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Volume 408: debated on Friday 11 July 2003

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To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what assessment he has made of the effectiveness of British support projects for the reform process in Indonesia; and what action he plans to take to improve their effectiveness. [124167]

Britain is active in a number of areas in assisting Indonesia making a success of its democratic reform, including police, legal and judicial reform, anti-corruption moves, security sector reform, democracy building and the support for an independent and free media. We review our co-operation in these areas regularly, including by external experts. We have a long-term commitment to Indonesia. As one of the main donors supporting the reform process in Indonesia, we continue to strive for greater coherency and cooperation among other donor partners in Indonesia.

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what plans he has to discuss with the Government of Indonesia support projects from the (a) judiciary and (b) the armed services aimed at aiding the process of reform under way in Indonesia. [124169]

The UK has regular discussions with the Indonesian Government about assistance in aiding its process of reform, mostly through our embassy in Jakarta. We aim to continue devoting our resources to assisting in the creation of a stable, democratic, peaceful Indonesia. Assistance with reform of the judiciary and armed services are important parts of our overall strategy. We have active co-operation through a programme of Bar Council and Law Society visits. We provided human rights training for five Supreme Court Judges this March, with further training planned. The Governance Partnership, which is undertaking research to help develop a constituency for governance reform, and which is supporting the rule of law, police reform and anti-corruption initiatives, is working on judicial oversight in the justice system. We have a UK Security Sector reform strategy, aimed at strengthening democratic control over the armed forces and helping the Indonesians rethink their security needs. During the visits of my noble Friend Baroness Kennedy of the British Council in June 2002, and my noble Friend Baroness Scotland, the then Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State at the FCO, in September 2002, seminars were held with the Indonesian Chief Justice and members of the Indonesian Supreme Court. Through support to the International Committee of the Red Cross we are providing the security services with training in human rights and international humanitarian law. These programmes are ongoing.