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Volume 405: debated on Thursday 15 May 2003

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To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what the outcome was of the Meeting of G8 Ministers of Justice and Home Affairs in Paris on 5 May; and what the Government's stance was on the issues discussed. [113421]

My right hon. Friend the Home Secretary and my noble Friend Lord Goldsmith attended the meeting, which focused on global terrorism, illegal immigration and organised crime.G8 Ministers agreed to set up a high-level working group to examine the technical options for Biometrics, such as facial or iris recognition and fingerprints, and to produce recommendations for international standards before the end of the year. Ministers also strongly supported the G8 strategy on 'Protecting Children from Sexual Exploitation on the Internet', agreed in October 2002 including the development of a new International Child Pornography Image Database.G8 Ministers also discussed the following issues:

ways of evaluating and preventing the threat of terrorism
proposals for taking forward work on special investigative techniques
future work of the Roma and Lyon expert groups on terrorism and organised crime
endorsement of G8 Principles on the protection of Critical Information Infrastructures, the tracing, freezing and confiscation of assets and the sharing of DNA data.

The conclusions of the meeting are set out in full in a Presidency Communiqué, a copy of which I shall place in the Library.

The Government are committed to combating global terrorism, illegal immigration and organised crime and fully support the G8 initiatives.