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Mr. Tynan: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what discussions he has had with United States, European and Asian counterparts on North Korea in the last month. 
Mr. Rammell: During this period, my right hon. Friend the Foreign Secretary has regularly discussed North Korea with his counterparts in the United States, the European Union and with colleagues in the UN Security Council. I have also held discussions with the President of the Republic of Korea, and with counterparts from the United States, Japan, China, Russia and Australia. We have argued for a consistent message from the international community calling on North Korea to commit itself fully to international non-proliferation agreements, and to respond to the invitation to discuss in a multilateral forum the security concerns it has raised.
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Mr. Rammell: International action against torture is a priority for the Foreign and Commonwealth Office. An anti-torture initiative to tackle torture throughout the world was launched in October 1998. Phase three of the initiative was launched on 26 June 2002. As part of this initiative, which included diplomatic activity, support for regional organisations and practical projects, the Foreign and Commonwealth Office launched two rounds of worldwide lobbying for the universal ratification of the UN Convention against Torture. Since we began lobbying 25 states have ratified. We plan to launch a third round of lobbying this year focusing on implementation of obligations as well as ratification. Last year the UK Government also undertook a widespread lobbying campaign to support the Optional Protocol to the UN Convention against Torture. We believe the Protocol offers the best means available to establish an effective international mechanism to combat torture through mandatory visits by national and international independent monitoring committees to places of detention in signatory states. The Optional Protocol was adopted at the UN General Assembly in December 2002. The UK Government are now working to secure early ratification.
The Foreign and Commonwealth Office continually updates its strategies for combating torture. This year an expert panel on torture prevention was set up to consolidate the work of the past four years and to advise on future strategy.
Llew Smith: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what United Nations resolutions have been passed on (a) Iraq and (b) Israel since August 1990; and if he will make a statement on their respective implementation. 
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Mrs. Liddell: It is not Government practice to provide details of the frequency of these meetings or personnel attending. However either myself or officials of my Department have been regular attendees.
Annabelle Ewing: To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland when, since 1 January, she has had discussions with the First Minister of Scotland; and what the minuted agenda subject matter discussions were with respect to each meeting. 
Mrs. Liddell: I meet the First Minister both formally and informally regularly and last did so formally on 10 February. Our discussions cover a wide range of important and topical issues. Under exemption 2 of the Code of Practice on Access to Government Information the agenda, subject matter and discussion are confidential.
Annabelle Ewing: To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland when seminars she has established or plans to establish with key industry figures in Scotland as part of the pre-Budget report will take place; whom she will be meeting on each date; and which Scottish Executive Ministers will be in attendance on each date. 
Mrs. Liddell: On 2 December 2002 I held seminars with representatives of Scottish business and with the Scottish Trades Union Council to discuss the Chancellor's pre-Budget report. On 24 February my right hon. Friend the Chief Secretary to the Treasury and I jointly hosted a further seminar to discuss macro-economic policy and the Chancellor's pre-Budget report with representatives of Scottish business and trade unions. Scottish Executive officials were present at all these events.
These seminars are elements within a continuing programme of contact and dialogue, which I undertake with key stakeholders in the Scottish economy to ensure that the Government's economic policy takes account of Scottish interests and concerns.
Annabelle Ewing: To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what plans she has to discuss with the Chancellor of the Exchequer representations she has received for a cut in excise duty on whisky. 
Mrs. Liddell: I have regular discussions with my right hon. Friend the Chancellor of the Exchequor on a range of matters of importance to Scotland. I have drawn the attention of my right hon. Friend to the views of the whisky and spirits producers on excise duty rates on their products.
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Mr. Alexander: Central Government provide funds for local authority emergency planning in England and Wales in the form of Civil Defence Grant. This is allocated to those authorities with a statutory duty for Civil Defence (all-purpose local authorities, county councils, Fire and Civil Defence Authorities and London Fire and Emergency Planning Authority) to enable them to carry out their emergency planning functions.
East Sussex County Council has been allocated £208,288 for 200304. As a shire district with no statutory duty for Civil Defence, Eastbourne Borough Council does not receive any direct funding from central Government.
The Civil Defence Grant is just part of central Government funding for planning for and responding to emergencies. Central Government provide substantial funds to other local responders, including the emergency services and health authorities.
Local authorities often supplement the central Government contribution from their general funds, recognising the importance of civil protection in their community. I understand that East Sussex County Council has budgeted to spend an additional £45,000 from their own general funds in 200304 and Eastbourne Borough Council £11,000.
Mr. Andrew Turner: To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office when the most recent internal telephone directory for the Department was published; how often it is updated; and if he will place a copy in the Library. 
Mr. Alexander: The Cabinet Office internal telephone directory is held in an electronic form on the Department's Intranet and it is regularly updated. A printed copy has not been published since August 1999 and could now be provided only at disproportionate cost.
Chris Grayling: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many Ambulance Trusts have submitted statistics to the Government about the length of time spent waiting at accident and emergency departments; and if he will publish those. 
Helen Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) how many practice nurses are trained in asthma management (a) in Warrington and (b) in the north-west region; and how many trained nurses per head of population each figure represents; 
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Jacqui Smith: During 200203, Warrington Primary Care Trust provided £100,000 in respect of the rapid respiratory team. The PCT also invests in drugs for the care and treatment of asthma. These drugs are also used for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and as such it is not possible to separate the drug costs for asthma from COPD. In addition, there will also be costs associated with hospital admissions, out-patient attendance and the asthma clinics which are organised by all general practitioner practices in Warrington. However, a breakdown of these costs is not available.
Data for the number of practice nurses trained in asthma management for the north-west area are not held centrally. A survey was undertaken by Warrington PCT in December 2002. 22 practices, or 73 per cent. responded and confirmed that between them there were 30 asthma trained nurses. This represents 0.15 nurses per 1,000 total population for the Warrington area based on the Warrington PCT December 2002 survey.
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