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Timber

Volume 405: debated on Wednesday 21 May 2003

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To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what plans he has to press the European Commission to introduce laws to prevent the import and sale of illegally logged timber and timber products in the European Union; and if he will make a statement. [112939]

The UK supports sanctions on Liberian timber exports. We were therefore pleased that on 6 May 2003 the UN Security Council adopted resolution 1478 (2003) unanimously. The resolution renewed and extended sanctions against Liberia. The Council added a new ban on all timber sales from Liberia. This will deprive the Government of Liberia of its revenue used to fund arms purchases. The ban will come into effect on 7 July 2003.On 8 May 2003 the EU successfully negotiated a draft Common Position, which will be adopted shortly. A Council regulation will be passed to implement the timber sanctions within the Community.The Government support the Africa Forest Law Enforcement and Governance (AFLEG) process, calling on all African Governments and trading partners to take actions to control illegal activities in the logging sector and associated trade.We continue to call on all countries to respect the sanctions imposed on Liberia.

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what his policy is on the call for UN sanctions on Liberia to be extended to include timber; and if he will make a statement. [112940]

The UK supports sanctions on Liberian timber exports. We were therefore pleased that on 6 May 2003 the UN Security Council adopted resolution 1478 (2003) unanimously. The resolution renewed and extended sanctions against Liberia. The Council added a new ban on all timber sales from Liberia. This will deprive the Government of Liberia of revenue used to fund arms purchases. The ban will come into effect on 7 July 2003.We continue to call on all countries to respect the sanctions imposed on Liberia.