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Lord Macdonald of Tradeston: In October 1998, an opening ceremony working group was set up to advise and assist the Scottish Office with the arrangements for the formal opening ceremony. This group includes representatives from Buckingham Palace and the services as well as the Lord Lyon King of Arms and others with a relevant interest. More recently an events co-ordinator was appointed to organise a number of events to surround the formal ceremony. Plans for the formal ceremony and the surrounding events are now being developed through discussions with the relevant parties and will be announced when these discussions are complete.
Lord Macdonald of Tradeston: The opening ceremony working group which was set up to advise and assist the Scottish Office with the arrangements for the official opening ceremony has been the main focus
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Social Security (Baroness Hollis of Heigham): Yes. The report of the review of the department's approach to the assessment of hearing loss, conducted by the War Pensions Medical Policy Adviser, was placed in the Library today. The findings confirm that there is no new scientific evidence to raise a reasonable doubt:
The Minister of State, Cabinet Office (Lord Falconer of Thoroton): The Government have reviewed the operation of the deregulation order-making power in Part I of the Act. We believe the safeguards in the process are proven, but that the legislative limitations on the application of this power restrict our ability to deal
When parliamentary time allows, the Government intend to extend the scope of the deregulation order-making process, while maintaining the statutory protection against its misuse. The Minister for the Cabinet Office has launched today an extensive public consultation into the proposals and has placed copies of the consultation document in the Libraries of the House.
Lord Falconer of Thoroton: Although the Stray in Harrogate is owned by the Duchy of Lancaster, under the Stray Act of 1985 (which confirmed earlier legislation), the management of the surface of the Stray is a matter for Harrogate Borough Council.
Baroness Amos: This workshop on "Lessons Learnt from NGO Experience in the Water Sector" was held at British Overseas NGOs for Development (BOND) offices in London on 21 January 1998, with participants from British NGOs, universities and the Department for International Development.
The purpose of the workshop was to enable information sharing on water-related technical, management and social issues between UK-based development organisations and to disseminate that information to project practitioners through established channels of communication.
Key issues which emerged where it is particularly important for NGOs and donors to learn from each other's experiences were in the areas of community participation, the role of women, project planning and timescale, community contributions and financing, tackling poverty, partnerships and co-operation, technology choices, integration of water, sanitation and hygiene promotion, and replication.
The main output of the workshop is a report which details experiences, both positive and negative, in the field. The report includes details of the above key issues and 30 summaries of NGO projects in the water and sanitation sector and the lessons learnt from them, together with the workshop proceedings and recommended references. Sudan
Baroness Amos: The Bishop of Rumbek's statement was one of a number of allegations about the diversion of food aid supplies in southern Sudan. The subsequent report of the task force jointly prepared by Operation Lifeline Sudan (OLS), the Sudan Relief and Rehabilitation Association and the Sudan Peoples' Liberation Movement in September 1998 identified a number of cases of food aid diversions in Sudan Peoples' Liberation Army (SPLA) areas. Strong evidence exists that diversions in these areas continue. The donor community and the United Nations continue to press the SPLA at the highest level to take action to put an end to this practice.
Baroness Amos: In the insecure environment of southern Sudan, calculation of a reliable estimate of past food aid diversions would not be possible. The evidence that diversions have occurred is compelling and, together with the UN and other donors, we are concentrating our efforts on action to minimise future such problems.
Baroness Amos: It would not be appropriate to give credence to such claims from either side in the Sudan civil war in view of their own poor humanitarian records. We continue to make our own assessment of the efficacy of Operation Lifeline Sudan and work closely with the UN to secure the improvements to the operation that we judge to be desirable.
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