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The Earl of Sandwich asked Her Majesty's Government:

Baroness Amos: There is much speculation about the positions of the parties at Taba but no official written record exists of what was discussed.

As my right honourable friend the Foreign Secretary said in another place on 16 April 2002 (Official Report col. 470), a final settlement must be based on "two viable, secure and territorially sovereign and democratic states, Israel and Palestine", mutually recognised and committed to peaceful co-existence with in agreed borders. Palestine should have the usual characteristics of statehood, the necessary institutions and rights, including responsibility for its internal security and the freedom to conclude treaties, of internal movement of goods, services and people, and of economic policy.

EU: Consolidated Treaties Publication

Lord Stoddart of Swindon asked Her Majesty's Government:

Baroness Amos: The inter-governmental conference did not prepare a consolidated version of the Treaty of Rome, and therefore it was not included in the command paper (Cm 5090) publishing the Treaty of Nice. But we expect the Office for Official Publications of the European Union to publish a version of the consolidated treaties in due course. We will place this in the Libraries of both Houses as soon as it becomes available. Unofficial consolidated versions of the treaties are publicly available.

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Christopher Pasipamire: Visa

Baroness Oppenheim-Barnes asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Further to the Answer by Baroness Amos on 10 December (HL Deb, col. 105), on what date the visa granted to Chris Pasipamire was issued; and what length of stay in the United Kingdom it allows.[HL741]

Baroness Amos: The British High Commission in Harare issued Mr Christopher Pasipamire with a visitor's visa for the UK on 14 November 2002. The visa allows stays in the UK of up to six months. hp

Lockerbie Disaster

Baroness Ramsay of Cartvale asked Her Majesty's Government:

    What was the outcome of the meeting on 17 December between the Foreign Secretary and relatives of the Lockerbie victims.[HL777]

Baroness Amos: On 11 July in another place my right honourable friend the Foreign Secretary explained he did not see a case for a public inquiry into the Lockerbie disaster, but was going to look into whether other arrangements for scrutiny could be established.

In considering what options might be available to us, we have taken the view that, to be of value, any scrutiny should be able to deliver new and useful conclusions despite the passage of time and the investigations that have already taken place.

Those previous investigations have been extensive. They include a fatal accident inquiry, the US President's Commission on Aviation Security and Terrorism, a Transport Select Committee inquiry, various internal Department of Transport reviews of aviation security, and the trial, conviction and unsuccessful appeal of al Megrahi.

We have concluded that, given the absence of any significant new information, the fact that the key issues have already been extensively explored, and action taken, including substantial changes to airport procedures, it is most unlikely that any further form of inquiry would unearth further lessons to be learned, 14 years after the event, which had not already been identified by earlier investigations.

The Government have therefore decided not to initiate any further form of review on Lockerbie.

The Foreign Secretary explained this decision to the Lockerbie relatives at a meeting in the Foreign and Commonwealth Office on 17 December.

NATO Parliamentary Assembly: UK Delegation

Baroness Ramsay of Cartvale asked Her Majesty's Government:

    What changes have been made in the composition of the United Kingdom delegation to the NATO Parliamentary Assembly.[HL778]

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Baroness Amos: Ms Cheryl Gillan MP has replaced Mr James Arbuthnot MP as a member of the delegation.

UK and EU Sanctions

Baroness Ramsay of Cartvale asked Her Majesty's Government:

    What recent changes have been made to (a) the United Nations sanctions against Angola (UNITA) and Sierra Leone; and (b) the European Union sanctions against the Democratic Republics of Congo and Burma.[HL779]

Baroness Amos: Angola (UNITA)

With the suport of Her Majesty's Government, the UN Security Council on 18 October 2002 unanimously adopted UN Security Council resolution 1439(2002). The resolution lifted the travel ban on members of UNITA and their immediate families listed in paragraphs 4a and 4b of UN Security Council resolution 1127(1997) from 14 November 2002. The travel ban has been suspended since May pursuant to UN Security Council resolutions 1412(2002) and 1432(2002).

Resolution 1439(2002) also committed the Security Council to review all remaining measures imposed on UNITA by 19 November 2002. Following the review with the support of Her Majesty's Government, the Security Council voted unanimously to adopt United Nations Resolution 1448(2002) on 9 December 2002. This resolution lifted all remaining sanctions measures on Angola (UNITA). This is in recognition of the considerable progress made in Angola since the formal cessation of hostilities on 4 April 2002, and the broad fulfilment of the tenets of the Lusaka Peace Protocol by UNITA. Sierre Leone

With the support of Her Majesty's Government, the Security Council voted unanimously to adopt Resolution 1446(2002) on 4 December 2002. The resolution extended the embargo on the export of rough diamonds without a certificate of origin, controlled by the Government of Sierra Leone. This extension will allow the Government of Sierra Leone to extend and consolidate their authority over the diamond-mining fields in the country. Democratic Republic of Congo

With the support of Her Majesty's Government, the General Affairs and External Relations Council of 22 October agreed Council Common Position 2002/829. The European Union introduced an embargo on the export of arms to Zaire (now the Democratic Republic of Congo) in 1993 pursuant to an EU declaration of 7 April 1993. The Common Position (2002/829) amends the scope of that arms embargo by providing that the arms embargo does not apply to temporary exports for personal use of United Nations personnel; and does not prohibit the export of non-lethal military equipment with a legitimate humanitarian use to representatives of the media and

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humanitarian and associated personnel, or equipment to be used for the clearance and destruction of anti-personnel landmines. Burma

With the support of Her Majesty's Government, the General Affairs and External Relations Council of 22 October agreed Council Common Position 2002/831. The Common Position extends EU sanctions against Burma for a further six months. The Common Position and the accompanying Council Regulation also update the list of individuals subject to EU sanctions to take account of recent changes to the Burmese military regime. hp

Committee on Standards in Public Life

Lord Oakeshott of Seagrove Bay asked Her Majesty's Government:

    What are the ages of the members of the Committee on Standards in Public Life; and whether they will encourage the committee to include members' ages in future annual reports.[HL325]

The Minister for the Cabinet Office and Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster (Lord Macdonald of Tradeston): The dates of birth of serving members of the Committee on Standards in Public Life are already a matter of public record and are set out in a number of commercial publications. For the noble Lord's ease of reference, the information is printed below:

NameDate of Birth
Sir Nigel Wicks (Chair)16/6/40
Professor Alice Brown30/9/46
Sir Anthony Cleaver10/4/38
Rita Donaghy9/10/44
Lord Goodhart18/1/33
Frances Heaton11/8/44
The Rt Hon Lord MacGregor of Pulham Market14/2/37
Rabbi Julia Neuberger27/2/50
Rt Hon Chris Smith MP24/7/51

It is for the Committee to decide on the detailed content of its annual reports.

Parliamentary Written Answers: Reference to Webpages

The Earl of Northesk asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Whether Questions for Written Answers that refer the questioner to a website for the relevant information are an appropriate and effective way of disseminating the information being sought to both the questioner and the wider public.[HL437]

Lord Macdonald of Tradeston: The position remains as set out in the Answer to the noble Lord of 12 May 2000 (WA 242).

19 Dec 2002 : Column WA144

Ministers are required under the terms of the Ministerial Code to be as open as possible with Parliament. Wherever possible, Parliamentary Questions will receive substantive answers. However, there are circumstances in which it can be both appropriate and helpful to refer to content on webpages which elaborates on or gives further background which is relevant to the Question tabled.

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