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Iraq

Volume 406: debated on Tuesday 10 June 2003

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13.

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will make a statement on Iraq. [117951]

Saddam Hussein has been removed. His capacity to murder Iraqi people in their thousands has been ended. The coalition are seeking to build a process to create a democratically elected Iraqi Government. Coalition forces have not found WMD but (the Government says) this will take time.The UN and the international community has since shown its resolve to unite in the effort to help Iraqis rebuild their country. UN Security Council Resolution 1483 adopted unanimously on 22 May provides a post-conflict framework for Iraq.

15.

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will make a statement about the role of the United Nations in the reconstruction of Iraq. [117953]

UNSCR 1483 unanimously adopted on 22 May welcomes the appointment the UN Special representative on Iraq and resolves that the United Nations should play a vital role in humanitarian relief, the reconstruction of Iraq, and the restoration and establishment of national and local institutions for representative governance.

17.

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will make a statement on bilateral relations between the United Kingdom and the United States with respect to the administration in Iraq. [117955]

The UK and US governments are working closely on the administration and reconstruction of Iraq, drawing on the shared vision for the future of Iraq put forward by our two governments at the Azores Summit. My right hon. Friend the Prime Minister has discussed the administration of Iraq with President Bush on frequent occasions, most recently at the G8 Summit at Evian, and my right hon. Friends the Foreign and Defence Secretaries are in frequent contact with Secretaries Powell and Rumsfeld.On the ground, John Sawers, the UK Special Envoy for Iraq, is working alongside Ambassador Paul Bremer, President Bush's appointee as head of the Coalition Provisional Authority in Baghdad.

19.

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what progress is being made to ensure the involvement of women in political reconstruction in Iraq. [117957]

The PM's Special Representative to Iraq, John Sawers, and his team in Baghdad, are working closely with Ambassador Bremer and officials in the Coalition Provisional Authority to endeavour to ensure that women are fully involved in the key meetings dealing with the reconstruction of the political process in Iraq.Ambassador Bremer and John Sawers recently met with (40) Iraqi women to listen to their views and concerns as well as discuss ways to ensure their full and equal participation in the political reconstruction process.A gender expert has been seconded from the Women and Equality Unit to the Coalition Provisional Authority. In collaboration with other secondees in the CPA, she is reaching out to women, facilitating their participation in key meetings and discussing with them how they can play a full role in shaping the new Iraq.

21.

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs whether access to all information in his possession on Iraq's weapons of mass destruction was given to (a) the Chief Weapons Inspector and (b) the Director General of the IAEA. [117959]

The Government shared all relevant information about Iraq's weapons of mass destruction with the weapons inspection teams from both UNMOVIC and the IAEA.

24.

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will make a statement on the Government's policy on the future of Iraq. [117962]

I refer the hon. Member to the answer that I gave earlier in the House today to the hon. Member for Gainsborough (Mr. Leigh).

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what discussions he has had with the Iraq Nuclear Verification Office since 1 December 2002 on access of inspectors to Iraqi nuclear sites. [116919]

The matter of a return to Iraq by INVO was discussed during a visit to the UK by Dr. El-Baradei on 12 May. Dr. El Baradei reported on INVO access to Iraq's nuclear facilities in his reports to the UN Security Council on 14 February and 7 March 2003.

IAEA inspectors are currently on their way to Iraq to resume monitoring under the IAEA/Iraq Safeguards Agreement.

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if UK officials will liaise with the Special Representative of the UN Secretary General in order to prepare guidelines outlining the role of the UN in Iraq. [117033]

The role of the UN Secretary General's Special Representative for Iraq is outlined in UN Security Council Resolution 1483, a copy of which is in the Library of the House. The UK is, and will remain, in close touch with the Secretary General's Special Representative for Iraq. He enjoys our full support.

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what official communication channels there are between British officials in Iraq and UN agencies involved in humanitarian efforts. [117034]

UN Officials in Iraq are cooperating with many UN and other humanitarian agencies working in Iraq, including the UN Office of Humanitarian Affairs, the International Committee of the Red Cross, Iraqi administrators and NGOs. We are communicating with them both in Iraq and through our missions to the UN in New York and Geneva. In addition DFID has provided seven secondments to UN agencies.

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs whether a representative from his Department will be attending the weekly meetings between the UN Humanitarian Coordinator in Iraq and NGOs in the region. [117063]

A DFID adviser on the staff of the Coalition Provisional Authority (CPA) attends weekly meetings between the UN Humanitarian Co-ordinator in Iraq and NGOs in the region.

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs when the Iraq Planning unit was set up; how many personnel were assigned to it and from which Departments; how long the Iraq Planning Unit is expecting to continue its operations; what the annual budget is of the Iraq Planning Unit; what recommendations the Iraq Planning Unit made for Iraqi reconstruction; and if he will make a statement. [118054]

The Iraq Planning Unit (now the Iraq Policy Unit) (IPU) was set up on 10 February this year. It began with six personnel. It now has some 30 staff. The majority of staff have come from the FCO, but other Government Departments, the MOD, DfID, and HMT, also have officials working in it. There is no present plan to close down the IPU. It does not have a separate budget, but is funded from within the Middle East and North Africa Directorate budget. In its four months' existence, the IPU has written papers on all aspects of reconstruction in Iraq.