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Clare Short: My Department has not provided direct support to East Timorese refugees in West Timor. We have, however, provided #4.2 million to the United Nations Conflict Reduction and Prevention Unit, which is available for their programmes with refugees in West Timor.
Mrs. Spelman: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what financial support her Department provides to election observers; in which countries; and what guidance her Department issues to election observers. 
Clare Short: DFID supports the electoral process in a number of ways in a number of developing and transition countries. In June 1998, DFID and the FCO published XElections and the electoral process: a guide to assistance", which is available in the House of Commons Library and on our website.
Our support for election observers is usually provided in partnership with an international organisation such as the European Union or the Commonwealth who have developed their own guidance and training for observers.
Mrs. Spelman: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development if she will list the projects by which her Department promotes (a) the freedom of the press and (b) religious freedom in developing countries. 
(a) DFID supports the development of the media in a number of developing and transition countries, and published guidance on developing free and effective media to serve the interests of the poor in July 2001. Copies of XThe Media in Governance" are available in the House of Commons Library and on our website. Our support aims to balance strengthening the capacity of the press and media to hold government to account with encouraging the press to meet their responsibilities of objective, constructive reporting.
(b) The objective of my Department is the elimination of poverty. Our central focus is therefore respect for the human rights of the poor. Frequently the poorest are ethnic and religious minorities that face discrimination and social exclusion. Our strategy on human rights is set out in XRealising human rights for poor people" published in October 2000.
Mrs. Spelman: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development if she will make a statement on the recent ethnic strife in the Ivory Coast against the civilians from northern Daloa; and what discussions her Department has had with the overnment of the Ivory Coast on the subject. 
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Clare Short: We are working closely with others in the international community to help bring about a swift and peaceful resolution to the conflict in Cote d'lvoire. We are aware of the reported attacks on civilians in Daloa. Together with our EU partners, we have called on the Ivorian Government to ensure respect for human rights, in particular with regard to civilian populations, and to bring to justice those responsible for any violations of those rights.
Clare Short: DFID has one employee in Cote d'lvoire. He is working on secondment at the African Development bank and is, therefore, covered by their security and emergency evacuation procedures. Current bank advice is that non- essential staff and all families be evacuated.
Clare Short: DFID support to Cote d'lvoire is channelled primarily through UK contributions to the EC and other multilateral organisations such as the World bank and UN agencies. Direct assistance to Cote d'lvoire is limited to financial contributions that we make to the West Africa Rice Development Association (WARDA) in Bouake and a Small Grants Scheme, administered by the British ambassador in Abidjan. Beneficiaries of the scheme are mainly Ivorian NGO's.
Mrs. Spelman: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what assessment her Department has made of the number of internally displaced people in the Ivory Coast; and what assistance her Department is providing to these people. 
Clare Short: Although DFID has not undertaken its own independent assessment we are in contact with those UN agencies in the field that are monitoring the situation closely. The UK was represented at the UN Emergency Regional Contingency Planning meeting in Accra on 17 and 18 October which was called to discuss the humanitarian position. Their assessment of the likely humanitarian needs is awaited before we consider how the UK will respond.
Clare Short: We are engaged in frequent dialogue with the Government and Civil Society on a range of initiatives to promote the democratic checks and balances, and the rules-based political competition, that are the key to democratic systems worldwide.
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Mrs. Spelman: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what assessment her Department has made of the recent massacres in Uganda by the Lord's Resistance Army; and what discussions her Department has had with the government of Uganda concerning these massacres. 
Clare Short: We have over many years raised our concerns over the security and humanitarian situation in northern Uganda with President Museveni, both bilaterally and with other EU Missions. We condemn LRA atrocities and recognise the Ugandan Government's need to respond militarily. But we have also encouraged the Ugandan Government to pursue all possible avenues for dialogue.
Mr. Colman: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what action her Department has taken to encourage the establishment of multi-party democracy in Uganda following the passing of the Political Parties and Organisations Act of 2 July. 
We have for some time been engaged in a regular dialogue with the Government of Uganda on the future shape of the Ugandan political landscape. Since the Political Parties and Organisations Act came into force on 2 June, we have continued to urge President Museveni and senior Ugandan Ministers to allow political parties to develop and organise, so that they are able to participate fully in the 2006 elections.
Hugh Bayley: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development whether her Department has received a copy of UNEP's Report, Global Environment Outlook 3; and if she will make a statement. 
Clare Short: My Department has received a copy of UNEP's Global Environment Outlook 3. It is a very useful reference document which we will take into account in our own monitoring of global environmental trends and their impact on developing countries. In this context we were pleased by the successful conclusion of the negotiations of the third replenishment of the Global Environment Facility last August. The UK has increased its share in the GEF, and will provide #118 million over the next four years, including a voluntary contribution of #15 million.
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Mr. Bob Ainsworth: I am pleased to announce the appointment of Jane Earl as Director-designate of the Assets Recovery Agency. I expect that she will take up her appointment as Director in the new year, in time for the Agency to start operations next February.
Mr. Peter Duncan: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how much has been paid to the PSNI and RUC, during each of the last three years, in respect of costs incurred in processing asylum applications made in Northern Ireland. 
Beverley Hughes: No payments have been made by the Secretary of State for the Home Department to the Police Service for Northern Ireland (PSNI) and Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC) in respect of costs incurred in processing asylum applications made in Northern Ireland during the past three years.
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