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Volume 450: debated on Thursday 12 October 2006

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what departmental procedures are in place to encourage staff to apply for secondments to the (a) United Nations and (b) World Bank; and how many (i) applicants and (ii) successful applicants have been women in the last three years. (91350)

There are no formal departmental procedures for Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) staff to apply for secondments to the UN. Individuals are encouraged to identify opportunities for secondments outside the FCO. We also actively look for opportunities across the UN system, working with our UN posts, and advertise any secondment opportunities to staff in line with normal internal FCO recruitment procedures. We do not maintain statistics on applicants but adhering to the FCO's equal opportunities policy, secondment opportunities are open to all staff.

We are not aware of any FCO staff currently on secondment to the World Bank. The Department for International Development are the lead Whitehall Department on the World Bank and have seconded a number of officials to the organisation.