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The Minister of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Baroness Chalker of Wallasey): We have sought answers to the specific questions raised by my noble Friend (HL, WA34). If the figures requested become available we will place the information in the Libraries of the House.
Baroness Chalker of Wallasey: We continue, through statements in this House and elsewhere, to make clear our strong opposition to the coercion of individuals to practise family planning or any particular type of fertility regulation procedure, wherever this may occur. We will place in the Libraries of the House a copy of the Overseas Development Administration's document Beyond ICPDThe New Agenda, which sets out our views clearly.
Baroness Chalker of Wallasey: We have continued to support international efforts to help all countries pursue humane family planning and reproductive health policies, including at the International Conference on Population and Development, held in Cairo last September, and through regular dialogue with the United Nations Population Fund. We believe that these efforts have heightened awareness in China and elsewhere of the importance of high quality and non-coercive family planning programmes.
Baroness Chalker of Wallasey: To date some £24.5 million of the £82 million we intend to provide has been disbursed. Most of our pledge will be channelled through the programmes of the European Community (EC) and the UN Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA), which has responsibility for assisting Palestinian refugees. The EC is committed to providing 500 million ecu (about £400 million) in assistance to the Palestinians over five years. As at February 1995 it had disbursed 73 million ecu. In addition, the EC contributed 25 million ecu to UNRWA last year. Our share of EC aid is about one-sixth. Bilaterally, in 1994/95 we gave £6 million to UNRWA and spent a further £6 million on projects. We are currently appraising a health and sewerage project under UNRWA's Peace Implementation Plan.
Baroness Chalker of Wallasey: During 1994 the London diplomatic missions incurred a total of 3,613 unpaid parking fines, which is almost double the 1993 figure of 1,941. This increase, the first since 1986, occurred mainly in the second half of the year when parking in London was decriminalised, and responsibility (with the exception of main thoroughfares) was transferred from the Metropolitan Police to the 33 London Boroughs. This change also coincided with a campaign to reduce the amount of illegal parking in London which resulted in an increase in the number of parking tickets issued to the public, including the diplomatic corps. The attached table shows only Missions which have 11 or more fines outstanding.
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Baroness Chalker of Wallasey: Twenty-five alleged serious offences by persons entitled to diplomatic immunity were drawn to the attention of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office in 1994. "Serious offences" are defined in accordance with the report to the Foreign Affairs Committee The Abuse of Diplomatic Immunities and Privileges (1985) as offences which fall into the category which in certain circumstances attract a maximum penalty of six months' imprisonment or more: the majority involved drinking and driving and shoplifting.
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