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Iraq

Volume 406: debated on Monday 9 June 2003

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To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what evidence his Department has collated on whether Iraq possessed weapons of mass destruction on 18 March. [115513]

The Government published its assessment of Iraq's weapons of mass destruction programmes in September 2002, based on evidence drawn from a range of sources, including the reports of the UN weapons inspectors.There remained, on 18 March, no evidence to show that Iraq's weapons had been destroyed. Under UN Security Council Resolution 1441, the onus was firmly on Iraq to demonstrate its full compliance with the disarmament obligations contained in a succession of previous resolutions. They had also failed to address any of the unresolved disarmament issues arising from the final report of the UNSCOM Executive Chairman, Richard Butler, produced in February 1999.

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs [pursuant to his answer of 6 May, Official Report, columns 562–63W], on Iraq, what discussions took place on options for a new judicial system (a) among the members of the Coalition and (b) among members of the UN Security Council prior to the commencement of military action. [116289]

We maintain regular contact with the US Ministry of Justice but we have no record of any specific discussions on options for a new Iraqi judicial system that took place prior to the commencement of military action.In accordance with UNSCR 1483, the Coalition Provisional Authority will work with the Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General to assist the Iraqi people with legal and judicial reform. The UK has already deployed personnel to assist in this work. Assessments are underway as to how to take forward the justice sector but the immediate priority remains to reinvigorate a basic law and order capacity.

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what role is to be played by the UN in offering technical advice to the US and British Governments on good governance in Iraq. [117036]

Security Council resolution 1483 calls for the United Nations Special Representative for Iraq to work closely with the Coalition Provisional Authority on a variety of issues including the rebuilding of Iraq and restoration and establishment of national and local institutions for representative governance in Iraq. We recognise that the UN has valuable experience which it can bring to bear on the situation and we will be staying in close touch with the Special Representative.

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs (1) if he will list reconstruction contracts approval by the Iraq Assistance Fund; the value of each and the contractor with whom the contract has been agreed; [118202](2) what the total income of the Iraqi Assistance Fund is; from which source funds are drawn; and how much has come from each source; [118203](3) what the membership is of the controlling body of the Iraqi Assistance Fund; how many times it has met; and what reports it has published; [118205](4) by what process contractors are sought by the Iraq Assistance Fund; and what criteria are used to invite bids. [118226]

I have been asked to reply.It will take a little while to assemble and confirm the information requested. I will write to my hon. Friend as soon as I can and will place a copy of my letter in the Library of the House.

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs when a state of war existed between the UK and Iraq; and what the current relationship between the two countries is. [118206]

A state of war was never declared between the UK and Iraq. The UK is an occupying power in Iraq and is carrying out its responsibilities under the Hague Regulations, Geneva Convention IV and UNSCR 1483.