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Basra Development Commission: Standards

Volume 468: debated on Thursday 29 November 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what progress the Basra Development Commission has made against its objectives since its launch; and if he will make a statement. (168339)

Prime Minister Gordon Brown and Iraqi Deputy Prime Minister Barham Saleh met in Baghdad in October 2007 and agreed that the UK would help establish a development commission in Basra to promote private sector growth. The Basra Development Commission will provide the strategic advice and vision to help kick-start Basra's economy.

Since October, the UK-led Provincial Reconstruction Team (PRT) in Basra has been working with the provincial council to develop the Commission's role and identify potential commissioners from Iraq, the region and internationally, including from the UK. It is expected that, following inauguration later this month, appointed officials and commissioners will develop detailed objectives and that the Commission will be fully functioning by March 2008.