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Chris Bryant: I refer the hon. Member to the reply my hon. Friend the Member for Lincoln (Gillian Merron) gave to my right hon. Friend the Member for Horsham (Mr. Maude) on 25 November 2008, Official Report, column 1200W.
Mr. Philip Hammond: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs how much was paid in reimbursable expenses to special advisers in his Department in each of the last five years. 
Chris Bryant: For 2005-07, I refer the hon. Member to the reply given by my hon. Friend the Member for Lincoln (Gillian Merron) to the hon. Member for Fareham (Mr. Hoban) on 9 July 2008, Official Report, column 1657W.
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Andrew Selous: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what assessment he has made of the implementation by the Government of India of the recommendations made in the report of the UN Special Rapporteur on freedom of religion or belief of 26 January 2009; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Ivan Lewis [holding answer 22 March 2010]: The recommendations of the UN Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Religion or Beliefs report of 26 January 2009 have been used as a point of reference for India's compliance with international conventions during the most recent EU-India Human Rights Dialogue in February 2009, when the issue of freedom of religion or belief in relation to minority rights was discussed with Indian officials. We will continue to raise the issue of minority rights, including the right to freedom of religion and belief with the appropriate Indian authorities as part of the ongoing EU-India Human Rights Dialogue.
Andrew Selous: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what reports he has received on the steps taken by the Government of Orissa state (a) to address the causes of the communal violence in 2008 and (b) to bring the perpetrators and inciters of such violence to justice. 
Mr. Ivan Lewis [holding answer 22 March 2010]: The communal violence in 2008 was caused by a range of complex socio-economic issues. The Orissa State Government has taken a number of steps to prevent further communal violence. A draft Prevention of Communal Violence Bill to provide for the prevention and control of communal violence, the speedy investigation and trial of cases and rehabilitation of victims has been introduced to the Upper House. The State Government commissioned a judicial probe led by Justice Mohapatra to look into the causes of violence. They have also taken steps to improve the security and delivery of justice to victims and the local authorities have set up fast track courts for the cases brought against the perpetrators of the violence.
Andrew Selous: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what reports he has received on the outcome of the visit to Orissa state of a delegation of the EU delegation to India; and whether (a) the Government and (b) the EU plans any follow-up action to assist in community reconciliation. 
Mr. Ivan Lewis [holding answer 22 March 2010]: The EU delegation visited Orissa from 2-5 February and met Government and police officials, civil society and victims in Bhubaneswar and Kandhamal. They noted that local authorities have made some progress on rehabilitation and resettlement, and continue to work to address displacement and justice issues. The EU delegation also identified cross-community peace-building initiatives and improving the capacity of victims lawyers as important areas to address.
The EU delegation investigated what action was being taken towards community reconciliation in their discussions with the Government authorities and civil society. They
were informed of a range of activities such as street theatre, music, vocational, and educational initiatives focusing on building lasting peace between the communities. Peace and national integration camps have also been set up and a peace initiative called 'Antaranga' involving more than 150 youth organisations from all the local communities has also been established with the support of non-governmental organisations. The delegation are assessing the outcomes of their visit, including the question of follow-up.
Mr. Amess: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what steps he (a) has taken during the last six months and (b) plans to take during the next six months to tackle the shipment of weapons and funds from Iran to (i) Afghanistan, (ii) Iraq, (iii) Lebanon and (iv) Gaza; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Ivan Lewis: We have serious concerns about Iranian support for Iraqi militia groups, the Taliban. Hezbollah, Hamas and other Palestinian rejectionist groups, including weapons, funds and training. This is unacceptable. It further undermines international confidence in the Iranian regime's intentions, and is at odds with the regime's claim to the international community and its own people that it supports stability in the middle east and Afghanistan.
Mr. Amess: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what steps at the United Nations he (a) has taken since November 2009 and (b) plans to take in the next six months to seek to prevent (i) weapons and (ii) funds from the government of Iran being sent to terrorist groups in (A) Afghanistan, (B) Iraq, (C) Gaza and (d) Lebanon; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Ivan Lewis: We continue to urge Iran to comply with international law, including UN Security Council Resolutions (UNSCRs). Iran's transfers of weapons to the groups mentioned are contrary to UNSCRs 1737, 1747,1803, 1701 (Hezbollah) and 1860 (Gaza). Such behaviour further undermines international confidence in Iran.
We continue to give our full support to the UN Sanctions Committee in pursuing and investigating sanctions violations. Following a series of sanctions violations by Iran in 2009 (including the interdictions of weapons from Iran on the Hansa India, Monchegorsk and Francop vessels), the UN Sanctions Committee on Iran issued an Implementation Assistance Notice in January 2010. This urged all UN member states to be especially alert to further violations, in particular to exercise enhanced vigilance over all Islamic Republic of Iran shipping lines activity, including subjecting its cargo to enhanced scrutiny.
Mr. Amess: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what steps at the United Nations he (a) has taken since November 2009 and (b) plans to take in the next six months in response allegations of (i) arming and (ii) funding by Iran of Hamas; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Ivan Lewis: We have serious concerns about the support that Iran provides to groups such as Hamas, which are undermining peace in the middle east through violence. Such support is unacceptable and only serves to undermine regional security. We call on Iran to play a constructive role in fostering peace in the middle east, including through political and diplomatic support to the Palestinian Authority in its attempts to build institutions and improve security.
Mr. Stewart Jackson: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs with reference to the answer to the right hon. Member for Horsham of 12 November 2009, Official Report, column 625W, on ministerial policy advisers, how many times the Special Envoy for Sri Lanka has visited that country since his appointment. 
Norman Baker: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will make it his policy to endorse the practical measures suggested by the Tibetan envoys at the China-Tibet talks in January 2010 and to encourage the Chinese authorities to respond positively to them. 
Norman Baker: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs whether he raised the issue of Tibet (a) privately and (b) publicly during his recent visit to China; and if he will make a statement.  [Official Report, 25 May 2010, Vol. 510, c. 1MC.]
Mr. Ivan Lewis: During my right hon. Friend the Foreign Secretary's visit to China he raised the issue of Tibet with Premier Wen and Foreign Minister Yang. He expressed our continued concern at the situation in Tibet, including the heavy security presence, and restrictions on freedom of expression and religion. He welcomed the resumption of the talks between the Chinese authorities and representatives of the Dalai Lama but emphasised that the talks must be substantive to be successful.
Following his visit, the UK and China held a human rights dialogue. This was a further opportunity for us to raise our concerns about Tibet. In advance of the
dialogue we have handed over a list of 42 cases, of concern, a number of which relate to Tibet, affecting 56 individuals.
Norman Baker: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what reports he has received on the decision by the Chinese authorities to resettle Tibet's 2.25 million nomads into urban areas; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Ivan Lewis: In his work report of the Chinese Government to the National People's Congress, Premier Wen Jiabao said that the Chinese Government would build permanent housing for nomads. He also promised to "give high priority to protecting the cultural heritage of ethnic minorities and the ecosystems in ethnic minority areas".
Staff at our embassy in Beijing have discussed the Government's policy of encouraging nomads to move to fixed settlements with local government representatives in Tibet, who justify it by the need to improve access to public services such as health and education and in order to protect fragile high-altitude grasslands from overgrazing.
Mr. Ivan Lewis: The elections in 2010 mark a significant improvement from those of 2005. Although minor irregularities were recorded, they were not deemed significant enough to have changed the overall result and EU election monitors thought the elections to be broadly fair and democratic.
However, the opposition have rejected the result and organised demonstrations in protest. We, with our EU partners, continue to urge both sides to exercise restraint and pursue objections through legal means.
Mr. Keith Simpson: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what recent assessment he has made of progress by the Unity Government of Zimbabwe on human rights; and if he will make a statement. 
In December 2009, the signatories of the Global Political Agreement (GPA) agreed on the composition of a new Zimbabwe Human Rights Commission (ZHRC). Members of the ZHRC have yet to be sworn in but its ability to operate freely will have a key impact on monitoring and tackling human rights abuses in Zimbabwe.
Mr. Hurd: To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office what projects have been shortlisted for funding under the Capacitybuilders Campaigning Research Programme Fund; and what the purpose is of each of those projects. 
Angela E. Smith: Funding for the Campaigning Research Programme has been transferred to the Hardship Fund to support frontline recession-related services. This programme no longer exists and therefore there are no projects shortlisted for funding.
Mr. Maude: To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office pursuant to the answer of 27 January 2010, Official Report, column 795, on the 2011 Census, what the most recent estimate is of the (a) absolute response rate in terms of number of respondents and (b) percentage response rate in each of the pilot local authority areas for the 2011 Census rehearsals; in which (i) wards and (ii) postcode areas rehearsals were held in each of the pilot areas; and what criteria were used to select the sub-areas. 
As the Director General for the Office for National Statistics (ONS) I have been asked to reply to your recent question asking pursuant to the Answer of 27 January 2010, Official Report, column 795, on the 2011 Census, what the most recent estimate is of the (a) absolute response rate in terms of number of respondents and (b) percentage response rate in each of the pilot local authority areas for the 2011 Census rehearsals; in which (i) wards and (ii) postcode areas rehearsals were held in each of the pilot areas; and what the criteria were by which the sub-areas were selected. (318330)
The rehearsal was unlike the Census in that it was voluntary and publicity was necessarily limited. It included 133,890 addresses (61,725 in Lancaster, 38,618 in Newham and 33,547 in Anglesey); 49,300 returns were received.
In order to rehearse our procedures appropriately, 51% of addresses were pre-selected to be subject to the full follow-up process; the remainder were not followed up if they did not respond. In the Census itself, it is the intention that all non responding households will be followed up.
(a) Measuring return rates from those 68,000 households subject to the full process, we had 27,500 returns (41%).
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