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The Minister of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Baroness Chalker of Wallasey): I shall head the United Kingdom delegation to the summit. Officials from the Foreign Office, the Overseas Development Administration, the Department of Employment and the Department of Social Security will also participate.
Baroness Chalker of Wallasey: We support the aim of increasing resources for basic human development priorities; and welcome the recognition in the social summit draft declaration of the responsibilities of developing countries' governments to provide services to their people. But we have doubts about the value of assigning specific targets to either donors or recipients of aid, not least because of data measurement and comparability issues. The quality of basic services is as important as their coverage. For these reasons we shall not support the 20/20 proposal.
Baroness Chalker of Wallasey: We fully support references to the ratification of human rights instruments which appear in the declaration and programme of action to be agreed during the summit. We will continue to encourage all those wishing to improve their position towards basic human rights to look at the principles embodied in existing human rights instruments and, where appropriate, to ratify them.
Baroness Chalker of Wallasey: On approach to the social summit in Copenhagen on these will be as follows: (i) stable macroeconomic policies and price incentives are the key to sustainable economic growth and poverty reduction. The pattern of growth is also an important consideration; (ii) we will continue to encourage all those countries which have ratified international instruments which address social and economic issues to meet their obligations; (iii) we will support the adoption of internationally agreed targets on eradication of extreme poverty and indicators of social development, but only those which are relevant, practical and useable; (iv) we continue to stress the need for economic reform programmes to take full account of the social dimensions of development in their design and implementation; (v) we are not aware of such research findings. To be effective, safety net programmes need to be well targeted. Performance by individual countries in the design and implementation of such programmes varies widely; (vi) my right honourable friend the Chancellor of the Exchequer made this proposal at the IMF/World Bank Annual Meetings in Madrid last autumn.
Baroness Chalker of Wallasey: After the examination last January of the initial report of the United Kingdom under the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, the Committee on the Rights of the Child recommended that information on implementation of the convention in Hong Kong be submitted by 1996. We intend to submit an initial report on Hong Kong during 1996, in time for it to be examined by the committee before 30 June 1997.
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Transport (Viscount Goschen): I am pleased to announce that light dues for 1995/96 will be frozen at the levels set in April 1993 for a second year in succession. I have decided to remove the supplementary roll-on/roll-off charge levied on tonnage in excess of 1,000 tons for any vessel whose liability is assessed by an International Tonnage Convention 1969 certificate. The surcharge will remain for any vessel unable for any reason to offer such a certificate. I have concluded that all other rates should remain unchanged.
Whether they will appoint an inspector to consider the M.25 link road project and set a date for a pre-inquiry meeting in order to discuss a timetable and appearances.
Viscount Goschen: Draft orders for the further improvement of M.25 between Junctions 12 to 15 were published in April 1994. An announcement on the arrangements for the Public Inquiry will be made in due course.
Viscount Goschen: In designing trunk road schemes, the Highways Agency take these matters into account where they are relevant and material. I have asked the Chief Executive; Mr. Lawrie Haynes, to write to my noble friend.
As you know, Viscount Goschen has asked me to reply to your parliamentary Question asking Her Majesty's Government whether the Highways Agency, when preparing "design year" traffic flow predictions and promoting projects, should take into account: (a) the principal measure for meeting government targets for stabilising CO2 emissions; (b) the impact of road pricing schemes; and (c) the potential for traffic management. (a) National road traffic forecasts are used for predicting possible design year flows. These forecasts cover a range of possible growth in traffic which encompasses the predicted impact of proposed annual increases in fuel prices of 5 per cent. above inflation. (b) The previous Secretary of State for Transport announced (in December 1993) that changes would not be made to national road traffic forecasts to take into account the assumed impact of motorway tolling and other road pricing schemes, until factors that would have a major impact on the traffic effect of these policies had been more clearly established. If, however, a situation should arise where a local pricing scheme, or some other aspect of road pricing, seemed likely to be crucial for the proper assessment of a trunk road scheme, sensitivity testing might be a possible solution. (c) In developing schemes, the potential for introducing traffic management to form part of the solution to local problems should be considered whenever this may be appropriate.
The Parliamentary Secretary, Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food (Earl Howe): The primary focus of the Copenhagen summit is to discuss people-centred development issues within a UN context. For this reason the issue of agricultural dumping has not surfaced in the negotiations.
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