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19 Sept 2002 : Column 430Wcontinued
Mrs. Spelman: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what the value was of CDC investments in agribusiness in (a) Africa and (b) China in (i) 1998, (ii) 1999, (iii) 2000 and (iv) 2001, (A) in money terms and (B) as a proportion of all new investments; and if she will make a statement. 
|(A) value in £m||1998||1999||2000||2001|
(B) as proportion of total of all new investments
CDC has no agribusiness investments in China.
Clare Short: DFID provides strategic support to the OHCHR through an Institutional Strategic Partnership. The partnership runs from January 2000 to December 2002 and to date we have provided £3.4 million. The objectives of the partnership are to enhance the capacity of OHCHR in order to support the development and management of its field programmes and operations; to mainstream all human rights across the work of the UN system; to integrate economic, social and cultural rights into its work; and to provide human rights information to other implementing agencies. In order to ensure that the OHCHR is able to comply with the mandates given to the OHCHR at the Commission on Human Rights, and that the special procedures of the Commission on Human Rights operate efficiently, DFID includes the servicing of these special procedures in its support to the central capacity of the OHCHR.
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Mr. Jim Murphy: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what actions Her Majesty's Government are undertaking to extend the availability of affordable anti-AIDS/HIV drugs in Southern Africa. 
Clare Short: The Government are supporting an expanding programme to combat HIV/AIDS in Southern Africa (South Africa, Botswana, Namibia, Lesotho and Swaziland). Part of this involves strengthening South Africa's lead on essential drugs for the South African Development Community, and strengthening the essential drugs programme in South Africa to improve legislation, procurement and pricing for HIV/AIDS and other drugs.
We are also taking action at a global level. The Working Group on Access to Medicines, which I chair, is working with the pharmaceutical industry, foundations, developing countries and the World Health Organisation, World Trade Organisation and the European Commission to look at the feasibility of a global differential pricing mechanism for essential medicines. But the Government recognises that affordability is only one of four key factors that influence access to medicines. Others are the need for sustainable financing, the rational selection and use of existing drugs and reliable health and supply systems.
On sustainable financing we have pledged $200 million over 5 years to the Global Fund to Fight TB, AIDS and Malaria (GFATM), of which South Africa is already a beneficiary and to which other countries in the region have access. We have also committed over £1 billion since 1997 to strengthening developing countries' health systems, building their capacity both to deliver medicines to the poor and to make effective choices about the selection and use of drugs.
Mr. Bercow: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what the mandate of the Committee on Economic Aid to the Countries of Central and Eastern Europe and for the Co-ordination of Aid to the Candidate Countries under the Pre-accession Strategy Phase is; how many times it has met over the last 12 months; what the UK representation on it is; what the annual cost of its work is to public funds; if she will list the items currently under its consideration; if she will take steps to increase its accountability and transparency to Parliament; and if she will make a statement. 
Clare Short: There are two relevant committees; they cover the EC's PHARE (originally: Poland and Hungary Assistance for the Reconstruction of the Economy) and ISPA (Instrument for Structural Policies for Pre-Accession) programmes. The mandate of the PHARE Committee is to oversee the implementation of Council Regulation EEC Number 3906 of 18 December 1989, which established PHARE, and its subsequent amendments. The ISPA Committee oversees the implementation of Council Regulation EC Number 12671999, which established ISPA. They determine the strategy framework for PHARE and ISPA, and approve annual and multi-annual allocations to country and regional programmes.
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The PHARE Committee has met eight times in the last year, the ISPA Committee, three times. The UK is represented by the Department for International Development (DFID) and the UK Permanent Representation to the European Commission.
The annual cost to public funds of the Committee's work principally comprises the work of DFID officials in assessing and discussing with the EC strategy and programme proposals, as well as the costs of attendance at meetings of the Committees. The precise amounts concerned are not readily available.
The items most recently considered under the Phare Committee were: the final part of the 2002 National Programme for Slovenia, the OLAF (European Anti-Fraud Office) 2002 Multi-Beneficiary Programme and the SIGMA (Support for Improvement in Governance and Management) 2002 Multi-Beneficiary Programme. The ISPA Committee recently considered a range of nineteen environment and seven transport projects across the range of Candidate countries.
Pre-accession programmes and/or work related to them are subject to scrutiny by Select Committees of Parliament. Under Council Decision 1999/468/EC the EC has undertaken to publish an annual report on the working of committees. The first such report was deposited in the libraries of both Houses on 26 February (Commission Document 5685/02). We have encouraged the EC to make available on its website a record of every comitology committee, its agendas and recent actions.
Mr. Bercow: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what the mandate of the Committee on the development and consolidation of democracy and the rule of law and on the respect of human rights and fundamental freedoms is; how many times it has met over the last 12 months; what the UK representation on it is; what the annual cost of its work is to public funds; if she will list the items currently under its consideration; if she will take steps to increase its accountability and transparency to Parliament; and if she will make a statement. 
Clare Short: The Human Rights and Democracy Committee is a Management Committee composed of Representatives of European Union Member States. Commission Services in charge of dealing with Human Rights and Democracy activities funded by Chapter B7-7 of the European Union Budget, have to consult or inform this Committee about the most important decisions they are entitled to take relating to this domain.
The main roles of the Committee are to be consulted on the annual version of the Human Rights and Democracy Multi-annual Programming Document elaborated under the responsibility of the Directorate-General External Relations; to approve Human Rights and Democracy projects identified by EuropeAid Co-operation Office for which the financial contribution is more than one million euro, (the Committee is simply informed when the amount is less than one million euro); to exchange views with Commission services about any geographical or thematic issues that have an impact on Human Rights and Democracy projects and programmes; to consider evaluations of the activities financed from Chapter B7-7
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of the European Union Budget. Details of all projects currently overseen by the Committee are available on the website: http://europa.eu.int/comm/europeaid/ projects/ddh_en.htm.
The Committee has met six times in the last 12 months. The UK is represented by officials from DFID and the FCO, as well as from the UK Permanent Representation to the EU. Travel costs for DFID officials to attend meetings of the Committee are met by the European Commission. Other costs incurred for attending this Committee totalled £424.00 (four hundred and twenty-four pounds) in the past twelve months.
As part of the review process, the UK Government has encouraged the Commission to produce and maintain an electronic database of every comitology committee, its agendas and recent actions, to be accessible through its website.
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