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Mr. Drew: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what support the Government are providing for those judicial commissions which are investigating human rights outrages in Democratic Republic of Congo and Northern Uganda. 
Mr. Rammell: The International Criminal Court (ICC) Prosecutor announced the first formal ICC investigation on 23 June. No such decision has yet been taken with respect to northern Uganda. The ICC's examination of both situations is, therefore, at an early stage.
The UK is a firm supporter of the ICC. We stand ready to consider the provision of diplomatic, practical and moral support to the ICC, on request, to enable the Court to function effectively. We have already expressed our willingness to provide such support and officials are considering various practical options.
Mr. Rammell: The Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) has no empty houses in the United Kingdom. Because routine management of the overseas estate is devolved to our overseas Posts, it is not possible to identify empty houses overseas without incurring disproportionate costs.
It is the FCO's policy to limit empty properties overseas to one of four categories: (a) those that must be vacated while undergoing refurbishment or adaptation; (b) those that are surplus and in the process of disposal; (c) those we cannot occupy because of a break in diplomatic relations or a similar eventuality, but which we expect to need in the future; and (d) those that are unoccupied during short gaps between officers' overseas tours.
Sir John Stanley: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what the (a) wording and (b) article numbers of that wording are of each extension of qualified majority voting in the field of the Common Foreign and Security Policy contained in the text of the EU constitution. 
Mr. MacShane: The Treaty establishing a Constitution for Europe confirms that unanimity shall remain the general rule for decisions in Common Foreign and Security Policy. Article III-201.2 sets out the exceptions to this rule; this includes the existing areas of qualified majority voting and provides for the Council to act by qualified majority voting:
"when adopting a European decision defining a Union action or position, on a proposal which the Union Minister for Foreign Affairs has presented following a specific request to him or her from the European Council, made on its own initiative or that of the Minister;" (Article III-201.2(b))
Article I-27.1 provides for the Union Minister for Foreign Affairs to be appointed by qualified majority. This replicates current arrangements where the High Representative is appointed by qualified majority. The wording for Article I-27.1 is:
"The European Council, acting by qualified majority, with the agreement of the President of the Commission, shall appoint the Union Minister for Foreign Affairs. The European Council may end his or her term of office by the same procedure."
Mr. Breed: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs how many full-time equivalent staff there were in (a) his Department and (b) agencies of the Department in each year from 1997. 
Mr. Cousins: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs who the British members of the International Advisory and Monitoring Board (IAMB) are; how long he expects the IAMB to stay in existence; and when he expects to present to Parliament a report from the IAMB on its work. 
The UK has no members on the International Advisory and Monitoring Board (IAMB). The IAMB is an independent body established by the United Nations Security Council in UNSCR 1483 of 22 May 2003. Under UNSCR 1483, it was agreed that the membership of the IAMB would consist of representatives of the UN Secretary General, the Managing Director of the IMF, the Director-General of the Arab Fund for Economic and Social Development, and the President of the World Bank. Under United Nations Security Council Resolution 1546 of 8 June 2004, the Security Council subsequently agreed that the IAMB should also include a voting member designated by the Government of Iraq.
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UNSCR 1546 also decided that the role of the IAMB in monitoring the Development Fund for Iraq (DPI) shall be reviewed at the request of the Iraqi Interim Government or by 8 June 2005. The role of the IAMB will expire once a constitutionally elected government takes power by 31 December 2005.
The IAMB is expected to issue its first report following the Board's next meeting on 14 and 15 July. The report and its finding will be put into the public domain, including the IAMB website (www.iamb.info).
Mr. Cousins: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will estimate the rate of inflation in Iraq during the period of Coalition Provisional Authority (CPA) rule; and what changes there were in charges for (a) petrol, (b) water and (c) electricity during the period of CPA rule. 
Mr. Rammell: Due to hand-recording of information, data for the Consumer Price Index (CPI) as defined in Iraq are available only some months in arrears. However, based on an index of 100 in January 2003 the following monthly values for the CPI were recorded for the period end June 2003 to February 2004:
|End June 2003||131.4|
It is likely that this pattern reflects the early appreciation of the Iraqi Dinar over this period and the subsequent stability of the Dinar: Dollar exchange rate, which has resulted in a fall in the cost of imported goods.
Mr. Cousins: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs who the British members of the Progress Review Board were during the period of the Iraqi Coalition Provisional Authority; and from which enterprises or agency they were drawn. 
Mr. Rammell: The UK had one voting member on the Programme Review Board during the tenure of the Coalition Provisional Authority (CPA). Senior officials from the Foreign and Commonwealth Office and the Department for International Development filled this role.
We are not aware of any plans by the Interim Iraqi Government to implement Resolution 137 on the application of the rules of Shari'a (Islamic) law in the personal status code. Resolution 137 was repealed by the Iraqi Governing Council. However, this is a matter for the new Iraqi Government.
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"All Iraqis are equal in their rights without regard to gender, sect, opinion, belief, nationality, religion, or origin, and they are equal before the law. Discrimination against an Iraqi citizen on the basis of his gender, nationality, religion, or origin is prohibited. Everyone has the right to life, liberty, and the security of his person. No one may be deprived of his life or liberty, except in accordance with legal procedures. All are equal before the courts."
It is clear from our continued dialogue with the Interim Iraqi Government, in place since 1 June, that there is a clear Iraqi commitment to ensuring the rights of all Iraqis, in line with Article 12 of the TAL and UNSCR 1546.
Mr. Rammell: Over the period 28 May 2003 to 24 June 2004, total proceeds from Iraq's oil exports were US$11.1 billion. During the Coalition's tenure all revenue from the sale of Iraq's oil was paid into the Development Fund for Iraq (DFI), which was established on 22 May 2003. Information on the revenues, disbursements and account balances of the DFI during the Coalition Provisional Authority's tenure can be found at: http://www.cpa-iraq.org/budget/DFI intro1.html
Lynne Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs (1) on what date the signals intelligence referred to in paragraph 89 of Cm 5972 shows that an Iraqi official visited Niger; and if he will name the Iraqi official referred to; 
(2) whether the signals intelligence referred to in paragraph 89 of Cm 5972 concerning a visit by an Iraqi official to Niger was passed on to the International Atomic Energy Agency. 
Mr. MacShane [holding answer 7 July 2004]: As my right hon. Friend the Foreign Secretary stated in his reply to my hon. Friend on 6 May 2004, Official Report, column 1733W, it would not be appropriate to comment publicly on the detail of this intelligence reporting. The security and intelligence services are not within the scope of the Code of Practice on Access to Government Information (Part 1, Paragraph 6).
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