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The Minister of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Baroness Chalker of Wallasey): On 18th June, the UN Security Council confirmed that the UN arms embargo on former Yugoslavia was terminated in accordance with UN Security Council Resolution 1021. The Government have decided that, taking into account the overall situation in the states of the former Yugoslavia and the paramount importance of ensuring the safety of British and other troops deployed in Bosnia and Herzegovina and Croatia, applications for arms export licenses will be dealt with on the following basis:
(a) for Slovenia and the former Yugoslavia Republic of Macedonia, applications for licenses to export military equipment listed in group 1 of part III of Schedule 1 to the Export of Goods (Control) Order 1994 and dual-use equipment will be considered on a case by case basis;
(b) for Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia and the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia our policy is not to allow the export of military equipment listed in group 1 of part III of Schedule 1 to the Export of Goods (Control) Order of 1994 during the period of the NATO-led Implementation Force's deployment. Against that background, applications for export licences will continue to be considered on a case by case basis, as will applications for export of dual-use goods.
The EU as a whole has adopted a common position along these lines. We will keep this policy under review, particularly in light of progress in implementing the peace agreement for Bosnia and Herzegovina.
Baroness Chalker of Wallasey: The wide range of the estimates made by the Congressional Budget Office underlines that it is impossible to predict the costs of enlargement accurately. In taking forward NATO and EU enlargement we will naturally take full account of the differences between the two organisations and of the financial consequences.
Baroness Chalker of Wallasey: Article 19 of the UN Charter provides that a member state which is in arrears in its financial contributions to the UN shall have no vote in the General Assembly if the amount of its arrears equals or exceeds the amount of contributions due from it for the preceding two full years. There is no comparable provision concerning the Security Council.
British proposals, developed jointly with the French, for UN financial reform includes measures to tighten the application of Article 19 and to strengthen the penalties for non-payers. One of the measures would exclude member states in arrears from bidding for UN contracts.
Baroness Chalker of Wallasey: We have made clear our support for a truly comprehensive, "zero yield" Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty. We therefore support the scope formula in the chairman's text, which would ban all nuclear weapon test explosions--however small--and all other nuclear explosions.
Baroness Chalker of Wallasey: Formal negotiations to conclude a treaty banning the future production of fissile material for explosive purposes (Fissile Material Cut-Off Treaty) have not yet begun. However, tritium is not a fissile material and it will not, therefore, be treated as such in a fissile material cut-off treaty.
Baroness Chalker of Wallasey: At the Moscow Nuclear Safety Summit the G8 and Ukraine endorsed a programme for preventing and combating illicit trafficking in nuclear materials. Adherents agreed to improve co-ordination between their governments in all aspects of prevention, detection and prosecution of cases involving nuclear smuggling.
Baroness Chalker of Wallasey: According to the Burmese authorities, James Leander Nichols died on 22nd June from high blood pressure. In a statement issued together with our EU Partners on 5th July we urged the Burmese authorities to provide a full and satisfactory explanation of the circumstances surrounding the death of Mr. Nichols. The statement also called for an investigation by the United Nations
However, the European Commission is already undertaking an enquiry, in relation to GSP, into allegations of forced labour in Burma. We await the outcome of the Commission's investigation, which could possibly recommend to the Council that GSP preferences for Burma are suspended in whole or in part.
Further to the statement made by Baroness Blatch on 3rd July (H.L. Deb., cols. 1567-68), how many of the 453 applications against the Italian Government declared admissible by the European Commission on Human Rights concerned delay in the determination of criminal or civil proceedings.
The Minister of State, Home Office (Baroness Blatch): Information supplied by the Council of Europe indicates that the European Commission on Human Rights declared three allegations of violation admissible against the German Government during 1995.
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