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Written Question
Ukraine: Peace Negotiations
Friday 20th May 2022

Asked by: John McNally (Scottish National Party - Falkirk)

Question to the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office:

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what assessment she has made of available peaceful methods of de-escalation of conflict in Ukraine.

Answered by James Cleverly - Minister of State (Minister for Europe)

The UK welcomes Ukraine's ongoing commitment to a diplomatic path to de-escalate, and we will continue to support them in achieving an outcome that delivers for Ukraine and its people. President Putin seems determined to pursue his path of violence and aggression, as evidenced by his increased military action in the Donbas and continued barbaric assault of Mariupol. We are therefore continuing to increase our economic pressure on him through sanctions, as well as providing the military assistance Ukraine needs to defend itself.


Written Question
Mali: Armed Conflict
Friday 20th May 2022

Asked by: Lyn Brown (Labour - West Ham)

Question to the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office:

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what steps she is taking to support investigations into the involvement of (a) Russian mercenary groups, and (b) Russian military personnel in reported attacks on civilians in (i) Moura, (ii) Nioni, and (iii) Hombori in Mali during March and April 2022.

Answered by James Cleverly - Minister of State (Minister for Europe)

The presence of the Wagner Group in Mali risks destabilising the wider region and undermining security for local populations. Following a CT operation carried out by the Malian Armed Forces in Moura, with the alleged involvement of Wagner Group, the Minister for Africa, Latin America and the Caribbean, Vicky Ford, called for an urgent, transparent and impartial investigation to bring those responsible for these attacks to justice. She drew attention to the surge in alleged human rights abuses since the deployment of Wagner Group to Mali and urged the Malian authorities to end all ties with the mercenary group, to facilitate unfettered access for the UN's peacekeeping mission in Mali (MINUSMA) to conduct an independent investigation.


Written Question
Middle East: Wheat
Friday 20th May 2022

Asked by: Sarah Champion (Labour - Rotherham)

Question to the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office:

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what assessment her Department has made of the impact of rising wheat prices on UNRWA’s operations in (a) the occupied Palestinian territory and (b) Lebanon.

Answered by Amanda Milling - Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)

The UK continues to monitor closely the ongoing humanitarian situation in the Occupied Palestinian Territories and Lebanon. The UK is a long-term supporter of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA), which provides protection and core services to Palestinian refugees in Gaza and across the wider region. The UK is working with UNRWA and other donors to improve UNRWA's financial viability. This includes broadening UNRWA's donor base, encouraging the full disbursement of pledges and encouraging support through multi-year funding.


Written Question
Foreign Companies
Friday 20th May 2022

Asked by: Liam Byrne (Labour - Birmingham, Hodge Hill)

Question to the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy:

To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what powers he has to (a) direct the delisting of firms from UK stock exchanges, (b) ban investment in firms, (c) prohibit trading in shares of a firm, (d) ban or restrict exports of a firm, (e) ban categories of imports, (f) revoke trading licences on national security grounds and (g) prohibit transport, processing or sale of categories of data outside the UK.

Answered by Paul Scully - Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)

Business activities including listing and trading in shares, investment and acquisitions, imports and exports, and data processing are subject to a range of legal and regulatory requirements. Some of these are the responsibility of the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy and others are the responsibility of other ministers. Where these requirements are not met, the Government stands ready to use appropriate compliance measures and enforcement powers.


Written Question
Developing Countries: Food
Friday 20th May 2022

Asked by: Rachael Maskell (Labour (Co-op) - York Central)

Question to the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office:

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what steps she is taking to help ensure that developing countries are food secure in the context of the situation in Ukraine.

Answered by James Cleverly - Minister of State (Minister for Europe)

Russia's invasion of Ukraine is exacerbating global food insecurity risks, which were already heightened by climate change, conflict and Covid-19. With 1.7 billion people in over 100 countries now facing food, energy and commodity price rises, the global impact of Russia's war and the pursuit of practical solutions will be a key priority.

The UK is stepping up to respond. We have announced emergency humanitarian assistance to address critical rising food insecurity in the Horn of Africa and in Yemen and have pledged £286 million to meet needs in Afghanistan. With G7 allies, we are discussing Germany's proposal for a G7 Global Alliance on Food Security, to scale up a rapid, needs-based coordinated response, building on current food security architecture. In April, the UK and our partners secured the largest ever financial commitment from the World Bank of $170 billion to support countries faced with economic challenges, including the impact of the Russian invasion.


Written Question
Kosovo: Money Laundering
Friday 20th May 2022

Asked by: Alicia Kearns (Conservative - Rutland and Melton)

Question to the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office:

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what steps the Government is taking to help the Kosovan Government tackle money laundering practices.

Answered by James Cleverly - Minister of State (Minister for Europe)

The UK and Kosovan Governments work together closely to tackle economic crime. We have a UK Fiscal Crime Liaison Officer based in Kosovo, who works operationally with Kosovan counterparts to understand illicit financial flows and investigate cases with links to the UK, work which has already resulted in disruption to money laundering routes. Our Fiscal Crime Liaison Officer also supports and trains Kosovo institutions such as the Tax Administration, Financial Intelligence Unit, Customs and the Police. Additionally, we will soon be launching a new UK-funded project to prevent illicit financial flows through strengthening the supervisory role of the Central Bank and the Financial Intelligence Unit of Kosovo towards financial institutions.


Written Question
International Organisations
Friday 20th May 2022

Asked by: Emily Thornberry (Labour - Islington South and Finsbury)

Question to the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office:

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, which international organisations are in receipt of privileges in the UK within the terms of the International Organisations Act 1968 as of 12 May 2022.

Answered by Vicky Ford - Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)

The following International Organisations are in receipt of privileges and immunities in the UK as of 12 May 2022 within the terms of the International Organisations Act and other relevant legislation:

African Development Bank

European Investment Bank

International Development Association

North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO)

African Development Fund

European Medicines Evaluation Agency

International Education Scientific Cultural Organisation (UNESCO)

North Atlantic Treaty Organisation Naval Communications Agency

Asian Development Bank

European NGSS Agency

International Finance Corporation

Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development

Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank

European Organisation for the Exploitation of Meteorological Satellites (EUMETSAT)

International Fund for Agricultural Development

Organisation Joint Armament Cooperation (OCCAR)

Bank for International Settlements (BIS)

European Organisation for the Safety of Air Navigation (Eurocontrol)

International Grains Organisation (formerly International Wheat Council)

Organisation Prohibition of Chemical Weapons

Caribbean Development Bank

European Parliament

International Labour Organisation

Oslo and Paris Commissions (OSPAR)

Common Fund for Commodities

European Patent Organisation

International Lead and Zinc Study Group

Preparatory Commission for Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty Organisation

Commonwealth Agricultural Bureaux International (CABI)

European Space Agency

International Maritime Organisation

Square Kilometre Array Organisation (SKAO)

Commonwealth Foundation

European Southern Observatory

International Mobile Satellite Organisation (IMSO)

United Nations

Commonwealth Secretariat

European Telecommunications Satellite Organisation

International Monetary Fund (IMF)

United Nations Development Programme

Commonwealth Telecommunications Organisation

European Union

International Oil Pollution Compensation Fund

United Nations Environment Programme

Council of Europe

Food and Agricultural Organisation (of the UN)

International Oil Pollution Compensation Fund 1992

United Nations Information Centre

Customs Cooperation Council

Hong Kong Export Trade Office

International Organisation for Migration

United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees

European Bank for Reconstruction and Development

Independent International Commission on Decommissioning

International Rubber Study Group

United Nations World Food Programme

European Atomic Energy Community

Inter-American Development Bank

International Seabed Authority

Unified Patents Court

European Banking Authority

International Atomic Energy Agency

International Sugar Organisation

Universal Postal Union

European Bioinformatics Institute (also known as European Molecular Biology Laboratory)

International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (World Bank)

International Telecommunications Satellite Organisation (ITSO)

World Health Organisation

European Centre for Medium Range Weather Forecasting

International Civil Aviation Organisation

International Telecommunications Union

World Intellectual Property Organisation

European Coal and Steel Community

International Cocoa Organisation

International Tribunal Law of the Sea

World Meteorological Organisation

European Commission of Human Rights

International Coffee Organisation

International Whaling Commission (IWC)

World Trade Organisation

European Committee for Prevention of Torture

International Court of Justice (UN)

North-East Atlantic Fisheries Commission (NEAFC)

European Community

International Criminal Court

North Atlantic Salmon Conservation Organisation (NASCO)


Written Question
Sri Lanka: British Nationals Abroad
Friday 20th May 2022

Asked by: Alberto Costa (Conservative - South Leicestershire)

Question to the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office:

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what steps her Department is taking to ensure the safety of British nationals in Sri Lanka in light of the recent civil unrest in that country.

Answered by Vicky Ford - Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)

The UK Government takes the safety and security of British nationals overseas seriously, and regularly communicates through travel advice and messaging from the British High Commission in Colombo. Our advice helps British nationals to make informed decisions. Travel advice is advisory only and people must take personal responsibility for any trips they make abroad. Our travel advice remains under constant review to ensure it reflects our latest assessment of risks. Consular staff continue to provide a full range of consular services to British nationals in Sri Lanka. We continue to monitor the situation in Sri Lanka.

We are closely following the situation since attacks against peaceful protesters on 9 May and outbreaks of violence that followed. The Minister for South Asia, Lord (Tariq) Ahmad of Wimbledon, has made clear that violence against peaceful protestors is unacceptable and that those responsible for attacks should be held accountable. Fundamental rights including the right to peaceful protest must be protected. We encourage all sides to find a democratic and inclusive approach to resolving the current political and economic challenges.


Written Question
Abdul Kolim
Friday 20th May 2022

Asked by: Mark Tami (Labour - Alyn and Deeside)

Question to the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office:

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, with reference to the Answer of 7 December 2021 to Question 83249 on Morocco: Detainees, how many times (a) consular officials have met (i) Mr Kolim and (ii) his family and (b) her Department has raised Mr Kolim's case with the Moroccan authorities since 7 December 2021.

Answered by Vicky Ford - Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)

We are in regular contact with Mr Kolim and his family and are providing consular support. We continue to raise his case with the Moroccan authorities.


Written Question
India: Religious Freedom
Friday 20th May 2022

Asked by: Sarah Owen (Labour - Luton North)

Question to the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office:

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what recent assessment his Department has made of the issues of (a) violence and (b) persecution of Muslims in India.

Answered by Vicky Ford - Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)

The UK is committed to defending freedom of religion or belief for all and promoting respect and tolerance between different religious and non-religious communities. We condemn any instances of discrimination because of religion or belief, regardless of the country or faith involved. We engage with India on a range of human rights matters and where we have concerns, we raise them directly with the Government of India, including at Ministerial level. Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon, Minister for South Asia, also regularly speaks to the High Commissioner of India, and human rights including freedom of religion or belief forms part of that dialogue.

The British High Commission in New Delhi and our network of Deputy High Commissions will continue to follow reports of violence and discrimination closely, while recognising that these are matters for India. It is for the Indian Government to address the concerns of all Indian citizens, regardless of faith. Our network of High Commissions across India also regularly meet religious representatives and have run projects supporting minority rights.