Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office

We pursue our national interests and project the UK as a force for good in the world. We promote the interests of British citizens, safeguard the UK’s security, defend our values, reduce poverty and tackle global challenges with our international partners.



Secretary of State

Lord Cameron of Chipping Norton
Foreign Secretary

Shadow Ministers / Spokeperson
Scottish National Party
Hannah Bardell (SNP - Livingston)
Shadow SNP Spokesperson (Foreign Affairs Team Member)

Plaid Cymru
Hywel Williams (PC - Arfon)
Shadow PC Spokesperson (Foreign Affairs)

Liberal Democrat
Layla Moran (LD - Oxford West and Abingdon)
Liberal Democrat Spokesperson (Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs)
Lord Purvis of Tweed (LD - Life peer)
Liberal Democrat Lords Spokesperson (Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs)

Labour
David Lammy (Lab - Tottenham)
Shadow Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs

Scottish National Party
Brendan O'Hara (SNP - Argyll and Bute)
Shadow SNP Spokesperson (Foreign Affairs)
Junior Shadow Ministers / Deputy Spokesperson
Labour
Catherine West (Lab - Hornsey and Wood Green)
Shadow Minister (Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs)
Lyn Brown (Lab - West Ham)
Shadow Minister (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs)
Ministers of State
Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon (Con - Life peer)
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
Andrew Mitchell (Con - Sutton Coldfield)
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office) (Minister for Development)
Anne-Marie Trevelyan (Con - Berwick-upon-Tweed)
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
Andrew Mitchell (Con - Sutton Coldfield)
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office) (Minister for Development and Africa)
Lord Benyon (Con - Life peer)
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
Parliamentary Under-Secretaries of State
Leo Docherty (Con - Aldershot)
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
David Rutley (Con - Macclesfield)
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
Scheduled Event
Thursday 29th February 2024
11:45
Foreign Affairs Committee - Private Meeting - Select & Joint Committees
29 Feb 2024, 11:45 a.m.

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Scheduled Event
Tuesday 5th March 2024
Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office
Debate - Main Chamber
UK's position on foreign affairs
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Scheduled Event
Tuesday 12th March 2024
11:30
Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office
Oral questions - Main Chamber
12 Mar 2024, 11:30 a.m.
Foreign, Commonwealth and Development (including Topical Questions)
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Scheduled Event
Tuesday 30th April 2024
11:30
Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office
Oral questions - Main Chamber
30 Apr 2024, 11:30 a.m.
Foreign, Commonwealth and Development (including Topical Questions)
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Debates
Friday 23rd February 2024
Israel and Gaza
Written Statements
Select Committee Docs
Tuesday 20th February 2024
18:00
Select Committee Inquiry
Friday 12th January 2024
International relations within the multilateral system

In 2021, the Committee’s report In the room: the UK’s role in multilateral diplomacy concluded that autocratic states were attempting …

Written Answers
Wednesday 21st February 2024
Belarus: Religious Freedom
To ask the Minister of State, Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office, what discussions he has had with his Belarussian counterpart …
Secondary Legislation
Thursday 22nd February 2024
Haiti (Sanctions) (Amendment) Regulations 2024
These Regulations are made under the Sanctions and Anti-Money Laundering Act 2018 (c. 13) for the purposes of implementing obligations …
Bills
Monday 13th June 2022
Northern Ireland Protocol Bill 2022-23
Make provision about the effect in domestic law of the Protocol on Ireland/Northern Ireland in the EU withdrawal agreement, about …
Dept. Publications
Saturday 24th February 2024
09:17

Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office Commons Appearances

Oral Answers to Questions is a regularly scheduled appearance where the Secretary of State and junior minister will answer at the Dispatch Box questions from backbench MPs

Other Commons Chamber appearances can be:
  • Urgent Questions where the Speaker has selected a question to which a Minister must reply that day
  • Adjornment Debates a 30 minute debate attended by a Minister that concludes the day in Parliament.
  • Oral Statements informing the Commons of a significant development, where backbench MP's can then question the Minister making the statement.

Westminster Hall debates are performed in response to backbench MPs or e-petitions asking for a Minister to address a detailed issue

Written Statements are made when a current event is not sufficiently significant to require an Oral Statement, but the House is required to be informed.

Most Recent Commons Appearances by Category
Jan. 30
Oral Questions
Jan. 08
Urgent Questions
Feb. 23
Written Statements
Feb. 20
Westminster Hall
Feb. 06
Adjournment Debate
View All Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office Commons Contibutions

Bills currently before Parliament

Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office does not have Bills currently before Parliament


Acts of Parliament created in the 2019 Parliament

Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office has not passed any Acts during the 2019 Parliament

Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office - Secondary Legislation

These Regulations are made under the Sanctions and Anti-Money Laundering Act 2018 (c. 13) for the purposes of implementing obligations that the United Kingdom has by virtue of the arms embargo contained in UN Security Council Resolution 2653 (2022), adopted by the UN Security Council on 21st October 2022, as amended by UN Security Council Resolution 2699 (2023), adopted by the UN Security Council on 2nd October 2023, and UN Security Council Resolution 2700 (2023), adopted by the UN Security Council on 19th October 2023.
This Order amends the European Organization for Astronomical Research in the Southern Hemisphere and the European Space Agency (Immunities and Privileges) (Amendment) Order 2018 (S.I. 2018/787) (“the 2018 Order”).
View All Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office Secondary Legislation

Petitions

e-Petitions are administered by Parliament and allow members of the public to express support for a particular issue.

If an e-petition reaches 10,000 signatures the Government will issue a written response.

If an e-petition reaches 100,000 signatures the petition becomes eligible for a Parliamentary debate (usually Monday 4.30pm in Westminster Hall).

Trending Petitions
Petition Open
3,479 Signatures
(681 in the last 7 days)
Petition Open
6,197 Signatures
(430 in the last 7 days)
Petition Open
9,455 Signatures
(225 in the last 7 days)
Petition Debates Contributed
388,518
Petition Closed
14 Nov 2021
closed 2 years, 3 months ago

The Government should introduce sanctions against Israel, including blocking all trade, and in particular arms.

We want the Government to seek a ceasefire and also seek to address the root cause of the current conflict by promoting dialogue and advocating for the end of Israeli occupation of the West Bank and Gaza Strip.

The benefits that were promised if the UK exited the European Union have not been delivered, so we call upon the Government to hold a Public Inquiry to assess the impact that Brexit has had on this country and its citizens.

View All Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office Petitions

Departmental Select Committee

Foreign Affairs Committee

Commons Select Committees are a formally established cross-party group of backbench MPs tasked with holding a Government department to account.

At any time there will be number of ongoing investigations into the work of the Department, or issues which fall within the oversight of the Department. Witnesses can be summoned from within the Government and outside to assist in these inquiries.

Select Committee findings are reported to the Commons, printed, and published on the Parliament website. The government then usually has 60 days to reply to the committee's recommendations.


11 Members of the Foreign Affairs Committee
Alicia Kearns Portrait
Alicia Kearns (Conservative - Rutland and Melton)
Foreign Affairs Committee Chair since 12th October 2022
Graham Stringer Portrait
Graham Stringer (Labour - Blackley and Broughton)
Foreign Affairs Committee Member since 2nd March 2020
Royston Smith Portrait
Royston Smith (Conservative - Southampton, Itchen)
Foreign Affairs Committee Member since 2nd March 2020
Henry Smith Portrait
Henry Smith (Conservative - Crawley)
Foreign Affairs Committee Member since 2nd March 2020
Bob Seely Portrait
Bob Seely (Conservative - Isle of Wight)
Foreign Affairs Committee Member since 2nd March 2020
Andrew Rosindell Portrait
Andrew Rosindell (Conservative - Romford)
Foreign Affairs Committee Member since 2nd March 2020
Neil Coyle Portrait
Neil Coyle (Labour - Bermondsey and Old Southwark)
Foreign Affairs Committee Member since 11th May 2020
Brendan O'Hara Portrait
Brendan O'Hara (Scottish National Party - Argyll and Bute)
Foreign Affairs Committee Member since 12th September 2023
Fabian Hamilton Portrait
Fabian Hamilton (Labour - Leeds North East)
Foreign Affairs Committee Member since 28th November 2023
Dan Carden Portrait
Dan Carden (Labour - Liverpool, Walton)
Foreign Affairs Committee Member since 28th November 2023
Ranil Jayawardena Portrait
Ranil Jayawardena (Conservative - North East Hampshire)
Foreign Affairs Committee Member since 11th December 2023
Foreign Affairs Committee: Upcoming Events
Foreign Affairs Committee - Private Meeting
29 Feb 2024, 11:45 a.m.
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Foreign Affairs Committee: Previous Inquiries
Environmental diplomacy The Myanmar crisis Coronavirus: FCDO response The UK and Iran The FCDO and the Integrated Review The FCO's human rights work in 2013 Gibraltar The UK's relations with Hong Kong: 30 years after the Joint Declaration FCO performance and finances 2013-14 Hong Kong Russia and Ukraine Overseas Territories FCO consular services UK policy towards Iran UK Government policy on the Kurdistan Region of Iraq The future of the BBC World Service Developments in Libya The fight against ISIL: the UK's role inquiry FCO budget and capacity inquiry Libya: Examination of intervention and collapse and the UK's future policy options inquiry Costs and benefits of EU membership for the UK's role in the world inquiry Foreign policy developments Progress of the Iraq Inquiry British Foreign policy and the 'Arab Spring': follow-up Appointment of Lord Hill of Oareford to the European Commission Hong Kong: China's ban on the Committee's visit Government foreign policy towards the United States Foreign and Commonwealth Office performance and finances 2012-13 Departmental Annual Report 2010-11 FCO Public Diplomacy: The Olympic and Paralympic Games 2012 FCO's Human Rights Work 2010-11 Overseas Territories British foreign policy and the 'Arab Spring' FCO's human rights work in 2011 The future of the European Union: UK Government policy The role and future of the Commonwealth UK's relations with Saudi Arabia and Bahrain The UK's response to extremism and political instability in North and West Africa The UK’s influence in the UN inquiry The UK’s response to hurricanes in its Overseas Territories inquiry Global Britain inquiry The Commonwealth Summit inquiry Responsibility to protect and humanitarian intervention inquiry Russian corruption and the UK inquiry Session with Minister of State for Africa inquiry The Foreign and Commonwealth Office’s Human Rights Work inquiry The Foreign and Commonwealth Office’s preparations for the World Cup inquiry The Western Balkans inquiry The future of the UK Overseas Territories inquiry Global Britain and India inquiry Global Britain: FCO skills inquiry The work of the Minister of State for the Middle East Global Britain and South America inquiry Global Britain: The future of UK sanctions policy inquiry FCO budget and capacity, and annual report 2017-18 inquiry Finding a diplomatic route: European responses to irregular migration inquiry The World Food Programme inquiry The Foreign and Commonwealth Office and Global media freedom inquiry Autocracies and UK Foreign Policy inquiry FCO secure communications and handling of classified information inquiry The future of Britain’s diplomatic relationship with Europe - follow up inquiry Beyond Aid: The UK’s Strategic Engagement in Africa inquiry Human rights: Freedom of religion and belief, and human rights defenders inquiry The Caucasus inquiry The UK and Iran’s regional role inquiry Economic foreign policy inquiry The UK’s policy towards the Middle East Peace Process inquiry UK relations with China inquiry The FCO policy on arms exports inquiry Evidence from HE Lord Llewellyn of Steep on his appointment as HM Ambassador to Paris inquiry Resignation of Lord Hill of Oareford from the European Commission inquiry FCO budget and capacity, and Annual Report 2015-16 inquiry Violence in Rakhine State inquiry China and the international rules-based system inquiry FCO budget and capacity, and annual report 2016-17 Oral evidence from the Foreign Secretary Kurdish aspirations and the interests of the UK inquiry The future of Britain’s diplomatic relationship with Europe inquiry Political Islam inquiry UK's relations with Russia inquiry Human rights inquiry The future operations of BBC monitoring inquiry Human Rights: Annual review of the work of the FCO inquiry UK's relations with Turkey inquiry Implications of leaving the EU for the UK's role in the world inquiry The UK’s role in strengthening multilateral organisations FCO-DFID merger Xinjiang detention camps Global health security Update to the UK's Integrated Review of Security, Defence, Development and Foreign Policy Critical minerals Western Balkans The UK’s engagement in Central Asia The UK’s international counter-terrorism policy The UK’s engagement with the Middle East and North Africa International relations within the multilateral system Beyond Aid: The UK’s Strategic Engagement in Africa Autocracies and UK Foreign Policy The future of Britain’s diplomatic relationship with Europe- follow up inquiry China and the international rules-based system Economic foreign policy Finding a diplomatic route: European responses to irregular migration FCO budget and capacity, and annual report 2017-18 The Foreign and Commonwealth Office and Global media freedom FCO secure communications and handling of classified information Human rights: Freedom of religion and belief, and human rights defenders Global Britain and South America Global Britain: The future of UK sanctions policy The work of the Minister of State for the Middle East Global Britain and India The future of the UK Overseas Territories Oral evidence from the Foreign Secretary The UK’s influence in the UN Session with Minister of State for Africa Responsibility to protect and humanitarian intervention The Caucasus The UK and Iran’s regional role The World Food Programme

50 most recent Written Questions

(View all written questions)
Written Questions can be tabled by MPs and Lords to request specific information information on the work, policy and activities of a Government Department

16th Feb 2024
To ask the Minister of State, Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office, how many officials from his Department worked in the US by (a) embassy and consulate and (b) grade in each financial year since 2010.

The Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office has indicated that it will not be possible to answer this question within the usual time period. An answer is being prepared and will be provided as soon as it is available.

David Rutley
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
16th Feb 2024
To ask the Minister of State, Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office, how many officials from his Department are stationed in the British Virgin Islands.

The Governor's Office in Tortola comprises of nine staff funded by the UK Government as well as staff funded by the Government of the Virgin Islands.

David Rutley
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
16th Feb 2024
To ask the Minister of State, Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office, whether he has made an assessment of the impact of the disruption to shipping from Ukraine via the Black Sea on food supplies to the developing world.

As a result of Ukrainian resilience and innovation, as well as our support and that of international partners, over 13 million tonnes of agricultural produce has been exported through the Black Sea since September 2023. These are the highest levels since the war began, which is a remarkable achievement.

These supplies are crucial for the resilience of global grain markets and global food security, which are especially important for the developing world. Developing countries, including Egypt, Indonesia and Pakistan, have directly received significant quantities of grain from Ukraine via the corridor.

Leo Docherty
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
16th Feb 2024
To ask the Minister of State, Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office, pursuant to the Answer of 8 February 2024 to Question 13138 on UNRWA: Finance, if he will publish a breakdown of funds allocated to (a) OCHA, (b) UNICEF, (c) the World Food Programme, (d) Egyptian Red Crescent Society and (e) any other partners.

UK funding to specific agencies and organisations includes the following:

•£7.75 million to the OCHA Pooled Fund to support up to 139,000 people in Gaza and the West Bank with food, water, sanitation, health, education and protection services through NGOs

•£1.35 million to OCHA to support analysis of needs and coordination of humanitarian aid

•£7.75 million to UNICEF to support up to 89,200 beneficiaries in Gaza with protection, nutrition, education, health, Water Sanitation and Hygiene services, and Gender-Based Violence services

•£8.25 million to the World Food Programme to provide in-kind food assistance to up to 53,500 beneficiaries

•£7.75 million to Red Cross/Red Crescent Movement to support up to 140,000 beneficiaries in Gaza and the West Bank with food, livelihoods, water, sanitation, health and protection

In addition, the UK is providing:

•£1.5 million to WHO to support Emergency Medical Teams and essential medical supplies

•£1 million to Jordan Hashemite Charity Organisation (JHCO) to facilitate medical supplies to Gaza

•£900 thousand to UNOPS to facilitate humanitarian access and delivery of aid supplies

Andrew Mitchell
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office) (Minister for Development)
16th Feb 2024
To ask the Minister of State, Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office, if he will make an assessment of the implications for his policies of the findings of the report published by the Institute for Monitoring Peace and Cultural Tolerance in School Education entitled UNRWA Education: Textbooks and Terror, published in November 2023.

We are aware of the findings of this report. We take any allegation of the promotion of racism and discrimination extremely seriously and have been clear that incitement to hatred or violence is unacceptable and should have no place in education. Any allegations of breaches of UN staff regulations and rules, including neutrality breaches, are reported to FCDO and investigated. We continue to urge all parties to condemn incitement wherever and whenever it occurs.

The UK-supported 2021 review of the Palestinian Authority (PA) curriculum found improvements in content, with previously flagged materials removed. What we really need to see is further curriculum reform from the PA and we continue to raise this with them regularly.

Andrew Mitchell
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office) (Minister for Development)
5th Feb 2024
To ask the Minister of State, Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office, what assessment he has made of the potential impact of reports of alleged assassinations of Sikh activists in the US and Canada on British Sikhs living abroad.

British Sikhs are an important part of our society and continue to make a hugely valuable contribution to British life. We are committed to promoting and protecting the right to freedom of religion or belief for all. Where required, we offer consular support and assistance to British nationals worldwide. Any individual in need of consular assistance can contact the nearest British High Commission or Consulate. Our consular contact numbers are available 24/7. We constantly review our travel advice for each country or territory to ensure it includes up-to-date information, including advice for British nationals on safety and security, and update travel advice as quickly as possible if we are aware of an incident that might significantly affect British people travelling or living in the area.

Andrew Mitchell
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office) (Minister for Development)
16th Feb 2024
To ask the Minister of State, Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office, what diplomatic steps he is taking to help ensure compliance with the International Court of Justice's order relating to the case of the Application of the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide in the Gaza Strip (South Africa v Israel), published on 26 January 2024.

We respect the role and independence of the International Court of Justice (ICJ). The ICJ's ruling is binding. We have stated, however, that we have considerable concerns about this case, which is not helpful in the goal of achieving a sustainable ceasefire. Israel has the right to defend itself against Hamas in line with International Law, as we have said from the outset. Our view is that Israel's actions in Gaza cannot be described as a genocide, which is why we thought South Africa's decision to bring the case was wrong and provocative. The court's call for the immediate release of hostages and the need to get more aid into Gaza is a position we have long advocated. We are clear that an immediate pause is necessary to get aid in and hostages out, and then we want to build towards a sustainable, permanent ceasefire, without a return to the fighting. FCDO Ministers hold regular meetings with their counterparts.

Andrew Mitchell
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office) (Minister for Development)
16th Feb 2024
To ask the Minister of State, Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office, what diplomatic steps he is taking to help ensure that Palestinians who were displaced from their homes in Gaza are able to return to them.

We have been clear that want to see Israel take greater care to limit its operations to military targets and avoid harming civilians and destroying homes. The most important step in getting Palestinians displaced by the fighting in Gaza back to their homes will be securing a sustainable ceasefire. We are clear that an immediate pause is necessary, and then we want to build towards a sustainable, permanent ceasefire, without a return to the fighting. Our commitment to trebling aid to Gaza still stands and the UK is providing £60 million in humanitarian assistance to support partners including the British Red Cross, UNICEF, the UN World Food Programme (WFP) and Egyptian Red Crescent Society (ERCS) to respond to critical food, fuel, water, health, shelter and security needs in Gaza.

Andrew Mitchell
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office) (Minister for Development)
16th Feb 2024
To ask the Minister of State, Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office, what recent discussions he has had with his counterpart in Iraq on Elizabeth Tsurkov.

The UK is concerned over the kidnapping of Israeli-Russian dual national Elizabeth Tsurkov. The Government of Iraq opened an investigation into her kidnapping last year and we await the findings. Those suspected of criminal responsibility for her kidnapping should be brought to justice in fair trials. His Majesty's Government has not had any discussions with the Government of Iraq regarding the kidnapping.

David Rutley
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
7th Feb 2024
To ask His Majesty's Government what plans they have to work with other countries which have suspended funding to UNRWA to create a new independent funding agency to deliver aid to Gaza.

We are appalled by allegations that the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) staff were involved in the 7 October attack against Israel, a heinous act of terrorism that the UK Government has repeatedly condemned.

The pause will remain in place until we review the allegations, and we are looking to our partners in the UN to carry out a robust and comprehensive investigation.

Any future funding decisions will be taken after this point.

We are getting on with aid delivery and the UK is providing £60 million in humanitarian assistance to support partners including the British Red Cross, UNICEF, the UN World Food Programme (WFP) and Egyptian Red Crescent Society (ERCS) to respond to critical food, fuel, water, health, shelter and security needs in Gaza.

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
7th Feb 2024
To ask His Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the impact on aviation safety and regional stability of the decision on 30 January of the Civil Aviation Administration of China to adjust the M503, W122 and W123 flight routes near the Taiwan Strait median line.

The UK has regular discussions within the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) regarding the importance of communication and coordination in the protection of air safety, especially when it comes to changes to airspace such as this.

We do not support any unilateral attempts to change the status quo in the Taiwan Strait and have underscored the importance of peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait alongside partners in previous G7 Foreign and Development Ministers' and Leaders' communiques.

The UK's longstanding policy on Taiwan has not changed. We consider the Taiwan issue one to be settled peacefully by the people on both sides of the Taiwan Strait through constructive dialogue, without the threat or use of force or coercion.

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
16th Feb 2024
To ask the Minister of State, Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office, what steps his Department is taking to help support good governance in the British Virgin Islands.

In 2021, the UK Government supported the then Governor's decision to launch an independent Commission of Inquiry (COI) into governance in the BVI and provided £2.7 million to cover the costs of the Inquiry.

Since the publication of the COI Report in April 2022, the FCDO have been working to support the elected BVI government and the Governor as they deliver a comprehensive governance reform programme based on the Report's recommendations.

In addition to funding extra staff in the Governor's Office to support this work, we are also providing £1.2 million of support and technical assistance. I [Minister Rutley] visited BVI from 4-6 February for discussions with the Premier and others to press the need to accelerate delivery and meet agreed deadlines.

David Rutley
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
16th Feb 2024
To ask the Minister of State, Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office, whether he has made a recent estimate of the volume of food and grain being shipped out of Ukraine via the Black Sea.

Ukraine's military successes are generating positive economic outcomes in the Black Sea. In the face of Russian aggression, with our support and that of international partners, Ukraine established a maritime corridor to export goods via its Black Sea ports in September 2023.

Commercial confidence in the corridor has grown at such a pace that monthly exports of agricultural produce have now reached 4.6 million tonnes, the highest levels since the war began. If these levels are maintained, Ukraine is likely to export all its harvest this year.

Leo Docherty
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
5th Feb 2024
To ask the Minister of State, Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office, if he will apply Magnitsky-style sanctions to (a) Security Minister Itamar Ben Gvir, (b) Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich, (d) David Chai Chasdai, (e) Einan Tanjil, (f) Shalom Zicherman and (g) Yinon Levi, in the context of (i) the US President's executive order in relation to settler violence in the West Bank and (ii) the Foreign Secretary's announcement that he will ban those responsible for settler violence from entering the UK.

The UK continues to take a strong stance against settler violence and urges Israel to take stronger action to stop settler violence and hold the perpetrators accountable. As noted, we will prevent those responsible for settler violence in the West Bank from entering the UK.

Andrew Mitchell
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office) (Minister for Development)
5th Feb 2024
To ask His Majesty's Government whether there has been any discussion with the government of Iraq concerning the case of the academic Elizabeth Tsurkov, currently being held hostage by Kata'ib Hezbollah.

The UK is concerned over the kidnapping of Israeli-Russian dual national Elizabeth Tsurkov. The Government of Iraq opened an investigation into her kidnapping last year, and we await the findings. Those suspected of criminal responsibility should be brought to justice in fair trials. His Majesty's Government has not had any discussion with the Government of Iraq regarding the kidnapping.

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
16th Feb 2024
To ask the Minister of State, Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office, whether he has made a recent assessment of the potential impact of the disruption to shipping in the Red Sea on international food security.

The Houthi's attacks in the Red Sea are putting innocent lives at risk, threatening the global economy and destabilising the region. Risks to food security and price increases are higher in the region, especially in Djibouti, Ethiopia, Lebanon, South Sudan, Sudan, Somalia and Yemen.

The Government is working closely with shipping operators to mitigate any potential impact on consumers.

Anne-Marie Trevelyan
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
16th Feb 2024
To ask the Minister of State, Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office, whether he has made a recent assessment of the impact of the disruption to shipping in the Red Sea on food supplies to the developing world.

The Houthi's attacks in the Red Sea are putting innocent lives at risk, threatening the global economy and destabilising the region. Risks to food security and price increases are higher in the region, especially in Djibouti, Ethiopia, Lebanon, South Sudan, Sudan, Somalia and Yemen.

The Government is working closely with shipping operators to mitigate any potential impact on consumers.

Anne-Marie Trevelyan
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
7th Feb 2024
To ask the Minister of State, Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office, what discussions he has had with his Belarussian counterpart on freedom of religion or belief in that country.

The UK continues to monitor closely Freedom of Religion or Belief (FoRB) in Belarus, and we are aware of recent concerning legislative amendments regarding religious organisations. The Lukashenko regime's repression and support for Russia's illegal invasion of Ukraine have limited our bilateral contact. Following Belarus' fraudulent 2020 presidential election, the former Minister for Europe (Wendy Morton MP) spoke with Belarusian Foreign Minister Vladimir Makei in a phone call to express our grave concern over the conduct of the election and subsequent repression targeting protestors. There has been no contact between UK Ministers and their Belarusian counterparts since then.

The British Embassy in Minsk continues to support and engage with religious groups in Belarus. Belarus remains a human rights priority country for the UK; we are determined to hold the regime accountable for its actions.

Leo Docherty
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
7th Feb 2024
To ask the Minister of State, Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office, whether his Department is taking steps to support freedom of religion and belief in Nicaragua.

The UK is committed to defending Freedom of Religion or Belief (FoRB) for all. We share widespread international concern about the suppression of human rights in Nicaragua, including the right to freedom of religion or belief. In June 2023, the Prime Minister's Special Envoy, Fiona Bruce MP, in her capacity as Chair of the International Religious Freedom or Belief Alliance, issued an international statement condemning the continued persecution of the Catholic Church by the Nicaraguan Government. In my [Minister Rutley] tweet on 16 January, I welcomed the release of Bishop Álvarez and 18 other clergy from their unjust detention but condemned their expulsion from Nicaragua. The UK calls on President Ortega to fully respect the human rights of all citizens and to unconditionally release all political prisoners.

David Rutley
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
6th Feb 2024
To ask the Minister of State, Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office, with reference to the Oral Statement of the Secretary of State for Defence of 5 February 2024 on Situation in the Red Sea, Official Report, column 22, whether the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs discussed the consequences to Iran of failing to stop Houthi attacks during his meeting with his Iranian counterpart last month.

The Foreign Secretary sent a clear message during his meeting with his Iranian counterpart on 17 January. The Foreign Secretary made clear that Iran must use its influence with the Houthis to prevent further strikes, and that Iran must cease its support to the Houthi's illegal and unacceptable attacks. We will continue to work with international partners to deter Iran's destabilising activity, including by holding Iran to account in multilateral fora and through sanctions; addressing Iranian weapons proliferation; and maintaining our permanent defence presence in the region.

David Rutley
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
8th Feb 2024
To ask the Minister of State, Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office, what information his Department holds on whether UK-manufactured (a) weapons and (b) components of weapons have been used in countries it has assessed as being in potential breach of (i) the Genocide Convention and (ii) Article 8 of the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court.

The Government operates a robust and thorough assessment of licence applications against the Strategic Export Licensing Criteria, and we will not grant an export licence if to do so would be inconsistent with that Criteria including where there is a clear risk that the items might be used to commit or facilitate a serious violation of International Humanitarian Law.

Anne-Marie Trevelyan
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
8th Feb 2024
To ask the Minister of State, Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office, how much UK aid money was spent in Gaza in each year since 2003.

We remain committed to getting humanitarian aid to the people in Gaza who desperately need it and, as such, we have trebled our aid commitment for this financial year. The UK is providing £60 million in humanitarian assistance to support partners including the British Red Cross, UNICEF, the UN World Food Programme (WFP) and Egyptian Red Crescent Society (ERCS) to respond to critical food, fuel, water, health, shelter and security needs in Gaza.

The UK's 'Official Development Assistance' (ODA) Spend for Occupied Palestinian Territories each year since 2012:

2012/13 - £89.3 million

2013/14 - £95.4 million

2014/15 - £85 million

2015/16 - £73.6 million

2016/17 - £67.8 million

2017/18 - £64.9 million

2018/19 - £81.3 million

2019/20 - £112.7 million

2020/21 - £79.8 million

2021/22 - £29.8 million

2022/23 - £25.7 million

Anne-Marie Trevelyan
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
30th Jan 2024
To ask the Minister of State, Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office, if he will make an assessment of the Israeli government's compliance with the provisional measures set forth by the International Court of Justice in the case concerning Application of the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide in the Gaza Strip (South Africa v. Israel).

We respect the role and independence of the International Court of Justice (ICJ). However, we have stated that we have considerable concerns about this case, which is not helpful in the goal of achieving a sustainable ceasefire. Israel has the right to defend itself against Hamas in line with International Humanitarian Law, as we have said from the outset. Our view is that Israel's actions in Gaza cannot be described as a genocide, which is why we thought South Africa's decision to bring the case was wrong and provocative.

We have long advocated for the release of hostages and the need to get more aid in.

We are clear that an immediate pause is necessary to get aid in and hostages out, and then we want to build towards a sustainable, permanent ceasefire, without a return to the fighting.

Anne-Marie Trevelyan
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
5th Feb 2024
To ask His Majesty's Government what plans they have to assist with rebuilding destroyed or damaged areas in Israel/Gaza when the conflict there ends; and what assistance the UK will provide in training citizens in those affected countries to enable them to lead in all work of reconstruction.

We are calling for an immediate stop in fighting to get aid in and hostages out, then progress towards a sustainable, permanent ceasefire, without a return to destruction, fighting and loss of life.

We recognise that we must work with our allies to provide serious, practical and enduring support needed to bolster the Palestinian Authority. We already provide technical and practical support and are ready to do more.

We have regular discussions with Israeli counterparts on all aspects of the conflict.

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
31st Jan 2024
To ask His Majesty's Government what estimate they have made of the number of Ahmadis who will be excluded from voting in the forthcoming Pakistan elections because of their refusal to renounce their religious beliefs in order to qualify for the franchise.

The UK advocates for inclusive elections, through which all of Pakistan's citizens can exercise their democratic rights. We advocate against any measures which restrict an individual's right to vote, including discriminatory measures used against religious minority communities, including the Ahmadiyya Muslim community. The 2021 Home Office country report outlines that there are no reliable estimates of the total number of Ahmadi Muslims in Pakistan, many boycott the census as they are not able to self-identify as Muslim. Available information indicates the population is between 187,000 (official 2017 census results) and 600,000 (community sources), though some estimates suggest numbers as high as 4 million. On the 1 February, Ahmadiyya community spokesperson Amir Mahmood stated that the community has decided to disassociate from the upcoming general election on the 8 February, due to the use of a separate voter list which is prepared only for Ahmadi citizens and excludes them from the general voter list, unlike any other community.

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
8th Feb 2024
To ask the Minister of State, Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office, what information his Department holds on whether UK-manufactured (a) arms and (b) weapons components have been used in (i) Israel and (ii) the Palestinian Occupied Territories.

The export of strategic goods is controlled by export licensing and the government publishes data on its export licensing decisions: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/strategic-export-controls-licensing-dataLicences. We continue to monitor closely the situation in Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territories. All export licence applications are assessed on a case-by-case basis against the Strategic Export Licensing Criteria. We will not issue an export licence to any destination where to do so would be inconsistent with the Criteria. Licences are kept under careful review and we are able to amend, suspend or revoke extant licences, or refuse new licence applications, as circumstances require.

Anne-Marie Trevelyan
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
8th Feb 2024
To ask the Minister of State, Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office, what information he holds on (a) arms exports originating from factories owned by Rafael Defense Systems Ltd and (b) whether such exports have been used by the Israeli military in Gaza.

The export of strategic goods is controlled by export licensing and the government publishes data on its export licensing decisions: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/strategic-export-controls-licensing-dataLicences. We continue to monitor closely the situation in Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territories. All export licence applications are assessed on a case-by-case basis against the Strategic Export Licensing Criteria. We will not issue an export licence to any destination where to do so would be inconsistent with the Criteria. Licences are kept under careful review and we are able to amend, suspend or revoke extant licences, or refuse new licence applications, as circumstances require.

Anne-Marie Trevelyan
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
2nd Feb 2024
To ask His Majesty's Government what is the process for triggering a Joint Analysis of Conflict and Stability assessment; who makes that decision; and what is the process for conducting that assessment.

A Joint Analysis of Conflict and Stability (JACS) process is context-dependent. It is triggered by specialist technical advice that new or updated joint analysis is needed. The decision to commission a JACS is ordinarily made by the Head of Mission or at Director-level in FCDO, as well as relevant senior leads in HMG departments. The process for conducting the assessment is available in a guidance note on GOV.UK at https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/joint-analysis-of-conflict-and-stability-jacs-guidance-note.

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
5th Feb 2024
To ask His Majesty's Government what plans they have to assist with rebuilding destroyed or damaged areas in Ukraine when the conflict there ends; and what assistance the UK will provide in training citizens in that country to enable them to lead in all work of reconstruction.

The UK is committed to helping Ukraine recover from Russia's illegal invasion. The UK and Ukraine co-hosted the Ukraine Recovery Conference in London in June 2023, raising over $60 billion towards Ukraine's recovery and reconstruction. We are helping to build Ukraine's capacity to deliver recovery and reconstruction projects at an unprecedented scale. The UK's Infrastructure Projects Authority is providing strategic advice to State Agency for Restoration. We are also working to mobilise private sector investment for reconstruction through initiatives on reforms and good governance, financial markets and insurance, business expertise, infrastructure and energy.

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
5th Feb 2024
To ask His Majesty's Government what representations they have made to the government of Pakistan on ensuring the availability of thalassaemia treatment and awareness; and what allocations of the Official Development Aid is being put towards this.

The UK uses Official Development Assistance (ODA) to support Pakistan in realising its ambition of Universal Health Coverage (UHC) and ending preventable deaths of mothers, babies and children. We take a systems approach to this, providing technical assistance to strengthen decision making on health policy and financing. We also build the evidence base on effective sub-system interventions for UHC. No specific investments are made in Thalassaemia treatment or awareness raising in Pakistan. However, our support will strengthen core components of Pakistan's health system and increase coverage and service offers that should be of benefit to those with Thalassaemia.

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
5th Feb 2024
To ask His Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the impact of caste-based discrimination in Nepal; what part of the Overseas Development Assistance is being used to support Dalit women across South Asia and specifically in Nepal; and what resources they have made available for grassroots organisations supporting Dalit women’s rights.

Gender inequality and social exclusion are significant challenges in Nepal. Whilst Nepal has a progressive constitution and many progressive laws and policies, implementation issues remain. The rights of women and girls is one of FCDO's core goals in Nepal. We fund grassroot organisations which work with the most vulnerable including Dalit communities and regularly engage with Dalit organisations to inform our existing and future programming. The UK is invested in shifting negative norms in society and institutions, improving processes and strengthening systems. Full information on our programmes can be found on DevTracker.

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
5th Feb 2024
To ask His Majesty's Government, further to the White Paper on International Development published on 20 November 2023 (CP 975), when they expect to publish the FCDO Strategy on Open Societies and Human Rights; and what they anticipate the impact of the Strategy will be on (1) developing protection mechanisms, respite schemes and rapid response support for human rights defenders, and (2) supporting local networks that emphasise the protection of such defenders.

The FCDO acknowledges the commitment made in the International Development White Paper to publish an Open Societies and Human Rights Strategy. The Strategy is in draft, and it will be published in due course. In line with commitments made in the International Development White Paper, the Strategy will signal our intent to provide additional support to human rights defenders. This is in line with the recent announcement that the UK will provide £1 million in funding over the next two years to the Lifeline Embattled Civil Society Organizations (CSO) Assistance Fund to provide much needed support to civic actors facing reprisals for their important work.

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
5th Feb 2024
To ask His Majesty's Government what funding and other support is provided to the government of Iraq; and whether any of this is used by the government of Iraq towards the Popular Mobilisation Forces.

The UK wants to see a more stable, peaceful and prosperous Iraq. Across our programmes, we aim to counter threats and foster stability and development, while promoting UK interests and values. Our funding and support is delivered through implementing partners and not directly through the Government of Iraq. While we do not provide any UK funding or support directly to the Popular Mobilisation Forces (PMF), it is not always possible for the UK to restrict participation in UK-funded initiatives to only non-PMF personnel.

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
6th Feb 2024
To ask the Minister of State, Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office, how many UK nationals have remained in Afghanistan since August 2021.

We do not hold formal data on the number of British nationals in Afghanistan, but we estimate that numbers are likely in the hundreds. The FCDO continues to advise against all travel to Afghanistan. Since April 2021, we have brought around 24,600 people out of Afghanistan, including 4,660 British Nationals and their families during Operation Pitting itself.

Anne-Marie Trevelyan
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
6th Feb 2024
To ask His Majesty's Government what they are doing to support Kenya in its fight against malaria following recent flooding which threatens to derail gains in that fight.

The UK is one of the largest contributors to the fight against malaria in Kenya. We have contributed £5.5 billion since 2002 to the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, which is procuring additional malaria commodities for Kenya, including distributing over ten million bed nets for malaria prevention. We support the recently announced rollout of malaria vaccines - which includes Kenya - through Gavi, the Vaccines Alliance, to whom we have pledged £1.65 billion between 2020 and 2025. We support the Kenya Medical Research Institute to increase malaria surveillance and treatment across Kenya.

Lord Benyon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
6th Feb 2024
To ask the Minister of State, Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office, with reference to the press notice entitled Allegations about UNRWA staff and 7 October attacks: FCDO statement, published on 27 January 2024, what steps his Department is taking to review those allegations; and what estimate he has made of when that review will be concluded.

We are appalled by allegations that UNRWA staff were involved in the 7 October attack against Israel, a heinous act of terrorism that the UK Government has repeatedly condemned. We are pausing any future funding of UNRWA whilst we review these concerning allegations.The United States, Germany, Australia, Italy, Canada, Finland, Switzerland and the Netherlands have all temporarily paused funding.

The pause will remain in place until we review the allegations, and we are looking to our partners in the UN to carry out a robust and comprehensive investigation.

Any future funding decisions will be taken after this point.

Our decision to pause future funding to UNRWA has no impact on the UK's contribution to the humanitarian response. We are getting on with aid delivery through funding multiple implementing partners including other UN agencies and international and UK NGOs. This support is helping people in Gaza get food, water, shelter and medicines.

Andrew Mitchell
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office) (Minister for Development)
7th Feb 2024
To ask the Minister of State, Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office, what assessment he has made of the implications for his policies of changes in the level of violence against Christians in Turkey.

We support the rights of all minority groups in Turkey, including Christians, and note that the right to freedom of religion and belief is clearly enshrined in the Turkish constitution. Our travel advice for Turkey notes that terrorists may target places of worship. The UK stands with Turkey against terrorism, and we welcome the Turkish authorities' swift response to security threats, such as the fatal shooting at Santa Maria Church in Istanbul on 28 January.

Leo Docherty
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
2nd Feb 2024
To ask His Majesty's Government what is the total cost to the United Kingdom of all forms of non-military support to Ukraine since December 2021.

The UK will continue to stand with Ukraine for as long as it takes to restore Ukraine's sovereignty and territorial integrity, and to secure a just and lasting peace underpinned by the UN Charter. The FCDO's non-military support to Ukraine since the start of the invasion amounts to £4.7 billion. This includes over £4.2 billion fiscal support through World Bank loan guarantees and grants; £357 million in humanitarian assistance to Ukraine and the region; £150 million to support Ukraine's energy security and resilience; and £2.5 million in support for Ukraine's domestic prosecution of international crimes.

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
31st Jan 2024
To ask His Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of reports that four UK medical staff were injured in a bombing of the facilities of International Rescue Committee and Medical Aid for Palestinians in the Gaza Strip.

The safety of humanitarian personnel and healthcare workers in Gaza is critical to enable aid to reach those who need it most. We continue to call for International Humanitarian Law (IHL) to be respected. Too many civilians have been killed and we want to see Israel take greater care to limit its operations to military targets and avoid harming civilians and destroying homes.

The Foreign Secretary underlined the need for Israel to ensure effective deconfliction in Gaza and to take all possible measures to ensure the safety of medical personnel and facilities during his visit to Israel on 24 January.

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
31st Jan 2024
To ask His Majesty's Government what discussions they have held with the government of Israel regarding the safety of UK and international non-governmental organisations delivering humanitarian aid and medical help in safe zones in Gaza.

The safety of humanitarian personnel and healthcare workers in Gaza is critical to enable aid to reach those who need it most. We continue to call for International Humanitarian Law (IHL) to be respected. Too many civilians have been killed and we want to see Israel take greater care to limit its operations to military targets and avoid harming civilians and destroying homes.

The Foreign Secretary underlined the need for Israel to ensure effective deconfliction in Gaza and to take all possible measures to ensure the safety of medical personnel and facilities during his visit to Israel on 24 January.

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
2nd Feb 2024
To ask His Majesty's Government why they have not undertaken a Joint Analysis of Conflict and Stability assessment of the situation in North Korea; and what plans they have, if any, to undertake that assessment.

We regularly review the situation on the Korean Peninsula. The UK is committed to securing peace and we are clear that North Korea's nuclear and weapons programmes must be dismantled to ensure stability in the region. The Conflict, Stability and Security Fund (CSSF) issues an annual report covering threats to conflict and stability worldwide. Further reports and assessments of a specific nature are released on a case by case basis.

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
6th Feb 2024
To ask the Minister of State, Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office, which non-NATO countries the UK has a commitment to defend against external aggression under (a) bilateral and (b) multilateral agreements.

The UK has a legal commitment to defend NATO countries against external aggression. There are a number of non-NATO countries with which the UK has bilateral and multilateral agreements and arrangements to consult in the event of attack. In addition, the UN Charter Chapter 7 sets out the inherent right of collective self-defence.

Leo Docherty
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
6th Feb 2024
To ask the Minister of State, Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office, whether his Department has made representations to international partners on a moratorium on deep-sea mining.

On 30 October 2023 the UK Government announced its support for a moratorium on the granting of exploitation licences for deep sea mining projects by the International Seabed Authority (ISA). The UK set out this position to international partners at the 28th Session of the Council at the International Seabed Authority in November 2023. The UK's announcement makes clear that the UK recognises the impacts of deep sea mining are not fully understood and our position is to support research proactively, using UK scientific expertise, to improve international understanding and develop strong and enforceable ISA environmental regulations, standards and guidelines on deep sea mining before any such projects commence.

Andrew Mitchell
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office) (Minister for Development)
31st Jan 2024
To ask His Majesty's Government when they last held discussions regarding the civil and democratic rights of Ahmadi citizens in Pakistan with (1) the government of Pakistan, and (2) with the Secretary General of the Commonwealth; and what responses they received.

On 19 January, I raised the need for inclusivity in the upcoming elections with Pakistan's Caretaker Foreign Minister Jalil Abbas Jilani.  On 25 September 2023, the former Foreign Secretary raised the importance of credible, inclusive, and timely elections with Pakistan's Caretaker Prime Minister Anwaar-ul-haq Kakar. On 21 August, I wrote to Foreign Minister Jilani to raise concerns about the treatment of minority religious communities and underline the need to ensure all Pakistan's citizens, including Ahmadi Muslims, are able to exercise their democratic rights. There have been no recent discussions between HMG and the Secretary General of the Commonwealth on Ahmadi citizens in Pakistan. At CHOGM 2022 Commonwealth leaders endorsed specific language, proposed by the UK, that noted that freedom of religion or belief are cornerstones of democratic societies.

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
29th Jan 2024
To ask His Majesty's Government whether they have made any representations to the governments of (1) India, or (2) China, regarding Iran’s support for militias attacking western forces and international shipping in the Middle East.

The Defence Secretary raised Iran backed Houthi rebels attacking international shipping in the Middle East with his Indian counterpart in January. India is contributing to international naval efforts to help secure shipping in the region. We also raised this with China's Ministry of Foreign Affairs, urging them to use their relationship with Iran to convey that Iran should pressure the Houthis in line with China's call for the cessation of attacks and harassment against civilian ships.

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
31st Jan 2024
To ask His Majesty's Government whether they will review their policy regarding the export of arms to Israel in light of the International Court of Justice’s interim ruling regarding the conflict in Gaza.

We regularly review advice about Israel's capability and commitment to International Humanitarian Law, and act in accordance with that advice, for example when considering export licences. We support Israel's legitimate right to defend itself and take action against terrorism, within the bounds of International Humanitarian Law.

We respect the role and independence of the International Court of Justice (ICJ). However, we have stated that we have considerable concerns about this case, which is not helpful in the goal of achieving a sustainable ceasefire.

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
31st Jan 2024
To ask His Majesty's Government what steps they will take to monitor Israel’s compliance with the interim ruling of the International Court of Justice regarding its conduct in the conflict in Gaza.

We respect the role and independence of the International Court of Justice (ICJ). Israel has the right to defend itself against Hamas in line with International Humanitarian Law, as we have said from the outset. We have long advocated for the release of hostages and the need to get more aid in. We are clear that an immediate pause is necessary to get aid in and hostages out, and then we want to build towards a sustainable, permanent ceasefire, without a return to the fighting.

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
6th Feb 2024
To ask the Minister of State, Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office, whether he has had recent discussions his international counterparts on taking steps to recognise Palestine as a state.

We support a two-state solution that guarantees security and stability for both the Israeli and Palestinian people.

We must give the people of the West Bank and Gaza the political perspective of a credible route to a Palestinian state and a new future, which needs to be irreversible. This is not entirely in our gift. But Britain and our partners can help by confirming our commitment to a sovereign, viable Palestinian state, and our vision for its composition. Crucially, we must state our clear intention to grant it recognition, including at the United Nations. That can't come at the start of the process. But it doesn't have to be the very end of the process. Our long-standing position has been that we will recognise a Palestinian State at a time that is most conducive to the peace process.

We need to generate momentum now towards a permanent peace. That is why we are pressing for a Contact Group, bringing together the key players, to be set up at once.

Andrew Mitchell
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office) (Minister for Development)
6th Feb 2024
To ask the Minister of State, Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office, with reference to paragraph 30 of the summary grounds of the Secretary of State in the case of The King (on the application of Al-Haq) v. Secretary of State for Business and Trade, whether an assessment of Israel’s compliance with International Humanitarian Law in its military engagement in Gaza has been made under his Department's international humanitarian law compliance assessment process since 29 December 2023.

We regularly review advice about Israel's capability and commitment to International Humanitarian Law (IHL) and act in accordance with that advice. We continue to call for IHL to be respected and civilians to be protected. We continue to urge Israel take greater care to limit its operations to military targets and avoid harming civilians and destroying homes.

Andrew Mitchell
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office) (Minister for Development)