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Trade Unions: FCO Co-operation

Lord Hoyle asked Her Majesty's Government:

Baroness Symons of Vernham Dean: The FCO has been working to strengthen co-operation with British unions on issues of mutual interest overseas. As economic decisions are increasingly made in a global context, so British trade unions are more involved with international organisations and counterparts overseas. British trade unions have long played a wider international role in helping promote, among other things, democracy and human rights.

To identify areas of concern and to facilitate discussion, the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs and the General Secretary of the TUC have agreed to set up an FCO/TUC International Advisory Council. This council will be led from the Foreign Office side by Dr MacShane, Minister for Europe, and will include participants from both the FCO and the trade union movement.

To brief interested parties on this expanded co-operation, the FCO and TUC agreed to produce a leaflet setting down in pratical terms how British unions and the FCO are working together. This leaflet was circulated to delegates at the TUC General Congress last week. Copies of the leaflet, which have been placed in the Library of the House, will also be circulated to our embassies abroad and will be available on the official FCO website (www.fco.gov.uk).

Kenya: Economic Effects of UK Flights Ban

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

Baroness Symons of Vernham Dean: We have no figures available on the cost to the Kenyan economy of the recent flight ban. Our top priority is the security of UK travellers. But we do not underestimate the

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negative impact on the Kenyan tourist industry and hope that the lifting of the ban on flights by UK airlines to Nairobi and Mombasa will quickly restore lost revenues and job opportunities in the industry.

Iraq: UK/US costs

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

    What have been their arrangements with the United States Government for sharing the cost of the occupation of Iraq since 1 May 2003; and whether they will place the details in the Library of the House.[HL4317]

Baroness Symons of Vernham Dean: As with previous international operations the cost of military commitments to the International Stabilisation Force has been borne separately by each troop contributing nation. Salary costs arising from secondments of staff to the Coalition Provisional Authority have also been met by contributing nations, and their subsistence is provided from the CPA budget. The cost of running each Iraqi ministry is met by the Development Fund for Iraq in accordance with paragraph 14 of UN Security Council Resolution 1483.

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

    What has been the cost to the United Kingdom of the civil administration and reconstruction of Iraq since 1 May 2003, excluding the direct cost of maintaining United Kingdom forces there.[HL4319]

Baroness Symons of Vernham Dean: Since 1 May 2003 the UK contribution to the cost of civil administration and reconstruction in Iraq has been £220 million.

Lord Lester of Herne Hill asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Whether they have agreed that United Kingdom public expenditure on the occupation and reconstruction of Iraq will be a proportionate share of United States expenditure.[HL4426]

Baroness Symons of Vernham Dean: The UK will continue to contribute to the cost of occupation and reconstruction in Iraq according to an assessment of the needs of the military and civilian activities, not on the basis of providing a proportion of any other contributions to the cost of military occupation or reconstruction.

Iraq: UN Role

Lord Hannay of Chiswick asked Her Majesty's Government:

    What scope they see in a new United Nations Security Council resolution on Iraq for expanding the role of the United Nations in the political work required to assist the emergence of stable,

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    democratic and generally accepted institutions in Iraq; and what they are doing to bring about such an expansion.[HL4366]

Baroness Symons of Vernham Dean: The Government remain committed to a vital role for the UN in Iraq, as provided for by Security Council Resolution 1483. The Security Council is currently considering a draft resolution which would encourage further participation by the UN and the international community in assisting Iraq, including in the political processes leading to the formation of a representative government. The Secretary-General's report of 17 July (of which a copy has been placed in the Library of the House) identified further areas in which the UN could contribute to the initial effort in Iraq. The Government would support an increased UN contribution in these areas.

Following the terrorist attack on the United Nations headquarters in Baghdad on 19 August, the UN's efforts in Iraq have inevitably been scaled back. We are in discussion with the UN on the security measures needed to ensure that the UN is able to resume and expand its role in Iraq.

Sudan

Lord Hylton asked Her Majesty's Government:

    What steps they and the other mediators are taking to strengthen the arrangements for monitoring and securing the current ceasefire in the Sudan, following recent violations.[HL4369]

Baroness Symons of Vernham Dean: The UK has already contributed 500,000 US dollars, a UK senior liaison officer and two monitors to the Verification Monitoring Team (VMT). On 10 September other international donors pledged to contribute additional funding and personnel. The British Peace Support Team in Kenya has trained personnel appointed to the VMT by the Government of Sudan, the Sudan People's Liberation Movement and Inter-Governmental Authority on Redevelopment countries, including Kenya, Ethiopia and Eritrea. The VMT has looked at the 81 allegations of violations of the Memorandum of Understanding on the Cessation of Hostilities. These have been prioritised and investigations have begun.

Lord Hylton asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Whether they will seek the holding of thorough consultations with the people in all regions on the future constitution of the Sudan; and if so, whether they and their co-mediators would be willing to facilitate the consultations, if requested.[HL4370]

Baroness Symons of Vernham Dean: The Machakos Protocol signed by the Government of Sudan and the Sudan People's Liberation Movement on 20 July 2002 provides for a constitutional framework, incorporating the peace agreement, to be drafted during the six month pre-interim period (immediately following peace agreement) by a representative

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constitutional review commission. The precise terms of reference and composition of this commission have not yet been agreed but we would expect it to be representative of all regions of Sudan. We would be willing to facilitate its work, and other aspects of implementation of a peace agreement if asked.

Lord Hylton asked Her Majesty's Government:

    What is their response to the opposition by the Sudan Ecumenical Forum to the imposition of a quick-fix solution to the future of the Sudan.[HL4371]

Baroness Symons of Vernham Dean: There is no question of an imposed solution. Our aim is to help the Sudanese themselves to reach a just and lasting peace, which addresses the root causes of their civil war. To this end we are working closely with the Inter-Governmental Authority on Redevelopment (IGAD) mediators and other partners.

Conflict Prevention Pools: Evaluation

Lord Howell of Guildford asked Her Majesty's Government:

    When the current independent evaluation of the Conflict Prevention Pools, the Africa Pool and the Global Conflict Prevention Pool, will be completed; and in what form it will be published.[HL4414]

Baroness Symons of Vernham Dean: The joint independent evaluation of the Africa Conflict Prevention Pool and the Global Conflict Prevention Pool began in June 2003. The results are intended to inform the spending review 2004 process and so the aim is for the evaluation to be completed by early 2004.

A decision on publication of the report of the evaluation will be taken when the length and format are clearer.

Eurobus: Estonia and Poland

Lord Pearson of Rannoch asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Whether:


    (a) during the Estonian referendum on whether to join the European Union, the British Ambassador to Estonia and other embassy staff have toured Estonia on the "Yes" campaign's Eurobus distributing material in favour of a "Yes" vote; and


    (b) The Government donated money to the Polish Government to buy the Polish Eurobus for similar purposes in Poland;


    and, if so, whether these activities meet the United Kingdom's obligations under Article 41.1 of the Vienna Convention, 1964.[HL4418]

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Baroness Symons of Vernham Dean: The Eurobus tour was not part of the "Yes" campaign, but an information awareness exercise. The aim was to inform people about the EU and its activities.

In Estonia, no British Embassy staff toured on the Eurobus, nor handed out any material connected with it. In Poland, the British Embassy donated a bus to the Polish Government in May 2002—no financial assistance was provided. The bus had previously been used for an information campaign in the UK.

These activities are entirely consistent with the UK's obligations under Article 41.1 of the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Regulations 1961, which requires the non-interference of diplomatic staff in the internal affairs of the receiving state. The British Government have maintained throughout the accession campaigns in 2003 that it is for the citizens of the countries concerned to decide whether to join the EU.


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