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Baroness Anelay of St Johns asked Her Majesty's Government:

The Minister of State, Cabinet Office (Lord Falconer of Thoroton): I was first made aware that the New Millennium Experience Company (NMEC) had not got a proper asset register, nor calculated accurately the costs of closing, following a presentation to the Board on 22 August by PricewaterhouseCooper on the company's finances.

Mr James Mawdsley

Baroness Cox asked Her Majesty's Government:

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Baroness Scotland of Asthal): As soon as we discovered James had been beaten, our Ambassador protested to the Burmese authorities. I also took immediate action and summoned the Burmese Ambassador on 27 September. We asked the Burmese authorities for the doctor from the Australian Embassy to be given immediate access to James to assess his medical condition. These representations were followed up when our Ambassador called on the Director General of Consular Affairs in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs on 2 October. We will continue to make representations until James is seen by the Australian doctor.

Lord Alton of Liverpool asked Her Majesty's Government:

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Baroness Scotland of Asthal: As soon as we discovered James had been beaten, our Ambassador protested in the strongest terms to the Burmese authorities. I also took immediate action and summoned the Burmese Ambassador on 27 September to protest at this blatant abuse of human rights. We demanded either James' immediate release or his transfer to a prison in Rangoon. These representations were followed up when our Ambassador called on the Director General of ConsularAffairs in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs on 2 October.

When our Vice-Consul in Rangoon visited James on 26 September, she reported that James had two very bruised black eyes and a suspected broken nose. We have asked the Burmese authorities for the doctor from the Australian Embassy to be given immediate access to James to assess his medical condition.

James's latest application for an appeal hearing at the High Court in Mandalay was dismissed on 19 August. Our consular staff obtained the necessary court judgments and passed these to James's lawyer on 29 September. James is now preparing to submit an application for a special appeal.

We will continue to seek a response from the Burmese to our request for James's immediate release or his transfer to a prison in Rangoon. I will not hesitate to call in the Burmese Ambassador again if the need arises.

Nuclear Non Proliferation Treaty

Lord Jenkins of Putney asked Her Majesty's Government:

    How many governments are reported as regarding the National Missile Defence policy of the United States government as incompatible with the Nuclear Non Proliferation Treaty.[HL3834]

Baroness Scotland of Asthal: It is not for us to comment on reports of the views of other governments in this regard.

The US Administration itself has said on numerous occasions that it remains fully committed to its obligations under the Nuclear Non Proliferation Treaty.

Lord Jenkins of Putney asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Whether both they and the United States government are committed to the elimination of nuclear weapons as signatories to the Nuclear Non Proliferation Treaty.[HL3835]

Baroness Scotland of Asthal: Under Article VI of the Nuclear Non Proliferation Treaty (NPT), all states Parties undertook "to pursue negotiations in good faith on effective measures relating to cessation of the nuclear arms race at an early date and to nuclear disarmament, and on a treaty on general and complete

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disarmament under strict and effective international control".

At the 2000 NPT Review Conference, the United Kingdom and the other nuclear-weapon states made an "unequivocal undertaking . . . to accomplish the total elimination of their nuclear arsenals leading to nuclear disarmament to which all States parties are committed under Article VI".

National Missile Defence Policy

Lord Jenkins of Putney asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Whether they will refuse to cooperate with the United States government in their National Missile Defence policy.[HL3836]

Baroness Scotland of Asthal: The US Administration has not asked for Her Majesty's Government's agreement to make use of facilities in the UK for National Missile Defence purposes. Her Majesty's Government do not expect to receive any such request until and unless President Clinton's successor decides to proceed with the deployment of such a system.

We have made clear that we would give any such request careful consideration in the light of the circumstances in which it was put to us.

Lord Jenkins of Putney asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Whether they will request the United States government to abandon their National Missile Defence policy on the ground of hostility to the project by and within NATO countries.[HL3837]

Baroness Scotland of Asthal: Her Majesty's Government have conveyed their views on the possible deployment of a National Missile Defence system to the US Administration in numerous recent bilateral and multilateral discussions, as have other NATO allies.

Our views, and those of other allies, are well understood in Washington--as President Clinton made clear in announcing on 1 September his decision to leave a decision on the deployment of any such system to his successor.

Burma

Lord Jenkins of Putney asked Her Majesty's Government:

    What further steps are being taken to restore democracy in Burma following the speech by Mr John Battle, MP, Minister of State at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, supporting the condemnation of the military regime by the United Nations.[HL3887]

Baroness Scotland of Asthal: The UK recently stepped up pressure on the regime: we were among the

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first to protest publicly at the outrageous treatment of the democratic leader, Aung San Suu Kyi. This autumn we will spearhead international action in the International Labour Organisation to stop forced labour; at the UN General Assembly we will argue for a tough human rights resolution; and we are supporting a renewal of the EU Common Position later this month.

Kosovo: Settlement Plans

Lord Judd asked Her Majesty's Government:

    What role they envisage for the South East Europe Stability Pact in a regional policy approach to a lasting solution in Kosovo.[HL3859]

Baroness Scotland of Asthal: The Stability Pact is a long-term process to bring political and economic reform, co-operation and development to South East Europe. It is too early to say how this might include Kosovo. There, the international community has a separate mandate under UN Security Council Resolution 1244 to organise the development of provisional institutions for democratic and autonomous self-government and to support economic reconstruction.

Lord Judd asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Whether their ultimate objective for the future of Kosovo is clear to all those carrying responsibility in UNMIK, KFOR, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees and other administrative agencies in Kosovo.[HL3858]

Baroness Scotland of Asthal: The UN Mission in Kosovo (UNMIK) is working in accordance with United Nations Security Council Resolution 1244 to promote substantial autonomy and self-government in Kosovo, pending a final settlement. The nature of that final settlement has not yet been agreed.

Lord Judd asked Her Majesty's Government:

    What action they are taking together with other governments and international organisations to ensure that the numbers of expatriate civilian police in Kosovo are brought up to the required level and that they have the qualifications and skills for the task in hand.[HL3856]

Baroness Scotland of Asthal: According to the United Nations Secretariat, there are currently 4,174 civilian police officers deployed with the United Nations International Police (UNIP) in Kosovo, out of a total of 4,718 mandated by the Security Council. The UK has 124 police officers seconded to UNIP, with a further 20 due to deploy in November. The UK has also contributed a further 40 police officers to the OSCE Police Training School, whose current staffing level is around 200 officers out of an establishment of 211.

The UK has supported the United Nations and the OSCE in encouraging other states to contribute police officers to Kosovo.

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The United Nations and the OSCE have distributed selection standards for civilian police to all contributing states. Before being accepted on an international mission, officers must meet strict criteria concerning nationality, professional status, mental and physical health, experience, language, driving and integrity. The UN also imposes firearms handling standards in armed missions such as Kosovo. If officers are found not to meet any of these standards, they are repatriated at their state's expense.


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