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Volume 405: debated on Tuesday 20 May 2003

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To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will make a statement on the forthcoming United Nations Conference in Anguilla in May, with particular reference to issues affecting Gibraltar; and which officials will be representing the UK at the Conference. [113465]

The UN seminar being held in Anguilla on 20–22 May 2003 is an annual event, organised by the United Nations Committee on De-colonisation (known as the C24).This will be the first time that the seminar has been held on a UK Overseas Territory. The seminar will focus this year on ways in which to advance the de-colonisation process in the Caribbean and Bermuda, and in particular on those Territories where the political and economic situation may offer the greatest scope for progress towards self-determination. The discussion will however be of interest to non-Caribbean Overseas Territories, and I understand that the Chief Minister of Gibraltar plans to attend.The FCO will be represented by officials from London and the UK Mission to the United Nations in New York, led by the Deputy Head of Overseas Territories Department.