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Mr. Andrew Turner: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will list his meetings in the last 12 months with representatives of Zimbabwean (a) Government, (b) opposition, (c) churches, (d) humanitarian organisations, (e) sports organisations and (f) commercial interests. 
Mr. Rammell: My right hon. Friend the Foreign Secretary met the former Zimbabwean Minister of Finance, Dr. Simba Makoni, on 6 February 2002, who was transiting the UK on his return to Zimbabwe from the World Economic Summit in New York.
Mr. Andrew Turner: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what information he collates on the extent of Government inspired murder and torture in Zimbabwe; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Rammell: We monitor closely the situation in Zimbabwe and regularly receive detailed information on human rights violations there from a number of sources, including human rights organisations and other NGOs. The UK Government, along with other members of the international community, has consistently condemned the Government of Zimbabwe for its appalling record on human rights and have called on it to respect its obligations under international human rights conventions. Along with our EU partners, the UK Government will continue to focus international attention on human rights abuses in Zimbabwe.
Mr. Andrew Turner: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will list the steps taken by (a) Her Majesty's Government and (b) the Commonwealth troika to end misgovernment and reintroduce democracy and the rule of law in Zimbabwe. 
Mr. Rammell: The UK Government have taken a number of measures in response to the situation in Zimbabwe including; an outright rejection of the conduct and outcome of the Presidential election in March 2002; a complete embargo on arms sales since May 2000; a suspension of non-humanitarian aid and the withdrawal of our military training team. Working with our EU partners, we have also imposed targeted sanctions, a travel ban and assets freeze, on 79 members of the Mugabe regime.
The Commonwealth suspended Zimbabwe from its Councils in March 2002. The Commonwealth Troika is pressing for good governance and the rule of law to be restored in Zimbabwe. It last met in Abuja on 23 September 2002. It deferred a decision on further Commonwealth measures, but stated that it would stick to its task over the next six months "at which point further measures might need to be considered". It is due to meet again in March.
Mr. Andrew Turner: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs when in the last 12 months representatives of Her Majesty's Government have visited each province of Zimbabwe. 
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Mr. Rammell: Officials based at the High Commission in Harare regularly visit provinces throughout Zimbabwe in the course of their duties. London based officials have also visited provinces in Zimbabwe in the last twelve months. It would entail disproportionate cost to list the details. No Government Minister has visited Zimbabwe in the last twelve months.
Mr. Ancram: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what resolutions have been tabled on behalf of the United Kingdom at the UN concerning the application of more international pressure on Mr. Robert Mugabe and his government. 
Mr. Straw: As a UK initiative, EU member states tabled a draft resolution on Zimbabwe at the 58th session of the UN Commission on Human Rights in Geneva in March/April 2002. Regrettably, the African Group blocked discussion. Despite this, the UK's attempt to secure a resolution served to highlight the Zimbabwe Government's appalling human rights record.
We welcome the UN Secretary General's recent statement that: "At the heart of the problem is the crisis in Zimbabwea country which used to be the region's breadbasket, but is now wracked by hunger and HIV/AIDS. This tragic situation is caused partly by forces of nature, and partly by mismanagement".
Mr. Simon Thomas: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what evaluation she has made of the impact of suspension of the UN Oil for Food programme on civilians' food needs in Iraq. 
Clare Short: Suspension of the UN Oil for Food Programme could have an extremely serious impact on civilians' food needs in Iraq. My Department is considering a range of eventualities in Iraq and is in regular discussion about them with other governments and UN agencies.
Mr. Simon Thomas: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what assessment she has made of the ability of the UN Oil for Food programme to continue in the event of military action in Iraq. 
Clare Short : I am concerned about the ability if the UN Oil for Food programme to continue in the event of military action in Iraq. It is important for all parties to ensure that humanitarian provision for the people of Iraq is given priority under all eventualities.
Mr. Simon Thomas: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what representations she has made to the US Government regarding the protection of food supplies in the event of military intervention in Iraq. 
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Mrs. Spelman: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what discussions she has had with the Defence Secretary regarding co-ordination of the military and humanitarian strategy in Iraq in the event of war. 
Mr. Robert Key: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what recent reports she has received on female education in Afghanistan; what assessment her Department has made of the level of female education in Afghanistan; and if she will make a statement. 
Clare Short: During my visit to Afghanistan in late October I visited a school in Kabul, this was one of many that have reopened across Afghanistan. In the past year 3 million children have returned to school and girls now make up 30 per cent. of school children. Estimates are that 7,000 schools for 4.5 million children will re-open on 21 March for the new year. Women are also seeking education to make up for a time when they were unable to study. Accurate figures are not available, but estimates are that literacy rates for women over 15 are less than 25 per cent. It remains difficult for women and girls to gain education in some parts of Afghanistan but we are supporting the fghan Government in assisting all those who wish to, to access education.
Dr. Jenny Tonge: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what the outcome was of the December meeting of donors in Oslo to discuss aid to Afghanistan; and if she will make a statement. 
Clare Short: The Afghanistan Support Group (ASG) in December brought together the Afghan Government, the United Nations and donors to discuss progress already made in Afghanistan and the next steps in the reconstruction process. A key element of the ASG was the launch of the 2003 UN appeal for the Transitional Assistance Programme forAfghanistan. Finance Minister Ashraf Ghani also made a brief presentation on the budget for the coming year. Few donors were in a position to make specific pledges 2003 but most were able to confirm that they expected to provide a similar level of funding as they had provided for 2002; around $1 .Sbillion.
It was also agreed by all present that this would be the final ASG. A new Development Forum, designed to ensure greater Afghan leadership of the reconstruction effort will supersede it. The new forum will have 12 Consultative Groups within its structure where selected donors can work with government on specific sectors. Until such time as the first Development Forum in March, the Japanese agreed to lead a transitional humanitarian group on humanitarian issues in Afghanistan.
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Clare Short: A great deal has been achieved since January 2002, when we pledged £200 million to the reconstruction of Afghanistan at the Tokyo conference. A broad-based Transitional Administration has been elected. A new currency has been issued. 3 million children have returned to school, and polio has almost been eradicated.
The 2002 harvest saw grain production rise by 80 per cent. compared to 2001. The power station and airport in Kabul are being refurbished. The rebuilding of the roads system has begun, and work is continuing on customs reform and the drafting of a new constitution.
However, much remains to be done. One of the most pressing issues is to improve security for those living outside Kabul, and to extend the authority of the elected government beyond the capital. This is of fundamental importance to both the reconstruction effort, and in order to ensure human rights are respected. In December President Karzai issued a decree setting out plans for a multi-ethnic national army, and in the last month the first Provincial Reconstruction Team was deployed in Gardez province, under US leadership. First reports indicate that the security situation has improved as a result. The UK is actively considering leading a PRT in the future.
An important development has been the signing by Afghanistan's neighbours of Good Neighbourly Relations declaration by Afghanistan's neighbours. The declaration, essentially an agreement to maintain constructive relations and not to seek influence by exploiting ethnic rivalries, was signed by all Afghanistan's immediate neighbours in December 2002.
Work on humanitarian relief is also continuing. We contributed £11 million to the UN's Winterisation programme to help ensure that vulnerable communities had adequate shelter and food over the winter, and a further £2 million to the UN snow-clearing operation to ensure that aid reaches remote communities. Early indications are that this programme is going well, helped by a relatively mild winter. DFID will shortly be conducting a humanitarian assessment mission to formulate our strategy for the coming year.
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