for Wales last year. I am therefore publishing today (as Cm 4806) the text of the Memorandum of Understanding and the supplementary agreements as agreed by all four administrations. The paper will also be made available on the Cabinet Office Internet site shortly.
The Attorney-General (Lord Williams of Mostyn): I would refer the noble Lord to the reply to him from the Minister for the Cabinet Office, Lord Falconer of Thoroton, dated 24 July 2000, which sets out the relevant information.
Lord Williams of Mostyn: I would refer the noble Lord to the reply to him from the Minister for the Cabinet Office, Lord Falconer of Thoroton, dated 24 July 2000, which sets out the relevant information.
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Baroness Scotland of Asthal): UNSCR 1054 of 1996 requires states to restrict the entry of members of the Government of Sudan, officials of that Government and members of the Sudanese armed forces. This resolution remains in force. It is not a blanket prohibition. Consistent with our international obligations, we look at all applications in categories subject to restrictions on a case by case basis. We judge that the visit of the Sudanese Foreign Minister to the UK will further UK efforts to promote peace, democratisation and human rights in the Sudan.
Baroness Scotland of Asthal: We are committed to improving the human rights situation in Sudan. We believe that some progress has already been made by the Government of Sudan in this field. There, is of course still much more to be done, but we remain convinced that this can only be achieved through a frank and constructive dialogue with the Sudanese Government.
Human rights concerns, including aerial bombings of civilian targets by the Government of Sudan, were raised both by my right honourable friend the Secretary of State and by my honourable friend the Member for Neath when they met the Sudanese Foreign Minister on 18 July.
Baroness Scotland of Asthal: Peace and stability will remain elusive in Colombia until a concerted effort is made to tackle the interconnected problems of violence, inequality, poverty and social injustice, drugs cultivation and trafficking. Plan Colombia sets out the Colombian Government's proposals for tackling these problems. The UK and the international community more widely are currently considering the best way to support their efforts.
Baroness Scotland of Asthal: "Plan Colombia" sets out the Colombian Government's proposals for tackling the interconnected problems of violence, social and economic inequality, abuse of human rights, and drugs cultivation and trafficking. It contains significant socio-economic initiatives and a pledge to tackle corruption in official quarters. It is of course important that the Armed Forces of Colombia are accountable to the elected civilian authorities. The UK and others have strongly encouraged the Colombian Government to consult NGOs and civil society more widely about the proposals contained in "Plan Colombia".
Baroness Scotland of Asthal: The United Kingdom has been at the forefront of efforts to support the peace process in Colombia since the Prime Minister's meeting with President Pastrana on 13 April. However, neither the United Kingdom nor the European Union has made any decision about what additional aid could be given to Colombia. We are determined however that any aid will support human rights, long-term social and economic development, and an end to violence.
Enhancements to separation allowances were announced by the Secretary of State for Defence on 20 December 1999. An existing allowance known as Longer Separated Service Allowance (LSSA), which is payable to Service personnel who have completed a qualifying period of service and are separated from their duty stations for periods of 10 continuous days or more (whether operationally or not), was enhanced to include a two-tier bonus scheme known as Accumulated Turbulence (AT) and Accumulated Turbulence Plus (AT+). These are taxable lump sums paid as compensation to personnel who experience an intensive level of separation (however occasioned) over a two-year period. LSSA (AT) of £1,000.00 is
The equivalent payment for those in receipt of Longer Service at Sea Bonus (paid primarily to the Royal Navy) is made to personnel deployed for more than 12 months or who spend less than nine months in their base port in any two-year period.
Unusually, the bonuses were backdated to 1 December 1997 (which was the original implementation date of LSSA). The first two-year period therefore ended 1 December 1999. As at 23 June 2000, more than £4.6 million had been paid in AT bonuses.
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