Lord Chidgey Portrait

Lord Chidgey

Liberal Democrat - Life peer

Foreign Affairs Committee
1st Nov 1999 - 12th Jul 2005
Shadow Spokesperson (Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs)
1st Jan 1999 - 5th May 2005
Panel of Chairs
1st Jan 2001 - 5th May 2005
Draft Children (Contact) and Adoption Bill (Joint Committee)
8th Feb 2005 - 5th May 2005
Human Rights (Joint Committee)
14th Jan 2003 - 11th Apr 2005
Standards and Privileges
16th Jul 2001 - 5th Nov 2001
Shadow Spokesperson (Trade and Industry)
1st Jan 1997 - 1st Jan 1999
Shadow Spokesperson (Transport)
1st Jan 1995 - 1st Jan 1997
Shadow Spokesperson (Employment)
9th Jun 1994 - 1st Jan 1995


Division Voting information

Lord Chidgey has voted in 880 divisions, and 11 times against the majority of their Party.

9 Nov 2020 - Agriculture Bill - View Vote Context
Lord Chidgey voted No - against a party majority and in line with the House
One of 1 Liberal Democrat No votes vs 80 Liberal Democrat Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 130 Noes - 290
24 Oct 2018 - Ivory Bill - View Vote Context
Lord Chidgey voted No - against a party majority and in line with the House
One of 1 Liberal Democrat No votes vs 16 Liberal Democrat Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 82 Noes - 127
22 Oct 2014 - Criminal Justice and Courts Bill - View Vote Context
Lord Chidgey voted Aye - against a party majority and in line with the House
One of 9 Liberal Democrat Aye votes vs 50 Liberal Democrat No votes
Tally: Ayes - 186 Noes - 185
4 Nov 2013 - Energy Bill - View Vote Context
Lord Chidgey voted No - against a party majority and against the House
One of 24 Liberal Democrat No votes vs 43 Liberal Democrat Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 237 Noes - 193
26 Mar 2012 - Procedure of the House - View Vote Context
Lord Chidgey voted Aye - against a party majority and in line with the House
One of 17 Liberal Democrat Aye votes vs 39 Liberal Democrat No votes
Tally: Ayes - 319 Noes - 96
25 Jan 2012 - Welfare Reform Bill - View Vote Context
Lord Chidgey voted Aye - against a party majority and in line with the House
One of 16 Liberal Democrat Aye votes vs 30 Liberal Democrat No votes
Tally: Ayes - 270 Noes - 128
19 Jan 2011 - Parliamentary Voting System and Constituencies Bill - View Vote Context
Lord Chidgey voted Aye - against a party majority and in line with the House
One of 13 Liberal Democrat Aye votes vs 44 Liberal Democrat No votes
Tally: Ayes - 196 Noes - 122
8 Jul 2009 - Parliamentary Standards Bill - View Vote Context
Lord Chidgey voted Aye - against a party majority and against the House
One of 6 Liberal Democrat Aye votes vs 18 Liberal Democrat No votes
Tally: Ayes - 88 Noes - 110
7 Jul 2009 - Coroners and Justice Bill - View Vote Context
Lord Chidgey voted No - against a party majority and in line with the House
One of 21 Liberal Democrat No votes vs 27 Liberal Democrat Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 141 Noes - 194
1 Jun 2009 - Marine and Coastal Access Bill [HL] - View Vote Context
Lord Chidgey voted Aye - against a party majority and against the House
One of 1 Liberal Democrat Aye votes vs 33 Liberal Democrat No votes
Tally: Ayes - 93 Noes - 154
5 Mar 2008 - Criminal Justice and Immigration Bill - View Vote Context
Lord Chidgey voted No - against a party majority and against the House
One of 3 Liberal Democrat No votes vs 28 Liberal Democrat Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 148 Noes - 87
View All Lord Chidgey Division Votes

All Debates

Speeches made during Parliamentary debates are recorded in Hansard. For ease of browsing we have grouped debates into individual, departmental and legislative categories.

Sparring Partners
Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon (Conservative)
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
(48 debate interactions)
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Department Debates
Cabinet Office
(9 debate contributions)
Ministry of Defence
(8 debate contributions)
View All Department Debates
View all Lord Chidgey's debates

Commons initiatives

These initiatives were driven by Lord Chidgey, and are more likely to reflect personal policy preferences.

MPs who are act as Ministers or Shadow Ministers are generally restricted from performing Commons initiatives other than Urgent Questions.


Lord Chidgey has not been granted any Urgent Questions

Lord Chidgey has not been granted any Adjournment Debates

Lord Chidgey has not introduced any legislation before Parliament

Lord Chidgey has not co-sponsored any Bills in the current parliamentary sitting


140 Written Questions

(View all written questions)
Written Questions can be tabled by MPs and Lords to request specific information information on the work, policy and activities of a Government Department
3 Other Department Questions
18th Apr 2016
To ask Her Majesty’s Government what assessment they have made of the effects of any inconsistencies in deadlines for the ratification of concluded and signed EU trade agreements established by the European Commission under the auspices of Economic Partnership Agreements.

I am not aware of inconsistencies in deadlines for the ratification of Economic Partnership Agreements between the EU and African, Caribbean and Pacific partners. EU Regulation 1528/2007 of 20 December 2007 states that ratification of the agreements should take place “within a reasonable period of time.”

18th Apr 2016
To ask Her Majesty’s Government what assessment they have made of the impact on the normal functioning of parliamentary ratification processes in developing countries of the EU bringing forward the deadlines for ratification of EU Economic Partnership Agreements.

The EU has not brought forward the deadlines for ratification of Economic Partnership Agreements between the EU and African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) partners. EU Regulation 1528/2007 of 20 December 2007 states that ratification of the agreements should take place “within a reasonable period of time.” I expect the parliamentary ratification processes in developing countries to function as normal in relation to these agreements.

18th Apr 2016
To ask Her Majesty’s Government whether they plan to discuss with the European Commission the effect of the deadlines placed on the ratification of trade agreements with developing countries where such deadlines could undermine the normal functioning of parliamentary engagement of these ratification processes.

EU Regulation 1528/2007 of 20 December 2007 states that ratification of the Economic Partnership Agreements (EPAs) between the EU and African, Caribbean and Pacific partners should take place “within a reasonable period of time.” UK officials are in regular contact with the European Commission about the EPAs and we do not expect Regulation 1528/2007 to undermine the normal functioning of parliamentary engagement in the ratification processes for these agreements.

9th Dec 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what estimate they have made of the number of people who have died from COVID-19 related conditions at home since the beginning of the first lockdown in March 2020.

The information requested falls under the remit of the UK Statistics Authority. I have, therefore, asked the Authority to respond.

Professor Sir Ian Diamond | National Statistician

The Lord Chidgey

House of Lords

London

SW1A 0PW

15 December 2021

Dear Lord Chidgey,

As National Statistician and Chief Executive of the UK Statistics Authority, I am replying to your Parliamentary Question asking what estimate has been made of the number of people who have died from COVID-19 related conditions at home since the beginning of the first lockdown in March 2020 (HL4828).

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) is responsible for publishing statistics on deaths registered in England and Wales. National Records Scotland (NRS) and Northern Ireland Statistics and Research Agency (NISRA) are responsible for publishing the number of deaths registered in Scotland and Northern Ireland respectively. Mortality statistics are compiled from information supplied when deaths are certified and registered as part of civil registration.

Cause of death is defined using the International Classification of Diseases and Related Health Problems, 10th edition (ICD-10). Deaths involving COVID-19 are defined by the ICD-10 codes U07.1, U07.2, U09.9 and U10.9.

Table 1 provides the total number of deaths registered and deaths involving COVID-19, in all locations and occurring in private homes, in England and Wales between 28 December 2019 and 26 November 2021. Deaths involving COVID-19 includes any death where COVID-19 was a contributory factor to death, not only as the underlying cause of death. These figures are included in our Deaths registered weekly in England and Wales release[1].

Yours sincerely,

Professor Sir Ian Diamond

Table 1: Total number of deaths registered[1], and deaths registered involving COVID-19[2], occurring in all settings and private homes[3], between 28 December 2019 and 26 November 2021, England and Wales

Total deaths in all locations

Total deaths involving COVID-19[4]

Deaths occurring in private homes

Deaths occurring in private homes involving COVID-19

1,142,940

155,502

319,877

9,333

Source: Office for National Statistics

[1]https://www.ons.gov.uk/peoplepopulationandcommunity/birthsdeathsandmarriages/deaths/bulletins/deathsregisteredweeklyinenglandandwalesprovisional/26november2021

[2] Figures are for deaths registered, rather than deaths occurring. More information can be found in the Impact of registrations delay release: https://www.ons.gov.uk/peoplepopulationandcommunity/birthsdeathsandmarriages/deaths/articles/impactofregistrationdelaysonmortalitystatisticsinenglandandwales/latest

[3] Deaths "involving" a cause refer to deaths that had this cause mentioned anywhere on the death certificate, whether as an underlying cause or not.

[4] Deaths include non-residents.

[5]The International Classification of Diseases, Tenth Edition (ICD-10) definitions are as follows: COVID-19 (U07.1, U07.2, U09.9, U10.9).

Lord True
Minister of State (Cabinet Office)
9th Jan 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether local civil society organisations funded by the Department for International Development, Foreign and Commonwealth Office or Conflict, Stability and Security Fund programmes in conflict affected contexts will be able to contribute to the Integrated Security, Defence and Foreign Policy Review.

The review will reassess the nation’s place in the world, covering all aspects of international policy from defence to diplomacy and development. Government departments will be expected to engage, collaborate and seek a wide range of inputs from a range of external stakeholders to ensure proper challenge and scrutiny throughout the process.

Earl Howe
Deputy Leader of the House of Lords
9th Jan 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether (1) members of the public, (2) civil society organisations including think tanks, and (3) peacebuilding and development non-governmental organisations, will be able to contribute to the Integrated Security, Defence and Foreign Policy Review.

The review will engage and collaborate with a range of external stakeholders to ensure proper challenge and scrutiny. We will listen and learn from different voices across society, from the public, academics to international partners. Good practice from previous reviews and strategies will be explored when formulating the right approach.

Earl Howe
Deputy Leader of the House of Lords
9th Jan 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government when the Integrated Security, Defence and Foreign Policy Review will be conducted; and when it will conclude.

The Prime Minister has committed to undertake the deepest review of Britain's security, defence, and foreign policy. The review will examine how we strengthen and prioritise our alliances, diplomacy and development; it will consider all aspects of our defence and security capabilities. An announcement of the timings of the review will be made in due course.

Earl Howe
Deputy Leader of the House of Lords
2nd Jul 2015
To ask Her Majesty’s Government what revisions they have made in the six-monthly review of Countries at Risk of Instability since the publication of the Building Stability Overseas Strategy in 2011.

The Countries at Risk of Instability (CRI) report is a classified assessment and we do not make public the revisions made in any reviews. We now produce the CRI report on an annual basis to align the CRI with the annual review of Conflict Security Stability Fund spending and since 2011 have undertaken four reviews. The methodology is regularly reviewed to improve the accuracy of the report.

20th Dec 2017
To ask Her Majesty's Government when they will publish the draft bill for their proposed register of the beneficial owners of overseas companies owning property in the UK.

On 11 December the Government published its new Anti-Corruption Strategy. In the Strategy we have committed to publish a draft bill in this session of Parliament for the establishment of a public register of beneficial ownership of overseas legal entities.

The Department ran a call for evidence on this policy earlier in 2017. We will publish a response to the call for evidence early in 2018 and will also set out more detail on the timeline for publishing the legislation.

20th Dec 2017
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the exposure of universities to illicit financial flows through university engagement with philanthropic sources of funding.

The department has not made any assessment of illicit flows of funding to universities. However, as a result of the Higher Education and Research Act 2017, the Office for Students (OfS), as the market regulator, will act swiftly and decisively where the interest of the student and the taxpayer is at risk at any registered provider of higher education. OfS will have a range of powers that it will employ at a sector and individual provider level, as appropriate and proportionate, both to prevent fraud and to act when fraud is suspected.

Viscount Younger of Leckie
Lord in Waiting (HM Household) (Whip)
13th Jul 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government (1) how many times since 1 January 2010 (a) the Environment Agency, or (b) any other government agency, was alerted of a possible breach in licensing conditions for water abstraction or discharge in chalk rivers and streams within (i) the Itchen, and (ii) other chalk stream catchments, (2) the dates and locations of such possible breaches, (3) what tests were conducted in response, (4) what the results were of any such tests, and (5) what steps were taken as a result of any breaches to licensing conditions that were identified (a) to penalise the perpetrators, and (b) deter further breaches.

The information requested is not held centrally and to obtain it would incur disproportionate costs.

Lord Goldsmith of Richmond Park
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
29th Jul 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the report by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations and the World Food Programme FAO–WFP early warning analysis of acute food insecurity hotspots, published on 17 July, and in particular of the recommendation to preserve and scale up critical humanitarian food, nutrition and livelihood assistance.

We welcome this joint report and the recommendations made as they promote a comprehensive approach to tackling food insecurity. The FAO-WFP early warning analysis highlights countries that are at risk of significant food security deterioration, including the secondary impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, and aims to inform urgent action to safeguard the food security of the most vulnerable communities in these locations.


The UK is working with international partners, including FAO and WFP, to closely monitor the situation and take action. As a leading donor to the COVID-19 response we are supporting our partners to ensure essential commodities and services, and pre-position food supplies for those most in need. We have also adapted our existing social protection, agriculture, and food security programmes, including support to the FAO on locust control, to support the most vulnerable.

29th Jul 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what discussions they have had with the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations and the World Food Programme on (1) the availability of food, (2) agricultural production, (3) food supply chains, and (4) governments’ capacities to protect vulnerable populations; and what are the expected outcomes of any such discussions.

The UK is concerned about the increasing risk of acute food insecurity, and we engage regularly with the FAO and WFP to discuss the global food security outlook. Recent discussions have focused on the indirect impacts of COVID-19 on food access and availability, agricultural production and food supply chains, and deteriorating trends.

The FAO and WFP regularly update the UK on their responses, in particular under the Global COVID-19 Humanitarian Response Plan (GHRP). Efforts have prioritised anticipatory action to safeguard livelihoods and increase access to food, alongside global humanitarian logistics services. These aim to ensure continuity of critical food supply chains, strengthened national social protection systems, and safety of key food supply chain workers. The UK remains among the largest donors to the global COVID-19 response and the GHRP. The UK remains among the largest donors to the global COVID-19 response and the GHRP. We will continue to work closely with key partners to ensure assistance reaches those who need it most.

28th Jul 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of international standing and influence of (1) the Canadian International Development Agency, following its merger with the Canadian Department of International Affairs and Trade, and (2) Australian Aid, following its merger into the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.

We will learn from the examples of Australia and Canada, who run generous and respected development programmes from their foreign ministries. There are lessons we can draw from the experiences of other countries, but we will do this in a way that works best for the UK.

28th Jul 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the impact of the diversion of 30 per cent of Official Development Assistance budget to departments other than the Department for International Development on (1) support for the poorest people, (2) the maintenance of transparency and effectiveness procedures, and (3) maintaining focus on poverty reduction.

The 2015 Aid Strategy set out the Government’s new approach to aid where we embraced an integrated approach to delivering Official Development Assistance (ODA). This recognised the role of aid in tackling poverty and global challenges such as insecurity and that this serves our national interest. The delivery of ODA programmes by departments other than DFID has enabled us to leverage knowledge, skills and expertise from across government, delivering programmes that contribute to achieving the sustainable development goals and addressing the diversity of today’s development challenges. This collective effort has allowed our ODA programmes to deliver both strong development impact. The Government remains committed to ensuring that every pound spent on ODA is spent transparently and achieves maximum value for money for taxpayers.

28th Jul 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the Department for International Development’s involvement in Haiti, given reports by the community and international agencies of the continuing levels of poverty, unrest, sexual exploitation and abuse.

While the UK does not have a bilateral development programme in Haiti, we support Haiti through our contributions to agencies such as the United Nations, European Union and the World Bank Group who have a strong presence on the ground. Our contributions are helping to make sure reconstruction reduces future disaster risks, health facilities are more climate resilient and the economy is better managed and supported. DFID holds itself to the highest standards and UK Aid must be delivered at all times in ways which do no harm. We will not fund any organisation that does not meet our high standards on safeguarding. Evidence suggests that sexual exploitation and abuse increase during crises and we must never be complacent. This is a long-term agenda and DFID continues to drive work to tackle sexual exploitation and abuse and sexual harassment. We are making good progress with initiatives that root out perpetrators and improve support to survivors and victims.

27th Jul 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the impact of the extensive flooding across East Africa and the Horn of Africa in the context of the UK aid programme.

Across East Africa and the Horn of Africa, 25.8 million people are severely food insecure and 1.3 million have been affected by floods since March. The UK has responded to localised flood impacts through the START Network, including provision of relief items and recovery programming.

We are deeply concerned about the food security situation. Heavy rains in the region have provided conditions conducive to the unprecedented locust outbreaks, which will affect the food security situation even further. The UK is supporting the Food and Agriculture Organisation’s (FAO) emergency appeal to help to control the increase of locusts across East Africa, as well as reduce the risk of swarms spreading into the Sahel.

The humanitarian situation will be exacerbated by the impact of COVID-19. We are urgently redirecting UK aid programmes right across Africa to respond to these compound risks.

27th Jul 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what estimate they have made, if any, of the proportion of the UK aid budget now spent outside of the Department for International Development.

In 2019, 27% of UK ODA was spent outside of the Department for International Development. This includes spend by other government departments and funds as well as non-departmental spend such as debt relief and the proportion of gift aid used on ODA eligible activities.

27th Jul 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what estimate they have made, if any, of the reduction in the annual UK aid budget as a result of the reduction in the UK Gross National Income due to the economic impact of COVID-19.

Given the likely decrease in the size of the economy this year, and therefore a decrease in the value of the 0.7% commitment, a package of £2.9bn of reductions in the Government’s planned ODA spend has been agreed. This package includes underspends, delaying activity and stopping some spend. The package will see some reductions made now, with arrangements in place to tailor spending further during the remaining months as we start to gain a clearer economic picture. As normal, there will continue to be adjustments in-year to individual departmental ODA spend to meet the 0.7% commitment.

27th Jul 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what management and oversight precautions, if any, they are putting in place to (1) increase accountability of aid spending; and (2) prevent non-attributable day-to-day spending being re-badged as aid.

The Government is committed to ensuring that every pound spent on Overseas Development Assistance (ODA) achieves maximum value for money for taxpayers based on the same high standards of accountability and effectiveness as all areas of public expenditure. Individual departments are responsible under public spending rules for monitoring all public money including their UK aid programming and ensuring that they deliver value for money. Robust parliamentary and independent scrutiny of the aid budget will continue – the form that Parliamentary scrutiny takes is for Parliament to decide. UK ODA continues to be spent in accordance with international rules on what constitutes aid as set by the Development Assistance Committee of the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development.

27th Jul 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what progress they have made in redirecting aid programmes in each relevant country in Africa through (1) their country programmes, (2) multilateral programmes, and (3) the World Food Programme; and for full details in each case.

Many bilateral and multilateral aid programmes across Africa have been redirected, prioritising health, humanitarian, growth and trade as well as education and nutrition, recognising that these components are vital both for the immediate response to COVID-19, and for longer-term recovery. The UK has successfully pivoted huge amounts of programming to support nimble and innovative responses in African countries.


For example, in South Sudan, the UK is making a significant contribution to government-led efforts to prevent and respond to cases of COVID-19, including through support for infection prevention and control as well as water, sanitation and hygiene activities. The UK’s flagship Sexual and Reproductive Health Programme (WISH) has been adapted in 24 countries across Africa to ensure the continuation of lifesaving services to marginalised women and girls despite COVID-19. Multilaterally, £20m has been provided towards the African Union’s new COVID-19 response plan which funds and deploys health workers, clinical equipment, and capacity building training to all 55 AU Member States. In 2020, DFID has so far provided USD 254million to support the World Food Programme’s operations – this includes a USD 19million contribution to The World Food Programme’s Global Services in response to COVID-19.

29th Mar 2017
To ask Her Majesty’s Government whether they are taking steps to ensure that Commonwealth countries do more to tackle global health threats, such as malaria.

The UK is a leader in accelerating malaria control through our contribution to the Global Fund, direct support to countries to develop and implement malaria policies, and our extensive research programme for new drugs, diagnostic and insecticides. Since it started work, the Global Fund has spent over £13.6bn in Commonwealth countries.

In addition, DFID supports a number of Commonwealth countries, for instance Ghana, to tackle health threats by strengthening their health systems – one of the most important methods to prevent, detect and respond to emerging and existing health threats.

6th Jul 2016
To ask Her Majesty’s Government what assessment they have made of Médecins Sans Frontières' rejection of EU funding in Sudan in response to the EU's policies on migrants attempting to reach Europe.

We were disappointed to learn about Médecins Sans Frontières' rejection of EU funding in Sudan. Sudan is a major source, host and transit country for migration. As such we remain committed to tackling the full range of migration issues in Sudan, including addressing the conflicts and the human rights situation, and supporting regional co-operation and efforts to stop people trafficking and smuggling through the ‘Khartoum Process’. Through DFID, we will deliver support that addresses the root causes of migration, and strengthen the basis for inclusive economic development and increased employment opportunities to encourage Sudanese people to better see their future in Sudan.

14th Jun 2016
To ask Her Majesty’s Government what discussions the Secretary of State for International Development has had with the Chancellor of the Exchequer about replenishment of the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria.

The UK Government has enjoyed a successful partnership with the Global Fund to date. As the third largest donor for the replenishment period 2014-16, the UK’s investment will improve the lives of millions of people – helping to save approximately 580,000 lives through the prevention of 8.4m malaria, HIV and TB infections.

Earlier this year, the Chancellor of the Exchequer and I committed that the UK would spend £500 million a year battling malaria. The UK’s contribution to the replenishment of the Global Fund will play an important role in meeting the commitment.

The UK wishes to see a successful replenishment; the final decision on a UK contribution is yet to be made and will depend on a multitude of factors, including the outcome of DFID’s Multilateral Aid Review to be published later in the summer, and I look forward to discussing it with the Chancellor.

14th Jun 2016
To ask Her Majesty’s Government what assessment they have made of the investment case prepared by the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria ahead of its replenishment conference taking place in Montreal on 16 September.

The investment case projects that a successful replenishment will enable the Global Fund to save 8 million lives and avert up to 300 million new infections over the replenishment period 2017-2019.

The UK wishes to see a successful replenishment; the final decision on a UK contribution is yet to be made and will depend on a multitude of factors, including the outcome of DFID’s Multilateral Aid Review to be published later in the summer and discussions between the Chancellor and Secretary of State.

15th Jul 2015
To ask Her Majesty’s Government whether they have plans to increase United Kingdom aid spending on water sanitation and hygiene on a regular incremental basis each year over this Parliament.

The Conservative Manifesto committed to help at least 60 million people to get access to clean water and sanitation by 2020, to stop terrible diseases. Exact allocations are to be determined following the Government-wide Spending Review and subsequent internal DFID processes.

15th Jul 2015
To ask Her Majesty’s Government whether they have plans to introduce measures to maximise the impact of United Kingdom aid investment in water, sanitation and hygiene services (1) in health clinics, (2) in schools, (3) with respect to their strategy for the health of mothers, newborn babies and children, and (4) with respect to gender inequality.

The UK Government recognises the importance of promoting safe and reliable Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) in health centres and schools in developing countries to reduce environmental health risks. In health clinics adequate WASH is particularly important for the health of mothers, newborn babies and children, and this is recognised in DFID’s health service programmes.

The availability of water and sanitation in schools contributed to cleaner, safer, and more conducive learning environments. This is particularly important for girls who must have privacy as well as safe, convenient, hygienic conditions during menstruation. Where DFID has supported WASH in schools, there is anecdotal evidence that girls school attendance and performance is enhanced. International figures for WASH access in schools are much worse than health facilities and DFID has responded in its programming globally. In Sierra Leone, for example, this has prompted DFID to fund the construction of WASH facilities in 200 schools and 120 community health centres, as part of the Post-Ebola response.

DFID has a statutory duty to ensure gender equality is a consideration across all of its work. This follows the International Development Gender Equality Act passed in May 2015.

15th Jul 2015
To ask Her Majesty’s Government in which developing countries they are working with other governments to deliver sustainable water, sanitation and hygiene services.

In many countries the UK Government works with other donor governments to deliver sustainable water, sanitation and hygiene services. In Mozambique, for example, we have supported a Government of Mozambique led fund which is also financed by Canada, the Netherlands and Switzerland. We are a member of the Sanitation and Water for All partnership where we work with other governments to help set sector priorities. In other countries (Bangladesh, Democratic Republic of Congo, India, Malawi, Nepal, Nigeria, Pakistan, Sierra Leone, South Sudan, Sudan, Syria, Uganda, Yemen, Zambia, and Zimbabwe) we work with partners such as UNICEF and non-governmental organisations who coordinate with other governments as appropriate. In all cases we coordinate with other donor governments in the developing countries where we work.

15th Jul 2015
To ask Her Majesty’s Government what plans they have to adopt and implement a dedicated sustainable development goal for water and sanitation, with targets for universal access to basic water, sanitation and hygiene by 2030.

The UK supports the inclusion of water and sanitation in the post-2015 agenda. We are pleased that the Sustainable Development Goals proposed by the Open Working Group includes a goal to ‘ensure the availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all’ which contains specific targets for drinking water and sanitation. We will continue to build on the work done so far on water, sanitation and hygiene as part of our efforts to finish the job on the current Millennium Development Goals and ensure that no-one is left behind.

In the last five years we have supported 62.9 million people, of whom 22.2 million were women, to access clean water, better sanitation or improved hygiene conditions through DFID’s Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) programmes (exceeding DFID’s commitment of 60 million).

2nd Jul 2015
To ask Her Majesty’s Government what proportion of development aid was spent on the Building Stability Overseas Strategy in 2014–15.

UK development assistance contributes to delivering the Building Stability Overseas Strategy by tackling the short and long-term drivers of instability, supporting stronger and more legitimate institutions and societies, helping to meet basic needs and create opportunities for social and economic development for all, including women and girls. In 2013, 43% of UK Official Development Assistance was spent in Fragile and Conflict Affected States (FCAS), where the need to build stability is most pressing. Examples of DFID programmes:

· In Nigeria, the Stability and Reconciliation Programme (£38m, 2011-2016), aims to reduce incidence and impact of violent conflict.

· DFID’s support to the multi-donor Afghanistan Reconstruction Trust Fund (ARTF) (£256.8m 2014-17) helps the Afghan government to provide basic services, and thus improve confidence in its ability to meet Afghan people’s expectations.

16th Jan 2015
To ask Her Majesty’s Government how Official Development Assistance was spent between November and December 2013; in which countries that aid was spent, on what projects; and what was the outcome of those projects measured in terms of aid effectiveness.

Statistics on ODA are published by calendar year, this is in line with international best practice. Information on country of spend is available from the National Statistics publication ‘Statistics on International Development’ https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/statistics-on-international-development-2014 . Information on spend by specific project is available from the Development Tracker http://devtracker.dfid.gov.uk/ .

6th Nov 2014
To ask Her Majesty’s Government what steps they plan to take to ensure that development initiatives in Mali are conflict sensitive, inclusive and politically accountable.

The UK remains very concerned about the situation in the Mali. Despite continued progress in political stabilisation, the security situation remains volatile.

Recognising the lessons of the previous peace agreements, which did not achieve a durable peace in Mali, the UK and other members of the Security Council have been working closely with all parties to encourage full and faithful implementation of a future comprehensive and inclusive peace agreement. Through the UK’s political, financial and personnel contributions to the UN Mission in Mali (MINUSMA) as well as regional EU Common Security and Defence Policy missions, the UK aims to promote political stability, good governance and regional cooperation as well as encouraging stability across the wider region.

Although DFID does not have a bilateral development programme in Mali, we are working with other donors to ensure that development aid effectively addresses the needs of all of the citizens of Mali, is conflict sensitive and contributes to political accountability, legitimacy and inclusiveness. DFID has seconded a conflict adviser into the EU delegation in Mali to that end. DFID always consider the longer term development impact when developing our programmes across the Sahel, including Mali. Further details can be found on the Department’s Development Tracker online.

26th Sep 2014
To ask Her Majesty’s Government what assessment they have made of the effect of the recent announcement by the government of South Sudan that all foreign workers must leave that country; and what effect they expect that announcement to have on the United Kingdom’s aid, stabilisation and development programmes there.

The Minister of Labour, Public Service and Human Resource Development in South Sudan issued a circular on 12 September prohibiting and regulating the service and employment of aliens in certain positions in the private sector. The Minister subsequently issued a clarification on 17 September noting that this excludes all United Nations agencies, diplomatic missions and organisations that have signed bilateral/mutual agreements with the Republic of South Sudan; and also excludes many technical and professional positions in both private sector and Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs).

The UK is supportive of South Sudan nationals filling positions where the relevant skills and experience exist within the labour force and we work to build capacity of the local workforce. The UK and other partners raised the issue of the Circulars at the Government Partners Forum on 18 September and stressed that much needed foreign investment could be seriously deterred by messaging that foreign workers are not welcome in South Sudan. We will continue to monitor the situation. The ability of humanitarian and development organisations to assist the most vulnerable must not be affected.

15th Jul 2014
To ask Her Majesty’s Government how many active members of the Civilian Stabilisation Group are (1) deployable civilian experts, and (2) members of the Civil Service Stabilisation Cadre; in the last year, how many of each group, including serving police officers, have been deployed on stabilisation missions; and what is the numerical size, including Crown Agents support, and annual cost of the Stabilisation Unit.

There are currently 1448 Members of the Civilian Stabilisation Group; of these 1132 are deployable civilian experts and 201 are members of the Civil Service Stabilisation Cadre. The remaining 115 are serving police officers.

32 Members of the Civil Service Stabilisation Cadre, 64 Serving Police Officers and 363 deployable civilian experts were deployed on stabilisation missions during Financial Year 2013/14.

The Stabilisation Unit currently employs 73 members of core staff and there are 30 Crown Agent staff employed in support of the Stabilisation Unit.

The annual cost of the Stabilisation Unit (the DFID, MoD and FCO-funded Conflict Pool) over the last three financial years is as follows:

2013/142012/132011/12
£10,423,250£12,343,758£12,208,061

15th Jul 2014
To ask Her Majesty’s Government what is their assessment of the recent Libyan general election, and in particular the impact of violence on the turnout; and whether they plan to increase development aid and to provide expertise to help stabilise the country.

The Libyan General Election was held on 25 June, despite challenging security conditions. The UK provided significant support to help ensure that the Election took place, including providing over £500,000 for a joint UN-Libyan Electoral Assistance Programme. Around 630,000 Libyans cast their vote out of a total 1.5m registered voters. The full results are due to be announced shortly.

Whilst the elections themselves passed off relatively peacefully, the recent escalation in violence risks undermining the process. Violence and the threat of violence are unacceptable and endanger the stability of the state, and the Libyan people’s aspirations for a secure and prosperous future.

The UK is providing assistance, including technical expertise, to help Libya tackle its political, security and economic challenges. The UK recently committed £62.5 million for a comprehensive Security, Justice and Defence programme which will support stabilisation in Libya over the next three years.

17th Dec 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessments they have made of the impact of bilateral agreements with African countries falling outside the UN category of Least Developed Countries.

UK Ministers and officials regularly engage with the African Union on a range of trade related issues, including our support for the African Continental Free Trade Area.

Furthermore, our Parliamentary Reports published alongside signed continuity agreements contain detailed information about the volume of trade, composition of imports and exports, and wider economic impact of agreements. These reports are intended to aid businesses, consumers and parliamentarians in understanding any significant differences made to our trade relationship with partner countries and the reasons for any changes, and their impact.

We will continue to voluntarily lay these Parliamentary Reports, with Explanatory Memoranda, alongside agreements.

Lord Grimstone of Boscobel
Minister of State (Department for International Trade)
17th Dec 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what discussions they have held with the African Union about the UK's pursuit of bilateral agreements with African countries falling outside the UN's category of Least Developed Countries.

UK Ministers and officials regularly engage with the African Union on a range of trade related issues, including our support for the African Continental Free Trade Area.

Furthermore, our Parliamentary Reports published alongside signed continuity agreements contain detailed information about the volume of trade, composition of imports and exports, and wider economic impact of agreements. These reports are intended to aid businesses, consumers and parliamentarians in understanding any significant differences made to our trade relationship with partner countries and the reasons for any changes, and their impact.

We will continue to voluntarily lay these Parliamentary Reports, with Explanatory Memoranda, alongside agreements.

Lord Grimstone of Boscobel
Minister of State (Department for International Trade)
15th Dec 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have to extend “everything but arms” access (1) to Ghana, (2) to Cameroon, and (3) to other non-least developed countries in Africa, where regional integration is otherwise threatened.

At the end of the Transition Period, the United Kingdom will create its Generalised Scheme of Preferences (GSP), which will replicate the three levels of market access provided by the EU’s Scheme. This is the most appropriate way to ensure continuity of trade for the existing 70 countries trading under the EU GSP.

We continue to engage with Ghana and Cameroon; they have each been offered a deal that provides the same trading arrangements as they have today.

Lord Grimstone of Boscobel
Minister of State (Department for International Trade)
15th Dec 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what steps they are taking to consult with trade partners in Africa when developing their position on digital trade at the World Trade Organisation.

The UK supports inclusive multilateral trade that enables developing countries, including those in Africa, to engage at the World Trade Organisation (WTO).

For example, the UK-funded Trade and Investment Advocacy Fund (TAF2+) provided advice to the African, Caribbean and Pacific and Least Developed Country groups, enabling their effective engagement with discussions on digital trade. The programme launched national-level studies in Senegal and Mauritius, helping them develop positions relevant to the WTO E-commerce negotiations.

The UK also co-sponsored a WTO Council for Trade in Services communication, calling on members to share information on activities undertaken to address the digital divide.

Lord Grimstone of Boscobel
Minister of State (Department for International Trade)
15th Dec 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what steps they are taking to ensure that future trade agreements with countries in Africa align with (1) the Sustainable Development Goals, and (2) the Paris Climate Agreement, including committing to conducting sustainable development impact assessments for any usch trade agreements.

The United Kingdom has long supported the delivery of the UN Sustainable Development Goals and remains committed to the Paris Climate Agreement, as indicated by HM Government’s target to reach net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050.

As we look toward our future trading relationships with all countries, including those in Africa, HM Government will continue to uphold the United Kingdom’s high environmental standards, and has committed to publishing a full impact assessment of all new free trade agreements alongside the full treaty text at the end of negotiations.

Lord Grimstone of Boscobel
Minister of State (Department for International Trade)
5th Feb 2019
To ask Her Majesty's Government what consideration they have given to restrictions on developing countries that are members of the East African Customs Union to sign reciprocal trade agreements with the UK in the event of a no-deal Brexit; and whether they intend to extend the current duty free and quota free access to UK markets to mitigate any potential losses to such countries as a result of a no-deal Brexit.

The UK continues to support the implementation of the EU Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) with the East Africa Community (EAC). As and when EAC partners find a way to agree to sign the EPA, the UK will seek to replicate this agreement.

As the UK leaves the EU, we want to avoid disruption to trade with EAC partners as far as possible. The Taxation (Cross-Border Trade) Act enables the UK to put in place a UK trade preferences scheme for developing countries. This will grant duty-free quota-free access to UK markets for Least Developed Countries including Burundi, Rwanda, Tanzania, Uganda and South Sudan, while providing generous tariff reductions for other developing countries including Kenya.

5th Feb 2019
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assurances they (1) have given, and (2) plan to give to Ghana that its current duty free and quota free access to UK markets for agricultural products will continue until 1 January 2021 regardless of the outcome of the Brexit negotiations; and whether there are any other such countries to which similar assurances (a) have been, and (b) will be made.

As the UK leaves the EU, we seek to replicate the effects of seven EU Economic Partnership Agreements (EPAs) with African, Caribbean and Pacific countries, including with Ghana. We are working with partners to conclude and implement agreements from 29 March 2019 or as soon as possible thereafter in the event of a “no deal” exit.

29th Mar 2017
To ask Her Majesty’s Government how many specialist personnel, expert in international trade agreements within the Commonwealth, they have engaged by outsourcing to the private sector as part of the Brexit process; and how many of those have been engaged to deal specifically with trade agreements with South Africa.

The Department for International trade has not engaged any trade specialists, including for trade agreements with South Africa, via private sector outsourcing.

13th Jul 2016
To ask Her Majesty’s Government, in the light of the potential effects on investment of uncertainty around issues of future market access, whether they plan to commit to (1) extending bilaterally the duty- and quota-free access that the least developed countries have had to the UK market since 2001 once the UK’s exit from the EU is completed; (2) honouring the duty- and quota-free market access granted to Caribbean countries since 2008 until new bilateral trade agreements have been concluded; and (3) unilaterally extending the duty- and quota-free access granted to sub-Saharan countries under the transitional arrangements established since 2008 until new bilateral trade agreements have been concluded.

While the UK is still a member of the EU, all rights and obligations will apply. There will be no initial change in the way we trade with developing countries. The new Department for International Trade will work with the Department for International Development on the structure and access to the UK’s markets to be offered to developing countries. This will reflect the UK’s longstanding support for Least Developed Countries and other developing country trading partners including through preferential trade agreements. This recognises that trade can be an effective way of growing economies and reducing poverty internationally.

13th Jul 2016
To ask Her Majesty’s Government whether they plan to continue to recognise EU sanitary and phytosanitary (SPS) and food safety approvals for imports of agricultural products from the African, Caribbean and Pacific group countries once the UK’s exit from the EU is complete, or whether they plan to require exporters from those countries to secure separate SPS and food safety approvals for exports to the UK.

A new Department for Exiting the European Union has been established by my right hon. Friend the Prime Minister, to oversee arrangements for the UK’s exit from the EU after we have triggered Article 50. Until then the UK remains a full member of the EU.

19th May 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what representations they have made to the government of the United States about its decision to reduce funding to the World Health Organisation and the effects such reductions would have on the international efforts to combat COVID-19.

The United States has since made a further announcement regarding their funding to and relationship with the World Health Organization (WHO). The Department is regularly in discussions with other countries on a wide range of issues relating to the international response to COVID-19 including the United States. The United States continues to play an important role on global health, and we will continue to work with the United States and other international partners to tackle the current crisis. The United Kingdom has a strong and committed relationship with the WHO and, as the second largest Member State donor, continues to work closely with the WHO. The UK has already contributed £75 million to help the WHO lead international efforts to stop the spread of the virus and end the pandemic and the UK has no plans to stop funding the WHO, which has an important role to play in leading the global health response to COVID-19.

19th May 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether they supported proposals made at recent meetings of G20 representatives for a global mechanism to provide affordable testing, treatment and vaccination for COVID-19.

The G20 Health Ministers’ Meeting was held on 19 April. During its intervention, the United Kingdom emphasised the importance of a coordinated global response to COVID-19, including on the development of vaccines, therapeutics and diagnostics.

A globally accessible vaccine, alongside effective tests and treatments is needed to end the pandemic and start global economic recovery. This will need unprecedented global collaboration and resourcing to drive the speed and scale needed.

18th May 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what their policy was at the recent G20 meetings of health ministers on the proposal for a COVID-19 global mechanism for all countries to access affordable testing, treatment and vaccines.

The G20 Health Ministers’ Meeting was held on 19 April. During its intervention, the United Kingdom emphasised the importance of a coordinated global response to COVID-19, including on the development of vaccines, therapeutics and diagnostics.

A globally accessible vaccine, alongside effective tests and treatments is needed to end the pandemic and start global economic recovery. This will need unprecedented global collaboration and resourcing to drive the speed and scale needed.

18th May 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what representations they have made to the government of the United States about its decision to de-fund the World Health Organisation and the resulting effect on the international efforts to combat COVID-19.

The United States has since made a further announcement regarding their funding to and relationship with the World Health Organization (WHO). The Department is regularly in discussions with other countries on a wide range of issues relating to the international response to COVID-19 including the United States. The United States continues to play an important role on global health, and we will continue to work with the United States and other international partners to tackle the current crisis. The United Kingdom has a strong and committed relationship with the WHO and, as the second largest Member State donor, continues to work closely with the WHO. The UK has already contributed £75 million to help the WHO lead international efforts to stop the spread of the virus and end the pandemic and the UK has no plans to stop funding the WHO, which has an important role to play in leading the global health response to COVID-19.

15th Dec 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what steps they are taking to extend the UK’s diplomatic presence across Africa, in particular into smaller countries.

Since 2018, the UK has increased its diplomatic reach by over 350 staff across Africa, including in Mali, Niger, Chad, Mauritania, Eswatini and Lesotho. In addition, the UK contributes to international diplomatic efforts, including through its Sahel Envoys and Sahel Alliance networks. We continue to keep under close review the size and location of our network to ensure that it remains appropriate for delivering HMG priorities across Africa within the overall resources available.

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
26th Nov 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether they are undertaking trade negotiations with the EU on the basis that any future relationship agreement will apply to Gibraltar.

The UK continues to negotiate for the whole UK family, which includes Gibraltar. We remain fully committed to finding a solution that supports Gibraltar, its people and its economy.

The UK and the Government of Gibraltar have held a number of constructive discussions with Spain on this issue. It is clearly in all parties' interests to find a solution, to ensure ongoing well-being and prosperity in the region.

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
17th Mar 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what steps they are taking to support the government of Gibraltar in dealing with COVID-19; and in particular, whether they are providing advice and access to medical supplies to the government of Gibraltar.

The British Government is working closely with the Overseas Territories, including Gibraltar, to ensure they receive the help that is necessary. This includes procuring medical equipment and support for Gibraltar immediately, including through Military Aid to Civil Authority (MACA), and standing by Gibraltar in the long run as it deals with the impacts of this pandemic.

19th Feb 2019
To ask Her Majesty's Government, following the Commonwealth Heads of Government meeting in April 2018, what aspects of economic development in Sierra Leone and Malawi have received technical support; and what was the result of any such support.

Since its launch at the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) 2018, the Commonwealth Trade Facilitation Programme has increased the capacity and capability of customs organisations in 18 Commonwealth countries. This in turn facilitates the increase of trade, providing benefits for governments, consumers and producers in these Commonwealth countries. For example:

  • In Eswatini, the programme has conducted a post-clearance audit and delivered workshops aimed at creating more efficient and cost effective customs clearance systems at the border;
  • In Tonga and Zambia, Time Release Studies (TRS) of customs clearance processes have identified possible areas for systematic efficiencies;
  • In Sierra Leone, advanced training has enabled customs officials to more accurately identify the customs value and corresponding rate of duty to be paid on imported goods; and
  • In Malawi, workshops have helped improve the recording of information related to different categories of goods to enable the correct collection of customs duties.

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
19th Feb 2019
To ask Her Majesty's Government, following the Commonwealth Heads of Government meeting in April 2018, what plans there are for the World Trade Organization’s Trade Facilitation Agreement to boost intra-Commonwealth trade; what are the expected outcomes of such plans; and when such outcomes are expected to be delivered.

The UK-funded Commonwealth Trade Facilitation Programme is helping member states implement the World Trade Organization Trade Facilitation Agreement (TFA). The two year programme aims to help developing and least developed countries in the Commonwealth adopt faster and more efficient customs procedures that will in turn reduce the cost of doing business and create a more enabling environment for intra-Commonwealth Trade.

While the Commonwealth Trade Facilitation Programme is due to conclude by April 2020, implementation of the TFA will continue for several more years. The Agreement is unique in that it allows developing and least developed countries to set their own timetable for implementing elements of the agreement: developing countries are required to provide definitive dates for implementation by August 2019, and Least Developed Countries by 2022.

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
19th Feb 2019
To ask Her Majesty's Government following the Commonwealth Heads of Government meeting in April 2018 and the launch of the SheTrades Commonwealth programme in Bangladesh, Ghana, Kenya and Nigeria, how many of the 2,300 women entrepreneurs that registered and 518 companies that attended capacity building events have subsequently initiated or expanded their international trade to date; and what monitoring systems are in place for the future assessment of the efficacy of that programme.

The SheTrades Commonwealth programme has now supported 842 women-owned companies at capacity building and training events. To date, 144 of those companies have consequently participated in trade fairs, subsequently reporting £12.4 million worth of export leads.

The programme adheres to the Department for International Development's monitoring and evaluation standards. Key indicators are tracked through a robust results framework to ensure the women entrepreneurs we support are more competitive and improve their access to markets, and that the taxpayer is getting value for money.

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
13th Nov 2018
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether they support the objectives of the Commonwealth principles of freedom of expression and the role of the media in good governance developed by the Commonwealth Working Group on Media and Good Governance; what steps they will take to promote the principles within the Commonwealth; and whether they will advocate for their consideration at the next Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting in Rwanda in 2020.

The Government is committed to tackling intimidation and violence against journalists wherever it occurs, including in Commonwealth countries, and to challenging impunity for such crimes. The Foreign Secretary highlighted our determination to address this issue on the International Day to End Impunity for Attacks Against Journalists on 2 November, announcing our intention to put the resources of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) behind the cause of media freedom and to hold an international conference on this issue, in 2019. We welcome the attention UNESCO has given to this problem.

We support the work of the Commonwealth Working Group on Media and Good Governance on Commonwealth principles of freedom of expression and the role of the media in good governance, and their continued efforts to prepare them for consideration at the Heads of Government meeting in Rwanda in 2020. Officials from the FCO and Cabinet Office have offered advice and support to members of the Working Group, most recently on 12 November 2018. The Working Group was given the opportunity to brief all member states on the proposed principles at senior official level, ahead of the Commonwealth Heads of Government meeting in April 2018. However, there was no consensus amongst member states for the principles to be formally included on Heads' agenda or in their official communiqué. We have discussed the principles with the Commonwealth Secretariat on several occasions since the Heads of Government Meeting. We continue to encourage the Working Group to work with member states and the Secretariat to build consensus towards adoption of the principles.

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
13th Nov 2018
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether they were aware of the development of the Commonwealth principles of freedom of expression and the role of the media in good governance by the Commonwealth Working Group on Media and Good Governance ahead of the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting in London in 2018; and what steps they took to support the principles at the summit.

The Government is committed to tackling intimidation and violence against journalists wherever it occurs, including in Commonwealth countries, and to challenging impunity for such crimes. The Foreign Secretary highlighted our determination to address this issue on the International Day to End Impunity for Attacks Against Journalists on 2 November, announcing our intention to put the resources of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) behind the cause of media freedom and to hold an international conference on this issue, in 2019. We welcome the attention UNESCO has given to this problem.

We support the work of the Commonwealth Working Group on Media and Good Governance on Commonwealth principles of freedom of expression and the role of the media in good governance, and their continued efforts to prepare them for consideration at the Heads of Government meeting in Rwanda in 2020. Officials from the FCO and Cabinet Office have offered advice and support to members of the Working Group, most recently on 12 November 2018. The Working Group was given the opportunity to brief all member states on the proposed principles at senior official level, ahead of the Commonwealth Heads of Government meeting in April 2018. However, there was no consensus amongst member states for the principles to be formally included on Heads' agenda or in their official communiqué. We have discussed the principles with the Commonwealth Secretariat on several occasions since the Heads of Government Meeting. We continue to encourage the Working Group to work with member states and the Secretariat to build consensus towards adoption of the principles.

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
13th Nov 2018
To ask Her Majesty's Government what discussions they have had with the Commonwealth Secretary-General about the Commonwealth Working Group on Media and Good Governance’s 2018 report on Commonwealth principles of freedom of expression and the role of the media in good governance.

The Government is committed to tackling intimidation and violence against journalists wherever it occurs, including in Commonwealth countries, and to challenging impunity for such crimes. The Foreign Secretary highlighted our determination to address this issue on the International Day to End Impunity for Attacks Against Journalists on 2 November, announcing our intention to put the resources of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) behind the cause of media freedom and to hold an international conference on this issue, in 2019. We welcome the attention UNESCO has given to this problem.

We support the work of the Commonwealth Working Group on Media and Good Governance on Commonwealth principles of freedom of expression and the role of the media in good governance, and their continued efforts to prepare them for consideration at the Heads of Government meeting in Rwanda in 2020. Officials from the FCO and Cabinet Office have offered advice and support to members of the Working Group, most recently on 12 November 2018. The Working Group was given the opportunity to brief all member states on the proposed principles at senior official level, ahead of the Commonwealth Heads of Government meeting in April 2018. However, there was no consensus amongst member states for the principles to be formally included on Heads' agenda or in their official communiqué. We have discussed the principles with the Commonwealth Secretariat on several occasions since the Heads of Government Meeting. We continue to encourage the Working Group to work with member states and the Secretariat to build consensus towards adoption of the principles.

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
13th Nov 2018
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the findings of the UNESCO Director-General's 2018 Report on the Safety of Journalists and the Danger of Impunity which found that 104 journalists were killed in eight Commonwealth countries between 2006 and 2015, and that in none of these cases the perpetrators were brought to justice.

The Government is committed to tackling intimidation and violence against journalists wherever it occurs, including in Commonwealth countries, and to challenging impunity for such crimes. The Foreign Secretary highlighted our determination to address this issue on the International Day to End Impunity for Attacks Against Journalists on 2 November, announcing our intention to put the resources of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) behind the cause of media freedom and to hold an international conference on this issue, in 2019. We welcome the attention UNESCO has given to this problem.

We support the work of the Commonwealth Working Group on Media and Good Governance on Commonwealth principles of freedom of expression and the role of the media in good governance, and their continued efforts to prepare them for consideration at the Heads of Government meeting in Rwanda in 2020. Officials from the FCO and Cabinet Office have offered advice and support to members of the Working Group, most recently on 12 November 2018. The Working Group was given the opportunity to brief all member states on the proposed principles at senior official level, ahead of the Commonwealth Heads of Government meeting in April 2018. However, there was no consensus amongst member states for the principles to be formally included on Heads' agenda or in their official communiqué. We have discussed the principles with the Commonwealth Secretariat on several occasions since the Heads of Government Meeting. We continue to encourage the Working Group to work with member states and the Secretariat to build consensus towards adoption of the principles.

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
9th Feb 2017
To ask Her Majesty’s Government what process of consultation is in place between them and the Commonwealth Secretariat (1) prior to, (2) during, and (3) after, the process of setting the UK budget contribution; and what other parties are consulted.

Member State contributions to the Commonwealth Secretariat's general budget are based on scales agreed at the UN, which are then agreed by the Commonwealth's Executive Committee and Board of Governors. The UK is a member of both groups. All Commonwealth countries are represented at the Board of Governors. Through attendance at these meetings we ensure that UK funds are allocated and spent in an efficient and transparent manner.

9th Feb 2017
To ask Her Majesty’s Government which Government departments are responsible for setting the UK contribution to the Commonwealth Secretariat; on what basis it is set; and what data are used to determine increases or decreases in that contribution.

The Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) is responsible for the UK's assessed contribution to the Commonwealth. The UK remains the largest financial contributor to the Commonwealth Secretariat, providing around 32% of the total budget. Financial contributions to the Commonwealth Secretariat's general budget are based on scales agreed at the UN. Under existing Commonwealth guidelines, the budget is shared amongst the membership in accordance with three principles: capacity to pay, equitable burden sharing, and shared ownership and responsibility. This ensures that all members enjoy an equal voice within the organisation.

In addition to FCO assessed contributions, the Department for International Development also makes voluntary contributions to the Commonwealth Fund for Technical Cooperation, and a number of other Commonwealth programmes.

9th Feb 2017
To ask Her Majesty’s Government what UK contribution to the Commonwealth Secretariat budget they made for the years (1) 2010, (2) 2011, (3) 2012, (4) 2013, (5) 2014, (6) 2015, and (7) 2016; and, for each further year for which a budget has been set, what will be the contribution.

The Foreign and Commonwealth Office's assessed contributions to the Commonwealth Secretariat have been as follows:

2010/2011: £4,840,936

2011/2012: £5,168,586

2012/2013: £5,262,654

2013/2014: £5,326,331

2014/2015: £5,455,484

2015/2016: £5,469,640

9th Feb 2017
To ask Her Majesty’s Government what assessment they have made of the impact of the latest adjustments to the UK contributions to the Commonwealth Secretariat budget, particularly in relation to the scope and staffing of the Commonwealth Health and Education Unit and the measurement of progress of its work across the Commonwealth.

Through projects and programmes, the Commonwealth Secretariat's general budget - to which the UK pays an assessed contribution - is used to deliver outcomes outlined in the Commonwealth Secretariat Strategic Plan. The Strategic Plan will be discussed and approved at the next Board of Governors meetings in March.

The UK's assessed contribution does not fund specific projects. The Department for International Development makes voluntary contributions to the Commonwealth Fund for Technical Cooperation and a number of Commonwealth programmes.

6th Jul 2016
To ask Her Majesty’s Government what assessment they have made of reports from Human Rights Watch of collusion between Sudanese police forces and people smugglers trafficking people in the region.

We are aware of, and deeply troubled by, reports of collusion between Sudanese police forces and people smugglers. We have raised our concerns over these reports with both the Ministry of Interior and the Commissioner for Refugees. We will continue to raise our concerns with the Government of Sudan as part of our wider engagement on migration issues.
28th Jun 2016
To ask Her Majesty’s Government what assessment they have made of the extent of Regency Mining's operations and connections in South Kordofan.

Regency Mines is a UK-registered company, which has operated agrominerals in Sudan. Following recent contact with the company, we understand that Regency Mines has no operations in South Kordofan, an area affected by conflict. More broadly, the United Kingdom advocates for the whole of the extractives industry to adopt the Voluntary Principles on Security and Human Rights, which provide guidance to companies operating in countries affected by conflict.

28th Jun 2016
To ask Her Majesty’s Government what assessment they have made of reports that Regency Mining is undertaking mining operations in South Kordofan.

Regency Mines is a UK-registered company, which has operated agrominerals in Sudan. Following recent contact with the company, we understand that Regency Mines has no operations in South Kordofan, an area affected by conflict. More broadly, the United Kingdom advocates for the whole of the extractives industry to adopt the Voluntary Principles on Security and Human Rights, which provide guidance to companies operating in countries affected by conflict.

18th May 2016
To ask Her Majesty’s Government what communication the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs has had with the South Sudanese Transitional Government of National Unity.

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, my Hon. Friend the Member for Rochford and Southend East (James Duddridge), wrote to President Salva Kiir Mayardit, First Vice President Dr Riek Machar Teny and the Minister for Foreign Affairs Deng Alor Kwol on 6 May. He welcomed the formation of the transitional government and urged them to secure peace, tackle the economic crisis and address the humanitarian situation. Our Embassy in Juba is also in direct contact with members of the transitional government and will continue to press for the full implementation of the peace agreement.
18th May 2016
To ask Her Majesty’s Government whether the Foreign and Commonwealth Office has commissioned any research into migration to the EU from Horn of Africa nations, in the UK's role as the Chair of the Khartoum Process.

In response to the migration crisis, the Government is building its evidence base on the drivers and trends in migration flows. We are working with partners, including through the Khartoum Process, to obtain a more systematic quantitative and qualitative data on flows and drivers of migration in source, transit and destination countries.

The UK is funding data analysis and evidence review work by the International Organization for Migration and the Open Data Institute on migration into the EU through the central Mediterranean route. The UK has also funded work for research into criminal networks facilitating human trafficking and smuggling in the Horn of Africa.

16th Mar 2016
To ask Her Majesty’s Government what representations they are making to the government of Sudan concerning the recent raid by Sudan’s National Intelligence and Security Services on civil society actors at the Tracks offices in Khartoum.

An official based at our Embassy in Khartoum raised this specific case directly with the Director for Human Rights at the Sudanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs last week. More broadly, we continue to highlight our concerns about the freedom of civil society organisations as part of our ongoing human rights dialogue with the Government of Sudan.

1st Mar 2016
To ask Her Majesty’s Government, further to the answer by Baroness Verma on 29 February (HL Deb, cols 573–5), whether the UK Mission to the UN, following receipt of a UN Security Council briefing on the humanitarian situation in South Sudan, has called for the immediate imposition of an arms embargo; and if so, why such an embargo should not also be applied to Sudan.

The UK has made clear our strong support for a UN arms embargo in South Sudan. We welcome that the UN Security Council will return to this issue by 15 April and we will continue to make the case to other Council members in the interim. We fully support the existing UN arms embargo for Darfur and the EU arms embargo that applies to Sudan as a whole. We remain deeply concerned by the impact of the devastating conflicts in Sudan and will continue to press all sides to engage in the African Union-led peace talks.

3rd Feb 2016
To ask Her Majesty’s Government what assessment they have made of the impact of political instability, human rights violations, poor governance and rule of law, and economic collapse, on migration flows from Sudan.

We are concerned by migration flows from across the region, including Sudan. There are a range of political, economic and security factors that impact migration flows and we are undertaking further research on the drivers of migration from Sudan. We continue to raise our concerns about the human rights situation in Sudan and urge the government and opposition groups to work together to secure a political settlement that addresses Sudan’s internal conflicts.
30th Nov 2015
To ask Her Majesty’s Government in which countries local FM radio stations broadcasting BBC World Service programmes in-country have been closed down by the authorities in each year from 1999 to 2014.

The BBC World Service has advised that they experienced closures to their service in the following countries: 2006 – Tajikistan 2008 – Oman 2009 –Azerbaijan 2010 – Somalia 2010 – Sudan 2008 to 2011– Israel 2014 – Rwanda

30th Nov 2015
To ask Her Majesty’s Government in which countries the short wave radio transmission of BBC World Service programmes has been jammed in each year from 1999 to 2014.

The BBC World Service has advised that short wave radio transmission has been jammed in the following countries: 2004 to present - Uzbekistan 2010 – China (Mandarin) 2012 to 2013 – Iran 2013 to present –China, which has also affected parts of India, Bhutan and Bangladesh

30th Nov 2015
To ask Her Majesty’s Government in which African countries or regions the BBC World Service has switched from short wave transmission of their radio programmes from London via intermediate transmitters to in-country onward transmission from local FM stations, in each year from 1999 to 2014.

The BBC World Service has advised that they maintained short wave broadcasts to Africa in all languages broadcast since 1999 except: •2010 – Swahili in Kenya •2011 – Portuguese in Southern Africa, primarily Mozambique.

30th Nov 2015
To ask Her Majesty’s Government what assessment they have made of the change in the size of the audience for BBC World Service programmes broadcast via the internet in African countries or regions from 1999 to 2014.

The BBC World Service has advised that:

The current weekly audience for the BBC on the Internet in sub Saharan Africa has grown from 520,000 in 2006 to 4.3 million (726 per cent increase).

The current weekly audience for the BBC on the Internet in the Middle East and North Africa grew from 530,000 in 2006 to 2.2 million (315 per cent increase).

The World Service use Global Audience Measurement (GAM) data to track performance by platform and by market. This data provides clear records from 2005 onwards.

30th Nov 2015
To ask Her Majesty’s Government what assessment they have made of the changes in audience sizes in African countries or regions following the switch from short wave to FM transmission of BBC World Service programmes between 1999 and 2014.

The BBC World Service has advised that they make the following assessment of the changes in audience sizes in African countries or regions:

Sub -Saharan Africa -

Total audience across all platforms has risen from 52.7 million in 2005 to 81.8 million in 2015 (55 per cent increase).

In 2005, Short Wave and Medium Wave delivered 63 per cent of total audiences; by 2015 Short Wave and Medium Wave delivered 39.3 per cent of total audiences.

Short Wave and Medium Wave audiences in the region have dropped 3.9 per cent, while BBC’s direct FM audiences have grown by 125 per cent.

Middle East and North Africa -

Total audience across all platforms has risen from 15.3 million in 2005 to 48.2 million in 2015 (215 per cent increase).

In 2005, Short Wave and Medium Wave delivered 78 per cent of total audiences; by 2015 Short Wave and Medium Wave delivered 8.5 per cent of total audiences.

In this period, Short Wave and Medium Wave audiences in the region have dropped by 62 per cent, while the BBC’s direct FM audiences have dropped by 59 per cent.

BBC Arabic TV reaches 30.3 million people across Middle East & North Africa.

The World Service use Global Audience Measurement (GAM) data to track performance by platform and by market. This data provides clear records from 2005 onwards.

30th Nov 2015
To ask Her Majesty’s Government in which countries the receipt of BBC World Service programmes via the internet has been blocked in each year from 1999 to 2014.

The BBC World Service has advised that blocks via the internet occurred in the following years:

1999 to present – China (BBC Chinese)
1999 to 2008 – China (BBC News – English)
2010 – China (BBC News – English was again blocked in December 2010 for a number of days and then lifted)
2014 – China (BBC News – English was again blocked in October 2014 for two weeks)
2002 – Vietnam
2004 – Uzbekistan
2006 to present – Iran
2013 to present - Sri Lanka
2014 – Rwanda

21st Jul 2015
To ask Her Majesty’s Government, further to the Written Answer by Baroness Anelay of St Johns on 13 July (HL957), what assessment they have made of what would be an acceptable programme of concrete action by the government of Eritrea to strengthen the rule of law and to improve the human rights situation in that country.

Eritrea has made some limited progress against its international commitments on human rights in 2015. This included the publication in May of new Civil, Penal, Civil Procedure and Criminal Procedure Codes. The Government of Eritrea also hosted a visit by representatives of the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights to consider potential project work in the field of human rights in Eritrea. Government officials regularly meet with the Eritrean ministers and officials in London and Asmara to press the Government of Eritrea to address shortcomings on civil and political rights. Following the Universal Period Review (UPR) in 2014 Eritrea accepted 92 of the recommendations and has ratified the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment. We continue to push for implementation of the remaining UPR recommendations.

21st Jul 2015
To ask Her Majesty’s Government, further to the Written Answer by Baroness Anelay of St Johns on 13 July (HL957), what responses they have received to date from the government of Eritrea to their call for it to follow through on its commitments with concrete action to strengthen the rule of law and to improve the human rights situation on the ground, by (1) correspondence, (2) meetings with officials of the Eritrean embassy, (3) representatives of the government of Eritrea in Eritrea or the United Kingdom, and (4) at the UN; and if no responses have yet been received, what they consider to be a reasonable delay in responding, and what action they plan to take in the absence of any response after that time.

Eritrea has made some limited progress against its international commitments on human rights in 2015. This included the publication in May of new Civil, Penal, Civil Procedure and Criminal Procedure Codes. The Government of Eritrea also hosted a visit by representatives of the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights to consider potential project work in the field of human rights in Eritrea. Government officials regularly meet with the Eritrean ministers and officials in London and Asmara to press the Government of Eritrea to address shortcomings on civil and political rights. Following the Universal Period Review (UPR) in 2014 Eritrea accepted 92 of the recommendations and has ratified the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment. We continue to push for implementation of the remaining UPR recommendations.

21st Jul 2015
To ask Her Majesty’s Government, further to the Written Answer by Baroness Anelay of St Johns on 13 July (HL957), in the light of the findings of the UN Commission of Inquiry on human rights in Eritrea, what discussions they have had, or plan to have, with (1) countries neighbouring Eritrea, (2) the African Union, (3) the European Union, and (4) the UN, about the impact of the number of Eritreans fleeing through the region; and what measures are being investigated jointly to alleviate the suffering of those refugees.

We have an ongoing dialogue with regional partners on the impact of irregular migration from Eritrea and the Horn of Africa. Through the EU/African Union “Khartoum Process”, the Government is working to develop, implement and resource concrete projects to reduce irregular migration as well as tackle human trafficking and smuggling from the Horn of Africa. The Department for International Development provides support for almost 600,000 refugees in Ethiopia, through a multi-year programme with the United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR).

EU and African partners will discuss further opportunities for cooperation ahead of the Valletta Summit on migration in November.

15th Jul 2015
To ask Her Majesty’s Government what is their assessment of the reliability of the process for overseeing and reporting arms and ammunition recovered by UN and African Union peacekeepers from armed groups in their mission areas in Sudan, South Sudan and Darfur; and what is their assessment of the measures in place to prevent such arms and ammunition being recirculated or returned to the groups from which they were taken, or otherwise used inappropriately.

We understand from the Department of Peacekeeping Operations that the UN missions in Sudan, South Sudan and Darfur all have processes in place for the recovery and destruction of arms, ammunition and land mines. Many of these activities are carried out by the UN Mine Action Service (UNMAS). Details of their progress in destroying such arms and ammunitions are included in regular UN mission reporting.

14th Jul 2015
To ask Her Majesty’s Government what is their estimate of how many peacekeepers in Sudan and South Sudan have been attacked between 2005 and 2014, excluding carjackings and household robberies; and how many of those incidents resulted in a significant loss of weapons and ammunition from United Nations and African Union Peace operations in Darfur and South Sudan.

We do not keep a record of the number of specific incidents, but there is no reason for us to doubt the findings of the Small Arms Survey report that there have been over 100 attacks on peacekeepers in Sudan and South Sudan between 2005 and 2014, the vast majority in Darfur. We are unable to independently estimate how many of these incidents resulted in a significant loss of weapons and ammunition.

14th Jul 2015
To ask Her Majesty’s Government what is their assessment of the recent report by Small Arms Survey<i>, Under Attack and Above Scrutiny? Arms and Ammunition Diversion from Peacekeepers in Sudan and South Sudan, 2002–14</i><i>, </i>and in particular the conclusion that "the losses of arms and ammunition by peacekeepers are larger and more frequent than previously appreciated, and can be reduced".

Officials are currently reviewing the Small Arms Survey report. We encourage the UN Department of Peacekeeping Operations to do more to tackle the losses of arms and ammunition.

14th Jul 2015
To ask Her Majesty’s Government what recommendations they have for measures and actions that could be taken to reduce the losses of arms and ammunition by peacekeepers in Darfur, Sudan and South Sudan; whether they have presented these to UN and African Union agencies; and if so, what was the response.

We are currently reviewing the Small Arms Survey report. However, we would advocate similar rules and regulations as used by UK Armed Forces, namely that arms and ammunition should always be secured, in different locations and by different trained personnel, when not being used for their primary purpose on operations. We will seek the views of the UN Department of Peacekeeping Operations on how they propose to tackle the losses of arms and ammunition.

8th Jul 2015
To ask Her Majesty’s Government what is their assessment of the call from Human Rights Watch for an exhumation of the mass grave at Maluka by an international team.

British Government officials have called upon Congolese judicial officials to properly investigate the mass grave containing over 400 bodies uncovered in Maluku in March.

We urge the Congolese authorities to work closely with international experts, including from the UN Mission to the Democratic Republic of Congo (MONUSCO) and the UN Joint Human Rights Office (UNJHRO) in the Democratic Republic of Congo, and call on them to ensure that a transparent and credible investigation is urgently undertaken. Officials have also encouraged the Congolese government to ensure a thorough response to the public compliant filed on 5 June by the families of 34 victims of disappeared persons.

On 10 April the EU delegation in Kinshasa made a press statement on behalf of all EU Heads of Mission in Kinshasa reiterating this call for justice.

Earl of Courtown
Captain of the Queen's Bodyguard of the Yeomen of the Guard (HM Household) (Deputy Chief Whip, House of Lords)
8th Jul 2015
To ask Her Majesty’s Government what representations they have made to the government of the Democratic Republic Congo pressing for an independent, credible, and transparent investigation of the mass grave found in March in Maluka, supported by international investigators and experts.

British Government officials have called upon Congolese judicial officials to properly investigate the mass grave containing over 400 bodies uncovered in Maluku in March.

We urge the Congolese authorities to work closely with international experts, including from the UN Mission to the Democratic Republic of Congo (MONUSCO) and the UN Joint Human Rights Office (UNJHRO) in the Democratic Republic of Congo, and call on them to ensure that a transparent and credible investigation is urgently undertaken. Officials have also encouraged the Congolese government to ensure a thorough response to the public compliant filed on 5 June by the families of 34 victims of disappeared persons.

On 10 April the EU delegation in Kinshasa made a press statement on behalf of all EU Heads of Mission in Kinshasa reiterating this call for justice.

Earl of Courtown
Captain of the Queen's Bodyguard of the Yeomen of the Guard (HM Household) (Deputy Chief Whip, House of Lords)
8th Jul 2015
To ask Her Majesty’s Government what representations they have made to the government of the Democratic Republic of Congo regarding allegations of unlawful detention and acts of torture by the Congolese intelligence services against activists, political leaders and human rights campaigners following protests in January against the revision of the electoral law and demonstrations in March organised by LUCHA.

We remain deeply concerned by the Congolese authorities’ response to the civil unrest that affected Kinshasa and the wider Democratic Republic of Congo in January, and subsequent peaceful political activity. It is unacceptable to hold the arrested participants in detention for long periods without charge or due legal assistance. We are concerned by reports that their testimony was obtained under duress and that this may be used in legal proceedings against the activists.

In response, and together with other EU Missions, officials from our Embassy in Kinshasa twice lobbied the Congolese government to voice our concern at the arrest and detention without charge of the activists. Officials also joined other international observers in monitoring court hearings in this case and those of a number of other activists detained in recent months. Officials have stressed to the Congolese authorities that civil society organisations must be allowed to hold workshops on the democratic process without fear of arrest or reprisal, that all legal proceedings must fully respect the international standards of due process and that the right to peaceful demonstration and assembly must be upheld. Our concerns were set out in an EU Heads of Mission press statement issued on 11 February.

Earl of Courtown
Captain of the Queen's Bodyguard of the Yeomen of the Guard (HM Household) (Deputy Chief Whip, House of Lords)
8th Jul 2015
To ask Her Majesty’s Government what representations they have made to the government of the Democratic Republic of Congo calling for the release of Fred Bauma and Yves Makwambala.

Officials from our Embassy in Kinshasa have twice lobbied the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) alongside other EU missions to raise our concerns about the ongoing detentions of Fred Bauma and Yves Makwambala. We continue to urge the DRC government to act on the recommendations of its Parliamentary Commission of Inquiry into the arrests.

Earl of Courtown
Captain of the Queen's Bodyguard of the Yeomen of the Guard (HM Household) (Deputy Chief Whip, House of Lords)
2nd Jul 2015
To ask Her Majesty’s Government by how much they have expanded the Arab Partnership Participation Fund in order to support political and economic reform in the Middle East and North Africa since 2011; to which countries the funds were allocated; and how much was allocated in each case.

The Arab Partnership was created in 2010 as a part of the Government’s response to the Arab Spring. This initiative comprised two parts; the Foreign and Commonwealth Office-led Arab Partnership Participation Fund (APPF) and the Department for International Development-led Arab Partnership Economic Facility (APEF). Since 2011 APPF and APEF programmes have channelled £166m to projects across the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region to support the development of legitimate and inclusive institutions (including civil society, parliaments, media and judiciaries) to improve governance and enable inclusive economic growth and reform.

The APPF was launched in the Financial Year (FY) 2011-2 and provided funding worth £5,195,304. In FY 2014-5 it provided £10,512,791. The total funding from FY 2011-12 up to and including FY 2014-15 was £42,803,007. It was distributed as follows:

Algeria

£3,798,631

Bahrain

£227,021

Egypt

£5,644,406

Iraq

£1,417,916

Jordan

£3,286,270

Kuwait

£130,155

Lebanon

£917,622

Libya

£4,458,601

Mauritania

£215,552

Morocco

£3,386,058

Oman

£255,144

OPT

£625,551

Regional

£9,595,633

Syria

£584,961

Tunisia

£8,180,151

UAE

£7355

Admin

£71,980

Total

£42,803,007

For FY 2015-6, the APPF will allocate £6m of funding to countries not currently receiving Conflict, Stability and Security Fund (CSSF) funding, including Algeria, Mauritania, Morocco, Tunisia and a small proportion of non-Official Development Assistance funding available for projects in Gulf States (£150k). The CSSF allocation to the MENA region for FY 2105-16 currently stands at £136.5m.

2nd Jul 2015
To ask Her Majesty’s Government by how much they increased the resources of the Conflict Pool over the most recent spending review period.

The Conflict Pool, which was succeeded by the Conflict Stability and Security Fund from Financial Year 15/16, was funded from a Treasury settlement which was separate from and additional to departmental budgets and was administered jointly by the Ministry of Defence, Department for International Development and Foreign and Commonwealth Office for conflict prevention and mitigation work. At the last spending review in June 2014 , the overall allocation increased from £664 million for 2013/14 to £683 million for 2014/15. Details of Conflict Pool allocations were made in the House of Lords on 24 June 2014 by the former Minister of State for the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Baroness Warsi), (WS107).

A Written Ministerial Statement about the Conflict Stability and Security was published on 12 March 2015 by the then Minister for Government Policy in the Cabinet Office, my right hon. Friend the member for West Dorset (Mr Letwin), which was repeated in the House of Lords by Lord Wallace of Saltaire, (HLWS379).

2nd Jul 2015
To ask Her Majesty’s Government what changes they have made to their list of prioritised countries where (1) risks were perceived to be high, (2) United Kingdom interests were most at stake, and (3) it was known the United Kingdom could have most impact, since the Building Stability Overseas Strategy was published in July 2011.

There have been many changes since the establishment of the Building Stability Overseas Strategy in 2010 as the process of determining priorities is dynamic to reflect global realities.

The National Security Council has agreed a range of country and regional strategies, and annually agrees funding allocations under the Conflict Stability and Security Fund.

This prioritisation process takes into account risks of instability, UK interests and the potential impact of activities. Beyond the annual exercise, allocations and priority countries are continually under review to enable the Government to respond more effectively to new cases of conflict and instability.

2nd Jul 2015
To ask Her Majesty’s Government, in the light of recent events in Tunisia, what re-appraisal they have made of their strategy to take on board the lessons of the Arab spring, set out in the Building Stability Overseas Strategy, with regard to (1) early warning, (2) rapid crisis prevention and response, and (3) investing in upstream prevention.

Early warning systems and policies aimed at building stability overseas are continually under review to enable the British Government to respond more rapidly and more effectively to new cases of conflict and instability.

Upstream prevention remains at the heart of the Government’s approach to fragile and unstable countries and regions. UK conflict funding for 2015/16 for the Middle East / North Africa region was increased substantially to respond to conflict drivers in the region.

Government work in the Middle East and North Africa includes programmes on countering violent extremism, strengthening border management, and improving the effectiveness of our partner’s domestic counter-terrorism work.

11th Feb 2015
To ask Her Majesty’s Government what representations they have made to the government of the Democratic Republic of the Congo in relation to the arrest and reported incommunicado detention of Christopher Ngoyi and other activists in the wake of protests in January against the amendment of electoral law in that country.

During the recent period of unrest in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) officials at our Embassy in Kinshasa were in regular contact with the DRC authorities, and urged all parties to exercise calm and restraint. Officials also highlighted the importance of allowing those who wished to protest peacefully against the proposed electoral reform bill to be allowed to do so. This was echoed in a Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) press statement issued on 19 January. On 25 January a revised electoral law was passed, and on 26 January a FCO press statement welcomed the revised electoral law, which sought to address some of the protestors' concerns. We are pleased that calls for an end to violence were heeded but are concerned that - according to UN reports – as many as 300 people remain in detention following the demonstrations, including some who have not had access to a lawyer. Of those currently being held, the UN estimates that at least 11 are believed to be in ‘incommunicado’ detention, including Christopher Ngoyi. Officials continue to raise the ongoing detention of protestors at the highest level. On 11 February, EU Heads of Mission in Kinshasa issued a joint statement expressing concern at arrests and arbitrary detention of political activists by the security services. Those imprisoned for peacefully exercising their right to free speech must be released without delay.
6th Nov 2014
To ask Her Majesty’s Government, in the light of their intention not to open any new Missions in the Western Sahel region of Africa, what assessment they have made of the United Kingdom’s influence on political institutions and stability in the region.

The Government’s North and West Africa Strategy enables the UK to engage effectively with states and political institutions in the Western Sahel region. The Prime Minister’s Special Envoy for the Sahel plays an important role in coordinating that effort and has built good relations with governments across the region. We also work through our partners, such as the EU, in those countries where the UK does not have a resident Ambassador. In addition, we work closely with regional organisations, as demonstrated in the recent case of instability in Burkina Faso, where we support the African Union and the Economic Community Of West African States' efforts to return that country to stable and democratic civilian government.

6th Nov 2014
To ask Her Majesty’s Government whether they intend to use the Conflict, Stability and Security Fund to provide increased counter-terrorism support to North and West African regional governments; and whether they plan to use that Fund to increase their information-gathering and early warning capabilities in those countries in the region which they have assessed present less of a threat to the United Kingdom.

The Conflict, Stability and Security Fund is one part of a broader approach to UK prioritisation in fragile states, governed by the National Security Council. With the National Security Council at the core, the Government has been making strategic decisions for the most effective use of limited departmental resources. The resource allocation process is still ongoing. Once this is concluded, Parliament will be informed of the allocations outcomes, and I will ensure that the Noble Lord is provided with this information.

6th Nov 2014
To ask Her Majesty’s Government, in the light of their response to the House of Commons Foreign Affairs Committee report on the United Kingdom’s response to extremism and instability in North and West Africa (7th Report, Session 2013–14, HC 86–I), how they intend to use the new Conflict, Stability and Security Fund to improve their information-gathering resources in that area.

The Conflict, Stability and Security Fund is one part of a broader approach to UK prioritisation in fragile states, governed by the National Security Council. With the National Security Council at the core, the Government has been making strategic decisions for the most effective use of limited departmental resources. The resource allocation process is still ongoing. Once this is concluded, Parliament will be informed of the allocations outcomes, and I will ensure that the Noble Lord is provided with this information.

6th Nov 2014
To ask Her Majesty’s Government what assessment they have made of the proliferation of small arms in Libya, and of the effectiveness of any resources and funding made available by the United Kingdom to deal with that issue.

The proliferation of small arms in Libya is of major concern. It contributes to ongoing instability in that country, and potentially to the wider region. We have been working closely with our international partners to address the issue of unsecured weapons stockpiles in Libya.

We have funded about £5m of work on arms and ammunition work in Libya to date. Unfortunately, our programme of work has been reduced due to events in Libya over the summer, which forced the withdrawal of our diplomatic staff.

So far, in this financial year, the UK has committed an estimated £1.2m towards tackling the issues of unsecured weapons stockpiled in Libya. These resources have enabled the UK to fund small but important work programmes with the UN Mine Action Service and Danish Demining Group, on surveying weapons sites and tidying up unexploded ordinance devices.

Until such time as we can return to Libya, we are exploring other options to work with Libyan groups. For example, we are working with local military and municipal councils who are already conducting their own activity to secure small arms and light weapons. The UK Ministry of Defence is also undertaking preparatory work for the UK’s eventual return to Libya, for instance, committing £4.2m this financial year towards the procurement of equipment and course materials for the Explosive Ordnance Device/Improvised Explosive Device Destruction Schools which the UK has been supporting.

6th Nov 2014
To ask Her Majesty’s Government what assessment they have made of the current state of border control and management in the Western Sahel-Sahara region of Africa.

The long distances, challenging geography and harsh climatic conditions mean that policing cross-border activity in the Western Sahel-Sahara is a significant challenge for the states of the region. Whilst taking into account the historic patterns of trade across this region, we are working with our partners, including the EU through Common Security and Defence Policy Missions, with local communities and with regional organisations, to develop plans to build states’ capacity to manage their borders effectively.

30th Oct 2014
To ask Her Majesty’s Government what assessment they have made of the decision of the President of Burkina Faso to amend the country’s constitution to permit him to seek a third term in office.

The decision by President Compaoré to attempt to amend the constitution has proved disastrous for democracy in Burkina Faso. The UK and our international partners had cautioned President Compaoré against seeking a third term, highlighting the potential risks that taking such action would pose. In the event, the demonstrations resulted in President Compaoré being swept from power and an interim military government being installed.

We now call on the Burkinabe military and security forces to move swiftly to restore a democratically elected civilian government in Burkina Faso. We urge all parts of society to work calmly and collaboratively in this endeavour. We also support the efforts of the African Union, the Economic Community Of West African States and the UN to bring this crisis to a swift and peaceful resolution.

30th Oct 2014
To ask Her Majesty’s Government what assessment they have made of the risks of (1) domestic, and (2) regional, destabilisation as a result of current political events in Burkina Faso.

The UK and our international partners cautioned President Compaoré against amending the constitution ahead of the elections in 2015, highlighting the risks that such a course of action would pose. We have seen these consequences manifest themselves:

1) Domestically, demonstrations have seen President Compaoré swept from power, the constitution suspended and a military government installed. We now urge the interim authorities to work with all parties to bring about a swift return of civilian democratic governance.

2) Prolonged instability in Burkina Faso could have a wider impact given the underlying security and development challenges in the region. Therefore, we support the efforts of the African Union and the Economic Community Of West African States, alongside the UN, to bring about a resolution to the crisis.

30th Oct 2014
To ask Her Majesty’s Government what work the United Kingdom Special Envoy has undertaken in Burkina Faso since being appointed to the post.

Since being appointed in October 2012, the Prime Minister’s Special Envoy for the Sahel has devoted much of his time to helping to resolve the crisis in Mali. He has visited most countries in the North and West Africa region, but has not yet visited Burkina Faso in his current role. The then Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for the Department for International Development, the right Hon. member for Hornsey and Wood Green (Lynne Featherstone), visited Burkina Faso in February 2014.

29th Oct 2014
To ask Her Majesty’s Government what assessment they have made of the recent events in Eritrea, and of the impact of those events on the number of refugees seeking refuge in Western Europe.

We remain deeply concerned by the political situation in Eritrea and the impact on migration in Western Europe. Although the number of claims has increased, the profile of Eritrean asylum claims seen by the Home Office has not changed significantly. Our Ambassador regularly monitors events in Eritrea and works closely with the UN High Commissioner for Refugees, through whom we receive monthly updates on migration. We also support multilateral initiatives to tackle illegal migration such as the African Union-EU Khartoum process. The last meeting was on 13-16 October 2014.

29th Oct 2014
To ask Her Majesty’s Government what assessment they have made of the recent events in Ethiopia, and of the impact of those events on the number of refugees seeking refuge in Western Europe.

We remain concerned by events in Ethiopia that contribute to the number of Ethiopians seeking refuge in Western Europe. Although the number of claims has increased, the profile of Ethiopian asylum claims seen by the Home Office has not changed significantly. We regularly monitor events and support multilateral initiatives to tackle illegal migration such as the African Union-EU Khartoum process to tackle these issues.
15th Jul 2014
To ask Her Majesty’s Government what is the individual cost of preparing deployable civilian experts, civil servants and police officers for service abroad with the Stabilisation Unit broken down by (1) medical examinations, (2) security clearance, (3) Hostile Environment Acclimatisation Training, and (4) helmet, bullet proof jacket and first aid equipment.

The varied nature of Stabilisation Unit activity results in there being no uniform cost for deployment. The costs of Stabilisation Unit deployments are dependent upon the hostility of the location in which the work is to be undertaken, the duration of the task and the status of the individual being deployed. Costs also vary depending on whether those deploying have been trained previously, have travelled to similar destinations and possess relevant vaccinations. The Stabilisation Unit’s contractual mechanisms are regularly reviewed to maximise value for money.

26th Jun 2014
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether they will consider assisting the international community in its fight against international trafficking originating from the Central African Republic, by creating a mechanism to fight against diamond, gold, and ivory trafficking and militarised poaching.

International mechanisms to tackle illegal trafficking already exist, including the Kimberley Process to regulate the global trade in rough diamonds, and the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species to protect endangered species. However, these are reliant of having an effective national government in the Central African Republic (CAR). To this end, our immediate priority is to de-escalate the levels of violence and improve the level of security, so that a legitimate government can be established in CAR with the support of the UN and other international organisations.

26th Jun 2014
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether they intend to consider (1) supporting the European Union and United Nations Development Programme in creating an operational and democratic justice system of police and judiciary in the Central African Republic, and (2) providing technical assistance to the police force, prosecution service and judiciary in that country.

We continue to support the UN and other major international partners, to develop a coherent and effective strategy to improve security and justice in the Central African Republic. We will consider what support the UK might be able to provide on the basis of this strategy.

26th Jun 2014
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether they have any plans to deploy the Stabilisation Unit to assist the G5 countries in providing capacity-building assistance to civil society organisations so that they can monitor public sector financial management in the Central African Republic.

The UK will continue to work with and through international organisations, such as the World Bank and the UN, to ensure a coherent strategy for the Central African Republic, including on public financial management and public sector reform. We would be happy to consider the deployment of Stabilisation Unit experts to support the work of these international organisations, as necessary.

26th Jun 2014
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether they have any plans to deploy Stabilisation Unit experts to work as counterparts to the Central African Republic's civil servants, to assist in financial, taxation and budgeting reform in that country.

The UK will continue to work with and through international organisations, such as the World Bank and the UN, to ensure a coherent strategy for the Central African Republic, including on public financial management and public sector reform. We would be happy to consider the deployment of Stabilisation Unit experts to support the work of these international organisations, as necessary.

26th Jun 2014
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether they will assist in the implementation of the Kimberley Process Certification Scheme for diamonds coming from the Central African Republic.

The Government implements its commitments under the Kimberley Process Certification Scheme (KPCS) in full. In order to maintain the integrity of the KPCS, the Central African Republic (CAR) was temporarily suspended from the KPCS in May 2013, preventing the possible introduction of rough diamonds produced in CAR into the legitimate diamond trade. This suspension was upheld in June 2014. It is likely to remain in place until the security situation in CAR improves significantly and the government of CAR is able to re-establish compliance with the KPCS.

26th Jun 2014
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether, alongside the current international intervention in the Central African Republic (CAR), they are ready to assist in the growth of economic activity and in building an effective public governance system that serves all CAR citizens, both Muslim and Christian.

Together with other partners, our immediate priorities are to help de-escalate the levels of violence and ensure life-saving assistance is delivered to those in acute need. At the same time, we are working with international organisations such as the World Bank and the UN so that a longer-term strategy of economic recovery and effective governance is developed by these organisations to address the needs of all communities in the Central African Republic.

19th May 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what steps they are taking to support proposals made at the IMF and World Bank spring meetings to issue additional Special Drawing Rights to (1) African, and (2) other IMF members, in need of liquidity.

The Government has been vocal in supporting the IMF in its response to liquidity challenges posed by Covid-19.

In response to the crisis, the IMF has doubled its concessional emergency financing support available through the Poverty Reduction and Growth Trust (PRGT) and provided debt relief through the Catastrophe Containment and Relief Trust (CCRT). Several African countries have benefited from support from the PRGT and CCRT.

The UK has strongly supported these efforts. In the face of increased demand for PRGT and CCRT resources, the UK has recently agreed a new £2.2bn loan to the PRGT and provided a contribution of up to £150m to the CCRT.

The Government welcomes the IMF’s recent agreement on a new instrument, the Short-term Liquidity Line, to provide liquidity support for IMF members with strong macro-economic fundamentals. The Government has also encouraged the IMF to keep the possibility of a Special Drawing Rights allocation under review, and will continue to do so.

HM Treasury is the department responsible for the UK’s relationship with the IMF. The relevant Cabinet committees have agreed on the importance of supporting vulnerable countries in responding to the crisis, including through the IMF.

18th May 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what discussions the Foreign and Commonwealth Office had with Cabinet colleagues on their policy at the International Monetary Fund and World Bank Spring meetings on the issuing of additional special drawing rights to (1) African countries, and (2) other IMF members, which need the liquidity.

The Government has been vocal in supporting the IMF in its response to liquidity challenges posed by Covid-19.

In response to the crisis, the IMF has doubled its concessional emergency financing support available through the Poverty Reduction and Growth Trust (PRGT) and provided debt relief through the Catastrophe Containment and Relief Trust (CCRT). Several African countries have benefited from support from the PRGT and CCRT.

The UK has strongly supported these efforts. In the face of increased demand for PRGT and CCRT resources, the UK has recently agreed a new £2.2bn loan to the PRGT and provided a contribution of up to £150m to the CCRT.

The Government welcomes the IMF’s recent agreement on a new instrument, the Short-term Liquidity Line, to provide liquidity support for IMF members with strong macro-economic fundamentals. The Government has also encouraged the IMF to keep the possibility of a Special Drawing Rights allocation under review, and will continue to do so.

HM Treasury is the department responsible for the UK’s relationship with the IMF. The relevant Cabinet committees have agreed on the importance of supporting vulnerable countries in responding to the crisis, including through the IMF.

5th Feb 2019
To ask Her Majesty's Government what steps they are taking to limit any disruption to EU–UK trade flows that may arise from a no-deal Brexit.

The Government is committed to supporting businesses and recognises the importance of trade fluidity for goods through the UK’s borders.

HMRC are introducing temporary easements for a no deal scenario making it easier for businesses to import goods from the EU using Roll on Roll off locations. Once registered, businesses will be able to transport goods into the UK without having to make full declarations at the border, and will be able to postpone paying import duties for a short period.

3rd Jul 2017
Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the investigation being conducted under the French judicial system that has identified 200 million euros worth of assets held in France belonging to Teodorin Obiang, the Vice-President of Equatorial Guinea, and allegedly acquired with embezzled funds; and what steps, if any, they are taking to ascertain whether Mr Obiang holds any such assets in the UK.

It is government policy to neither confirm nor deny the existence of a mutual legal assistance request.

The UWO provisions in the Criminal Finances Act 2017 are not yet commenced. When commenced, we expect that operational agencies will consider their use in appropriate cases when investigating the assets of individuals held in the UK.

Baroness Williams of Trafford
Minister of State (Home Office)
3rd Jul 2017
Her Majesty's Government whether they intend to make early and extensive use of the new Unexplained Wealth Orders, in the light of the Obiang case in France in which the Vice-President of Equatorial Guineas is alleged to have committed embezzlement, corruption and extortion in that state.

It is government policy to neither confirm nor deny the existence of a mutual legal assistance request.

The UWO provisions in the Criminal Finances Act 2017 are not yet commenced. When commenced, we expect that operational agencies will consider their use in appropriate cases when investigating the assets of individuals held in the UK.

Baroness Williams of Trafford
Minister of State (Home Office)
3rd Jul 2017
Her Majesty's Government what support they have offered to the French authorities in their action against Teodorin Obiang, Vice-President of Equatorial Guinea, in relation to allegations of embezzlement, corruption and extortion in that state.

It is government policy to neither confirm nor deny the existence of a mutual legal assistance request.

The UWO provisions in the Criminal Finances Act 2017 are not yet commenced. When commenced, we expect that operational agencies will consider their use in appropriate cases when investigating the assets of individuals held in the UK.

Baroness Williams of Trafford
Minister of State (Home Office)
6th Jul 2016
To ask Her Majesty’s Government what role they plan to take in the design of an international migration policy, based on respect for human rights, when they no longer chair the Khartoum Process.

The Government is continuing its Chairmanship of the Khartoum Process, and remains committed in its support for human rights. Our focus remains on the implementation of the actions agreed at last year’s EU-Africa Valletta Summit on migration.

We are working with EU and international partners to ensure that EU funding underlying the Khartoum Process is properly monitored and overseen, including compliance with the EU Treaties which includes respect for human rights.

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
6th Jul 2016
To ask Her Majesty’s Government whether they plan to commit to include safe and legal routes of passage from the Horn of Africa into the Khartoum Process.

The Government is continuing its Chairmanship of the Khartoum Process, and remains committed in its support for human rights. Our focus remains on the implementation of the actions agreed at last year’s EU-Africa Valletta Summit on migration.

We are working with EU and international partners to ensure that EU funding underlying the Khartoum Process is properly monitored and overseen, including compliance with the EU Treaties which includes respect for human rights.

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
18th May 2016
To ask Her Majesty’s Government, further to the Written Answer by Lord Bates on 12 February (HL5949), based on the UNHCR assessment of the number and needs of unaccompanied children in conflict regions, what is their estimate of (1) the number, and (2) the needs, of unaccompanied children from Sudan and South Sudan.

The Government is not in a position to comment on the number or needs of unaccompanied children in particular countries. All asylum seeking children who arrive in the UK and are unaccompanied are referred to a local authority. Those local authorities hold responsibility for assessing their needs and providing services based on the outcome of the assessment.

The Government is clear about our moral responsibility to assist those who are suffering as a result of conflict and recognises that those fleeing persecution have a legal entitlement to protection. We worked with the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) to design and launch the ‘Children at Risk’ resettlement scheme. On the UNHCR’s recommendation, the scheme will not target unaccompanied children alone, but will be extended to all ‘Children at Risk’ as defined by the UNHCR who are in the Middle East and North Africa. We have committed to resettling several hundred individuals in the first year with a view to resettling up to 3,000 individuals over the lifetime of this Parliament, the majority of whom will be children.

As stated above, we cannot comment on the number of children in other countries. However, figures on asylum applications for Unaccompanied Asylum Seeking Children (UASC) in the UK are published quarterly by the Home Office in the Immigration Statistics release. A copy of the latest release, Immigration Statistics October to December 2015, is available from: https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/immigration-statistics-october-to-december-2015.

There were 142 applications for asylum from UASCs, excluding dependants, for nationals of Sudan during 2015. No such applications were received from nationals of South Sudan in 2015. UNHCR have published statistics on estimated numbers of children in countries, including South Sudan. These can be found at: http://data.unhcr.org/SouthSudan/regional.php.

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
18th May 2016
To ask Her Majesty’s Government whether the Home Office has commissioned any research into migration to the EU from Horn of Africa nations, in line with the UK's role as the Chair of the Khartoum Process.

As Chair of the Khartoum Process, the UK supports enhanced work in the Horn of Africa, working with EU and African partners to deliver concrete actions to combat people smuggling and human trafficking. Helping the countries of the Horn of Africa cope with migratory flows and tackling the root causes of migration is firmly in the UK's interests, but we remain mindful of the broader humanitarian and political concerns regarding countries in that region and our position on that point has not changed.

The Home Office conducted research in the Horn of Africa to understand drivers of irregular migration to Europe and the UK, in line with our work under the Khartoum Process.

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
15th Apr 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the implementation of the new regional training initiative in the Western Balkans; and whether it will include joint training for Serbia, North Macedonia, and Kosovo.

The establishment of a Western Balkans regional training initiative is a further sign of the UK's continuing commitment to the Western Balkans. The initiative will develop our understanding of the training needs of the Armed Forces of the Western Balkans, and improve the way we coordinate and deliver training and capacity building. We aim to ensure the nations of the region can contribute to international security and to increase cooperation. The training cell will be established later this year and discussions are ongoing about what training will be provided.

Baroness Goldie
Minister of State (Ministry of Defence)
15th Apr 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have to draw the personnel for the new Ranger Regiment from all Infantry units of the British Army; what assessment they have made of the additional training resources required for that regiment to be able to operate in complex and high risk environments; and what assessment they have made of the impact on the establishment of such a regiment on (1) extended overseas deployments, and (2) any additional training and advisory agreements made with other nations consequent upon these deployments.

The new Ranger Regiment is part of an Army Special Operations Brigade and will receive a share of a £120 million investment over the next four years. It will initially be seeded from the four Specialised Infantry Battalions and in time will become all-arms units capable of supporting and conducting special operations in high-risk environments.

Under the transformation announced by the Secretary of State for Defence, the Army will be more actively and persistently engaged overseas. This does not mean that all deployments will be lengthy and the impact on individuals and their families will be carefully managed under policy designed to ensure that they are not over-stretched. To complement the Army Special Operations Brigade, a Security Force Assistance (SFA) Brigade will also be established and this will form the foundation of the Army's contribution to persistent engagement overseas.

The Army will use spring and early summer 2021 to refine and test the designs, capabilities and structure of its units before making more detailed announcements later this year.

Baroness Goldie
Minister of State (Ministry of Defence)
15th Apr 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of reducing the strength of the Royal Marines Corps from 6,500 to 6,100 personnel; and whether this will affect the Royal Marine Corp's capacity to operate across different operational domains.

As the Royal Marines transition into the Future Commando Force and turn to new upgraded and autonomous capabilities, there is the potential for the workforce structure to change in the future. Any reduction in personnel will not affect the capability of the Royal Marines to operate across different operational arenas.

Baroness Goldie
Minister of State (Ministry of Defence)
15th Apr 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether the training provided to 120,000 soldiers in Iraq has extended to contributing arms and equipment from companies in the British defence industry; and, if not, whether it will in the future.

Since September 2014, the UK alongside allies has been supporting Iraqi Security Forces in their fight against Daesh, as part of a coalition and at the invitation of the Government of Iraq. In addition to training, the UK supports the Iraqi Security Forces with supplies of military equipment. As a result, the UK, has gifted equipment to Iraq.

The equipment to the Iraqi Security Forces has been gifted either directly from the UK MOD, using stock surpluses or through procuring equipment from British Defence Industry. For instance, in 2015 the UK MOD gifted C-IED equipment from surplus stock and more recently the UK gifted outdoor clothing, personal load carriage and chest rig equipment, which was procured from a British Defence Company.

Future provision of support to Iraq will be determined by many factors including the type of equipment required and its availability. Any request for such equipment is judged on a case-by-case basis.

For further details on the equipment gifted to Iraq, please refer to the UK Strategic Export Controls Annual Reports available on gov.uk.

Baroness Goldie
Minister of State (Ministry of Defence)
16th Dec 2014
To ask Her Majesty’s Government which platforms they expect will be able to fill any capability gaps at an acceptable level of technical risk following the 2015 Strategic Defence and Security Review; and how long they expect it will take to integrate United Kingdom complex weapons into the solutions.

The information requested is not available.

16th Dec 2014
To ask Her Majesty’s Government what analysis has been conducted to establish the potential systems and cost benefits of including a long-range maritime surveillance and anti-submarine warfare aircraft in the United Kingdom strategic deterrent system or systems.

We have performed a number of assessments of the potential impact that a maritime patrol aircraft might have on the security of the strategic deterrent system. The potential contribution of such aircraft to the maintenance of continuous at-sea deterrence is well understood.

I am withholding further information as its disclosure would or would likely prejudice national security.

16th Dec 2014
To ask Her Majesty’s Government what analysis has been conducted to investigate the potential interoperability between NATO Maritime Patrol Aircraft, available in 2019, and the Queen Elizabeth Class Aircraft Carrier and its F-35B Lightning II aircraft.

A Key User Requirement for the Queen Elizabeth Class platforms is to be able to integrate with all elements of Joint/Combined Forces. The F35B's communication systems will facilitate cooperation with a number of different aircraft types, including NATO Maritime Patrol Aircraft, such as the P3C, P8 and Atlantique II.

15th Dec 2014
To ask Her Majesty’s Government what evidence-based analysis they have conducted to establish the vulnerability of the Queen Elizabeth-class aircraft carriers to modern anti-ship missile threats.

Comprehensive threat and survivability analysis was conducted by Defence Science and Technology Laboratories during the design phase of the Queen Elizabeth Class (QEC) aircraft carriers. The output of this analysis is periodically reviewed and updated with input from Defence Intelligence Services and the Maritime Warfare Centre, and used to inform continued development of the operating procedures and war-fighting doctrine for the QEC.

I am withholding further details of this analysis and its conclusions as disclosure would, or would be likely to, prejudice the capability, effectiveness or security of the Armed Forces.

15th Dec 2014
To ask Her Majesty’s Government what evidence-based analysis they have conducted to establish the vulnerability of the Queen Elizabeth-class aircraft carriers to modern submarine threats.

Comprehensive threat and survivability analysis was conducted by Defence Science and Technology Laboratories during the design phase of the Queen Elizabeth Class (QEC) aircraft carriers. The output of this analysis is periodically reviewed and updated with input from Defence Intelligence Services and the Maritime Warfare Centre, and used to inform continued development of the operating procedures and war-fighting doctrine for the QEC.

I am withholding further details of this analysis and its conclusions as disclosure would, or would be likely to, prejudice the capability, effectiveness or security of the Armed Forces.

15th Dec 2014
To ask Her Majesty’s Government how long they estimate it will take to procure an armed long-range anti-submarine warfare and maritime surveillance capability, based on a manned aircraft, after the 2015 Strategic Defence and Security Review has been completed.

The time it would take to acquire such an aircraft would depend on the platform selected, the availability of funding, and commercial arrangements. It is therefore not possible to provide a specific timeline.

15th Dec 2014
To ask Her Majesty’s Government whether the Air ISTAR Optimisation Study included any analysis of the comparative whole-life costs across all Defence Lines of Development of deploying the different solutions to any maritime surveillance and long-range anti-submarine warfare capability gap.

The information requested is not available, as typically such questions are addressed at a later stage in a procurement cycle. A decision on whether to acquire a new capability will not be made until the next Strategic Defence and Security Review.

15th Dec 2014
To ask Her Majesty’s Government what platforms they consider could fill any anti-submarine warfare manned aircraft gap at an acceptable level of technical risk within the timeframe available after the 2015 Strategic Defence and Security Review; and what assessment they have made of how long it would take to integrate United Kingdom complex weapons into such platforms.

The information requested is not available, as typically such questions are addressed at a later stage in a procurement cycle. A decision on whether to acquire a new capability will not be made until the next Strategic Defence and Security Review.

15th Dec 2014
To ask Her Majesty’s Government whether the Air ISTAR Optimisation Study included any evidence-based analysis of any capability gap left by the scrapping of the Nimrod replacement programme.

Yes. The evidence gathered by the study will permit informed decisions to be made during the next Strategic Defence and Security Review.

10th Nov 2014
To ask Her Majesty’s Government whether they expect the National Security Council to shift the focus of the Building Stability Overseas Strategy from promoting longer-term peace and security initiatives to pursuing more immediate interventions based on national security imperatives.

The Government has a strong cross-departmental approach that draws on the most effective combination of defence, diplomacy, development assistance, security and intelligence to achieve the National Security Council's priorities and long-term goals on conflict, stability and security. The UK will continue to invest in upstream prevention in fragile countries to help develop strong, legitimate institutions capable of managing tensions so as to reduce the likelihood of instability and conflict, as well as being able to respond to more immediate developments. The new Conflict Stability and Security Fund will be a mix of Overseas Development Assistance (ODA) and non-ODA resources which will allow for a range of interventions, including the security sector reform and peace keeping support which are crucial to building stability and paving the way for sustainable peace.

10th Nov 2014
To ask Her Majesty’s Government how many countries are now being considered by the National Security Council for possible interventions under the Building Stability Overseas Strategy; how many of those countries are seen as posing a terrorism-related threat to the United Kingdom; and how many are seen as failed or failing states that might, in the future, harbour or assist internationally active extremists.

The Government has a strong cross-departmental approach that draws on the most effective combination of defence, diplomacy, development assistance, security and intelligence to achieve the National Security Council's priorities and long-term goals on conflict, stability and security. The new Conflict Stability and Security Fund will continue to focus on those fragile and conflict-affected countries or regions where there are risks to the UK's interests, including from terrorism, and where we know we can have an impact. The Fund will be a mix of Overseas Development Assistance (ODA) and non-ODA resources which will allow for a range of interventions, including the security sector reform and peace keeping support which are crucial to building stability and paving the way for sustainable peace.