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Iraq

Volume 404: debated on Tuesday 6 May 2003

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17.

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what recent discussions he has had with the Government of the United States of America on safeguarding Iraq's archaeological heritage in the course of war. [111610]

This is one of the many issues on Iraq that I have discussed with the US Government.Coalition commanders took great pains in the planning and conduct of the campaign in Iraq to protect Iraq's archaeological and cultural and religious heritage.

18.

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what steps he is taking to encourage reform of the Iraqi criminal justice system in line with international human rights standards. [111611]

20.

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what steps his Department is taking to encourage reform of the Iraqi criminal justice system in line with international human rights standards. [111618]

Security and stability in Iraq continue to be the priority, to provide the platform to deliver humanitarian relief. An ORHA team is currently in Iraq to review options for a new judicial system. The aim must be to help raise the standards of justice in Iraq to meet international standards of human rights. It will of course be for a properly constituted Iraqi authority to undertake substantive reform of the Iraqi justice system.

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what his policy is on the involvement of Mr. Ahmed Chalabi in the post-war government in Iraq. [108273]

Chalabi is a prominent opposition figure. It is therefore only appropriate that the group he represents should be able to play a role in Iraq's future. But that role is for the people of Iraq to determine.

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what timetable he proposes for the establishment of a new government in Iraq; and when he expects elections will take place for a new government. [110872]

The role of the Office of Reconstruction and Humanitarian Assistance (ORHA) is helping to facilitate the creation of a democratic process in Iraq. A series of meetings (which began in Nasiriyah and Baghdad) will draw together Iraqi consensus from a broad range of opinion. The aim is to help establish an Iraqi Interim Authority in four weeks time. It is too early to predict when elections can be held and Iraqi self-governance attained.

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what oil revenues are being held by the United Nations in a trust for the people of Iraq. [110873]

There is currently no UN trust fund holding oil revenues for the people of Iraq. However, under the Oil For Food programme all revenues from Iraqi oil exports are held in UN escrow accounts. 72 per cent. of these revenues fund humanitarian supplies to Iraq, 25 per cent. go into a fund to pay compensation to victims of Iraq's invasion of Kuwait and 3 per cent. pay for operating costs.

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what discussions have taken place about debt-restructuring in Iraq; and if he will make a statement. [110979]

I have been asked to reply.Finance Ministers at the International Monetary and Financial Committee (IMFC) meeting asked the Paris Club of official creditors to engage on Iraq's debt. This engagement has commenced with Paris Club creditors carrying out a data call to provide a comprehensive assessment of Iraq's indebtedness to them.The UK Government have made it clear that they are seeking a fair and sustainable solution to Iraq's debt problems.