Portcullis image and link to site home page The United Kingdom Parliament
Advanced Search
 
Home
Glossary
Index
Contact Us
Parliament Live
Lords Hansard text for 21 Feb 2005 (250221w06)
Previous Section Back to Table of Contents Lords Hansard Home Page

Anguilla: Sombrero Island Lighthouse

Lord MacKenzie of Culkein asked Her Majesty's Government:

Baroness Symons of Vernham Dean: An agreement transferring full responsibility for Sombrero Island lighthouse to the Government of Anguilla was signed by the UK on 21 August 2000 and by the Government of Anguilla on 2 November 2000. The agreement came into effect on 1 December 2001.

EU Single Market

Lord Dykes asked Her Majesty's Government:

Baroness Symons of Vernham Dean: Extending the benefits of the single market to more UK business and consumers is a government priority. We will be working in partnership with Mr Barroso's commission, which is committed to a reform agenda that focuses on "stronger, lasting growth and . . . more and better jobs" (Commission Spring Report, launched on 2 February www.europa.eu.int/growthandjobs). In collaboration with our European Union partners, the Government would like to see further widening and deepening of the single market, through full implementation of existing liberalisation measures, as well as new initiatives such as the directive on services. The Government will also press for more regulatory reform to lift unnecessary burdens on business and a proactive competition policy that increases market access, while reducing distortive state aids.

Iraq: Casualty Estimates

Lord Dykes asked Her Majesty's Government:

21 Feb 2005 : Column WA161
 

Baroness Symons of Vernham Dean: I outlined our assessment of Iraqi civilian casualties in my Written Statement of 17 November 2004 (Official Report, cols. WS 61–WS 64).

Israel: Palestinian Prisoners

Lord Dykes asked Her Majesty's Government:

Baroness Symons of Vernham Dean: As part of our on-going discussions with the Israeli Government, we have already discussed with them the release of Palestinian prisoners.

We will continue to follow this issue closely, and discuss it, and other issues discussed on 8 February, with the Government of Israel.

Nuclear Energy: Fissile Material

Lord Judd asked Her Majesty's Government:

Baroness Symons of Vernham Dean: My right honourable friend the Foreign Secretary's Statement to the House on 25 February 2004 (Official Report, cols. WS 48–49) outlined the UK's current thinking on fissile material supply. He proposed that states not in compliance with their International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) safeguards obligations, while retaining the right to a civil nuclear programme, might forfeit their right to develop the nuclear fuel cycle. Countries honouring their safeguards obligations could supply fissile material for such programmes under IAEA monitoring while in the receiving country, and reclaim spent fuel after use.

The UK is playing a full role in IAEA Director General Dr El Baradei's expert group. It is expected that the group will report shortly, and we look forward to studying its contents.

Fissile Material Cut-off Treaty

Lord Judd asked Her Majesty's Government:

21 Feb 2005 : Column WA162
 

Baroness Symons of Vernham Dean: The United Kingdom has been active since 1993 in efforts to begin negotiations at the Conference on Disarmament on a Fissile Material Cut-off Treaty (FMCT) that would ban the production of fissile material for nuclear weapons or other explosive devices, but progress has been prevented by linkages with other issues and, more recently, discussions on whether an FMCT could be verified. We would prefer to see a verifiable FMCT, but we have been encouraging the commencement of negotiations, without preconditions, to prevent further delay.

We ceased production of fissile material for defence purposes in 1995 and have placed fissile material not for defence purposes under international safeguards.

Nuclear and Chemical Weapons

Lord Judd asked Her Majesty's Government:

Baroness Symons of Vernham Dean: The Government support measures that would encourage a deeper relationship between the United Nations Security Council and both the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons and the International Atomic Energy Agency including for the respective directors general to brief the Security Council within the remit of their own organisations. It is for the Security Council to decide how to manage its agenda.

UN Convention on Terrorism

Lord Judd asked Her Majesty's Government:

Baroness Symons of Vernham Dean: The UK shares with other governments the objective of concluding a comprehensive convention on terrorism. We have been working to secure such a convention for many years. The draft convention is well developed with very few articles still outstanding. The first opportunity to move forward will come at the March meeting of the committee charged with developing these drafts. In preparation for this, we are engaging informally with partners to discuss how we can use the added momentum provided by the panel to break the deadlock.
 
21 Feb 2005 : Column WA163
 

Iraq: Oil for Food programme

Lord Maginnis of Drumglass asked Her Majesty's Government:

Baroness Symons of Vernham Dean: Saddam Hussein's attempts to subvert the United Nations oil for food programme inevitably helped to bolster his regime. It is difficult to quantify how far this contributed to his defiance of United Nations resolutions.

Middle East: Missing Persons

Lord Maginnis of Drumglass asked Her Majesty's Government:

Baroness Symons of Vernham Dean: We have been unable to establish what the scope of Mr Sevan's role is. His appointment in 1992 as special envoy of the United Nations Secretary-General for issues related to missing persons in the Middle East was a personal appointment by the then Secretary-General Boutros Boutros-Ghali.

We are not aware that Mr Sevan's duties extended to the disappeared from the Turkish Cypriot or Greek Cypriot communities during the 1974 coup.


Next Section Back to Table of Contents Lords Hansard Home Page