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1993 - PMQT Written Answers 15th July 1993

Below is the text of the written answers relating to Prime Minister's Question Time from 15th July 1993.


PRIME MINISTER:

Referendums

Mr. Peter Bottomley : To ask the Prime Minister if he will list the dates since 1979 on which Government policy on the desirability of a referendum has been expressed by the Prime Minister in an official capacity; and whether the Prime Minister was in favour in the cases listed in his parliamentary answer, Official Report, 28 November 1991, column 608.

The Prime Minister : I refer the hon. Member to the answer that I gave on 28 November 1991 at columns 613-14. I supported the views expressed on behalf of the Government by my predecessor. Since then there have been four occasions, all of which referred to European integration, on which I have made the Government's views clear : 3 June 1992, Official Report, column 830; 18 June 1992, Official Report, column 1037; 16 March 1993, Official Report, column 167; and 30 March 1993, Official Report, column 156.


Tokyo Communique

Mr. Llew Smith : To ask the Prime Minister what specific steps he intends to take to (a) encourage the multilateral development banks to focus more intensively on sustainable development and (b) incorporate environmental appraisals into project preparation and to make them publicly available, as stated at paragraph 8 of the G7 communique from Tokyo on 9 July.

The Prime Minister : Following the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development in June 1992 the Government have supported a wide range of improvements in this area. For the International Development Association of the World bank, details are set out in the report on the 10th replenishment which the House approved on 12 July. Negotiations on the sixth replenishment of the African Development Fund and the capital resources of the Inter-American and Asian development banks are currently in progress. We are also actively working for agreement by the World bank board to proposals to make more information on its projects publicly available, including environmental assessments : a decision is expected soon.


Ministerial Responsibilities

Mr. Simon Hughes : To ask the Prime Minister what consideration he has given to the appointment of a senior Minister as (a) a Minister with special responsibility for young people and (b) a Minister with special responsibility for older people; and if he will make a statement.

The Prime Minister : I refer the hon. Member to my reply to his similar question on 14 November 1991 at column 639 about designating a Minister with responsibility for young people. Similarly, issues facing older people are not specific to that age group. Appointing a Minister with special responsibility to look after such groups would diffuse responsibilities for particular aspects of policy which presently fall clearly on each departmental Minister.


Yugoslavia

Mr. Wareing : To ask the Prime Minister what progress has been made towards holding a further meeting of the London conference on former Yugoslavia; and if he will make a statement.

The Prime Minister : The steering committee of the international conference on the former Yugoslavia met at senior official level in Geneva on 1 July. There are currently no plans to hold a further meeting, at either official or ministerial level, but the co-chairmen are keeping this under review.

Mr. Wareing : To ask the Prime Minister what progress has been made in placing monitors on the border between the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia and Bosnia-Herzegovina; and if he will make a statement.

The Prime Minister : Following the adoption of United Nations Security Council resolution 838, the Secretary-General submitted to the Security Council a report on the options for deployment of international border monitors on the border between Bosnia-Herzegovina and Serbia/Montenegro. Following full discussion of the report in the Security Council, the President of the Council replied, asking the Secretary-General to investigate whether the states involved were willing to co-operate in the deployment of monitors and, if so, which member states of the United Nations would be prepared to contribute monitors. We await the outcome of these soundings.