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The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Baroness Symons of Vernham Dean: The detailed criteria used in considering licence applications to export conventional arms are currently under review. The new criteria will be made available to the House when the review is complete. In the meantime, officials have been instructed to consult Ministers whenever there are export licence applications which may raise concerns about human rights or international stability.
Baroness Symons of Vernham Dean: The Government will be giving careful consideration to the recommendations made in the commissioner's annual report and the commissioner will be informed to the outcome.
Baroness Symons of Vernham Dean: The two major objectives of my right honourable Friend the Secretary of State for Social Security and Minister for Women and my honourable friend the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State are to have a new dialogue between women and government and to ensure delivery of the Government's commitments to women.
My honourable friends attach great importance to building a new bond of trust between women and government. Government must reflect the views of all women and ensure that the channels of communication between women's organisations and government are
Baroness Symons of Vernham Dean: NATO has undertaken political and civil activities since its inception. The Alliance's sixteen governments are all democratic and subject to parliamentary oversight. This House has debated NATO issues several times recently including at the noble Lord's instigation and my noble friend the Leader of the House has undertaken to ensure that the House has the opportunity for a debate on NATO expansion.
Baroness Symons of Vernham Dean: OSCE countries, including the United States, are under no formal obligation to inform each other of the details of their bilateral military relations, but are encouraged under the Vienna Document of 1994 to exchange such information. Many, including the UK, US and, recently, Russia, provide such information and we continue to encourage as much transparency as possible in this area from all signatories. OSCE states are also required under the Vienna Document to provide annually information on their national defence planning and military budgets.
Baroness Symons of Vernham Dean: The Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty bans nuclear weapon test explosions and any other nuclear explosions. It does not place any constraints on tests of bombs which do not involve such explosions.
Baroness Symons of Vernham Dean: Work is in hand to consider how to strengthen monitoring of the end-use of defence exports in line with our commitment to prevent diversion to third countries and to ensure that exported equipment is used only on the conditions under which the export licence has been granted. Ministers have yet to take any decisions on what methods and through which agencies they expect the monitoring of the end-uses of arms and ammunition exported from Britain to be carried out. These matters are under active consideration. But we are also keen to build a common approach in this area within the European Union and under the Wassenaar Arrangement.
Baroness Symons of Vernham Dean: All of them. No member state of the Union is suggesting that it should stop being an independent nation. But each is prepared to work with the other member states in the framework of the European Union where it is sensible to do so.
|No. of applications||85||33||180||128||187||214||562|
|No. of cases referred to Court||0||0||0||1||2||4||11|
|No. of Court judgments||0||0||0||0||0||2||4|
|--in Turkey's favour||0||0||0||0||0||0||0|
Baroness Symons of Vernham Dean: The Georgian authorities have made the Friends of the Secretary-General on Georgia aware of their threat not to renew the mandate of the CIS peacekeeping operation when it expires on 31 July unless the force's area of operations is expanded in line with the decision of the March CIS Summit. There is no formal mechanism for notifying the United Nations of any change in the CIS peacekeeping force mandate but we would of course expect the UN to be so notified. The Georgian government is well aware of our views on the role played by the CIS peacekeeping force and the United Nations Observer Mission in Georgia (UNOMIG) and of our concerns about possible withdrawal. The position of UNOMIG will be reviewed in good time before 31 July, as its own mandate also expires on that date and would also have to be reviewed in the event of a subsequent withdrawal of the CIS peacekeeping force.
The Minister of State, Ministry of Defence (Lord Gilbert): The responsibility for the payment of service personnel involved in Partnership for Peace (PfP) activities or NATO peacekeeping operations lies with the government providing those forces. Limited NATO funding is available in exceptional circumstances to subsidise the travel costs and allowances of personnel from Partner nations participating in authorised PfP activities.
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