On 6th May 2014, the Rt Revd John Inge, Bishop of Worcester, recieved answers to two written questions on the Central African Republic.
The Lord Bishop of Worcester: To ask Her Majesty’s Government what assessment they have made of the extent to which sexual violence has been used by all parties to the conflict in the Central African Republic.
Lord Wallace of Saltaire: Reports suggest that sexual violence in conflict is widespread in the Central African Republic (CAR). UN Security Council Resolution 2149 on CAR authorises a UN Peacekeeping Operation which will, as part of its mandate, be required to help to prevent sexual violence, and contribute to efforts to identify and prosecute perpetrators. The UK is also looking to provide funding to the African Union (AU)’s response to the urgent needs of CAR’s victims of sexual violence, and to track and report on specific occurrences of sexual violence. We encourage CAR to endorse the Declaration of Commitment to End Sexual Violence in Conflict and to attend the Global Summit to End Sexual Violence in Conflict, in London in June 2014.
Continue reading “Bishop of Worcester raises concerns about use of sexual violence in Central African Republic (Written Questions)”
On 6th May 2014, the Rt Revd Christopher Cocksworth, Bishop of Coventry, recieved an answer to a written question on the current situation in Egypt.
The Lord Bishop of Coventry: To ask Her Majesty’s Government what is their assessment of the independence of the judiciary in Egypt.
The Senior Minister of State, Department for Communities and Local Government & Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Baroness Warsi): The new Egyptian constitution, adopted in January 2014, states that the judicial system is independent, and allows the judiciary its own budget, and to appoint the Prosecutor General and members of the Supreme Constitutional Court. We do, however, have some concerns over recent judicial decisions, including the sentencing to death of 529 people in Minya on 24 March. Reports that many of the defendants were tried in their absence and may not have been represented properly are deeply troubling. We have been urging the Egyptian authorities to ensure that the rights of defendants are fully respected in all cases.
“The ability to pray and worship as one wishes is a fundamental human right, and one that we, as elected democrats, should always seek to defend.” – Rt Hon Sir Tony Baldry MP, 1/5/14
On 1st May 2014 a debate was held in the House of Commons on ‘Freedom of Thought, Conscience and Religion’. The debate was led by the Alliance MP for Belfast East, Naomi Long. Rt Hon Sir Tony Baldry MP, who is the Second Church Estates Commissioner, took part in the debate and his speech is below. The full debate can be read on the UK Hansard website here. Continue reading “MPs debate freedom of thought, conscience and religion”
On 9th April 2014 the Bishop of Coventry received a written answer to a question on Egypt.
The Lord Bishop of Coventry: To ask Her Majesty’s Government what consideration they have given to making development aid to Egypt contingent on political and judicial reform.[HL6392]
Baroness Northover (LD): DfID does not have a country office or bilateral programme in Egypt but provides support through the Arab Partnership Fund and the British Embassy in Cairo. The Arab Partnership seeks to support political and economic reform in Egypt, focusing on accountability, improved governance, public voice and economic opportunity. Assistance is not provided through or to the Egyptian Government, but is channelled through civil society and international financial institutions in support of long-term reform.
“I hope that as these covenants are rolled out, we can think about how we can draw in the voluntary sector to offer real and significant support to those who put themselves on the line in the defence of our country.” – Bishop of St Albans, 7/4/14
On 7th April 2014 Lord Dannatt tabled a question for short debate, ‘to ask Her Majesty’s Government what is their assessment of whether they have sufficient manpower and the right balance of regular and reserve forces within the Armed Forces in order to meet the United Kingdom’s current national and international responsibilities and requirements’. The Bishop of St Albans, Rt Rev Alan Smith, spoke: Continue reading “Peacekeeping, Reservists, Chaplaincy and the Armed Forces Covenant: Bishop of St Albans”
On 2nd April 2014 Baroness Whitaker tabled a question for short debate: ‘ to ask Her Majesty’s Government what plans they have to mark International Roma Day.’
The Bishop of St Albans gave a speech highlighting the work being undertaken in Luton in support of the Roma community in the diocese of St Albans, He also focused on the need to improve educational opportunities for Roma children.
The Lord Bishop of St Albans: My Lords, I thank the noble Baroness, Lady Whitaker, for securing this debate, Continue reading “Bishop of St Albans speech marking International Roma Day”
On 2nd April 2014 the Bishop of Wakefield, Rt Revd Stephen Platten, received answers to written questions on EU and UK relationships with the Republic of Moldova, which borders Ukraine. The questions focused on:
- the EU’s Association Agreement
- election monitoring
- political and military assurances about territorial independence and sovereignty
- Ministerial contact
- EU visa waiver programme
- Tensions between Moldova and the autonomous regions of Transnistria and Gagauzia.
Continue reading “Moldova: EU and UK Relations”