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Volume 475: debated on Monday 28 April 2008

18. To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what additional commitments were made by NATO members to the mission in Afghanistan at the recent NATO summit; and if he will make a statement. (201544)

At NATO's Bucharest Summit, President Sarkozy confirmed the deployment of an additional battalion of French troops to the east of Afghanistan. This enabled President Bush to announce the movement of a substantial US force from the east to Kandahar in the south. A number of other allies, including Poland, Romania and Slovakia also announced increased contributions. Canada confirmed that it would remain in Kandahar until 2011.

22. To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what assessment he has made of the effects of the application of UN Security Council resolution 1325 in Afghanistan. (201548)

The Government have made no formal assessment of the implementation of UN Security Council Resolution 1325 in Afghanistan. Nonetheless, the UK is keen to fulfil its commitment under this resolution to protect the rights of women and girls in areas suffering conflict, and to incorporate their perspectives in conflict resolution and peacekeeping planning.

To this end we fund various programmes, including a five-year Women's Empowerment programme that began in 2005, implemented by the NGO Womankind. This initiative focuses on promoting women's equal participation in governance and building awareness of women's rights among civil society and policy makers.