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Written Question
The Gambia: Female Genital Mutilation
Monday 8th April 2024

Asked by: Lord Stevens of Birmingham (Crossbench - Life peer)

Question to the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office:

To ask His Majesty's Government what representations they have made to the government of the Gambia concerning new legislation which would decriminalise female genital mutilation.

Answered by Lord Benyon - Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)

The UK Government, alongside our international partners, continues to have frank and open conversations with The Gambian Government, including the President and other Ministers, about the Bill to repeal the ban on FGM. On 19 March, the Foreign Secretary issued a tweet reinforcing the UK Government's position that FGM is harmful and should be illegal, and the Minister for Development and Africa spoke to the President about the repercussions of any vote in favour of FGM once again being permitted in The Gambia.


Written Question
Hamas: Hostage Taking
Monday 29th January 2024

Asked by: Lord Stevens of Birmingham (Crossbench - Life peer)

Question to the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office:

To ask His Majesty's Government what representations they have made to the International Committee of the Red Cross concerning securing access to Israeli hostages being held in Gaza.

Answered by Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon - Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)

Since October 7, the UK government has been working with relevant partners across the region, including the International Committee of the Red Cross, to help secure the release of hostages and better understand their status, including working to gain information on proof of life and access to medical professionals. As the Foreign Secretary has said, we need a humanitarian pause now to allow for the release of hostages.


Written Question
South Africa: Development Aid
Monday 29th January 2024

Asked by: Lord Stevens of Birmingham (Crossbench - Life peer)

Question to the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office:

To ask His Majesty's Government how much development assistance they have provided to South Africa over the past 10 years.

Answered by Lord Benyon - Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)

The UK's development assistance to South Africa promotes a strategic partnership with a focus on shared priorities including economic development, climate change, gender equality and strengthening health systems. South Africa still faces major development challenges - particularly around poverty, inequality and unemployment - and remains eligible to receive donor assistance. Since 2014 the UK has provided South Africa with £267,928,979 in development assistance as our relationship has evolved from one of aid to one of mutual co-operation and strategic partnerships.


Written Question
Guyana: Venezuela
Thursday 21st December 2023

Asked by: Lord Stevens of Birmingham (Crossbench - Life peer)

Question to the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office:

To ask His Majesty's Government what (1) diplomatic, (2) defence, and (3) other support, they will provide to the government of Guyana, following Venezuela's referendum proposing the illegal annexation of Guyana's Essequibo region.

Answered by Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon - Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)

We are concerned by the recent steps taken by Venezuela. We are clear that the border was settled in 1899 through international arbitration. The Foreign Secretary has reassured President Ali of this. We continue to work with regional partners and international bodies to de-escalate tensions.

Minister Rutley visited Guyana on 18 December. He met with President Ali, Foreign Secretary Todd, National Security Advisor Captain Gerry Gouveia, Defence Force Chief of Staff Brigadier Omar Khan and the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) Secretary General Dr Carla Barnett to show UK support for Guyana's territorial integrity.


Written Question
Guyana: Venezuela
Thursday 21st December 2023

Asked by: Lord Stevens of Birmingham (Crossbench - Life peer)

Question to the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office:

To ask His Majesty's Government what representations they have made to the government of Venezuela regarding the territorial integrity of Guyana.

Answered by Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon - Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)

The UK Government does not recognise the legitimacy of the Maduro regime. We are concerned by the recent steps taken by Venezuela. We are clear that the border was settled in 1899 through international arbitration. The Foreign Secretary has reassured President Ali of this. We continue to work with regional partners and international bodies to de-escalate tensions.

Minister Rutley visited Guyana on 18 December to show UK support for its territorial integrity. He met with President Ali, Foreign Secretary Todd, National Security Advisor Captain Gerry Gouveia, Defence Force Chief of Staff Brigadier Omar Khan and The Caribbean Community (CARICOM) Secretary General Dr Carla Barnett to show UK support for Guyana's territorial integrity.