Bob Seely Written Questions

Questions to Foreign and Commonwealth Office tabled by Bob Seely


Date Title Questioner
21 Dec 2018, 1:24 p.m. Overseas Aid Bob Seely

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what estimate her Department has made of the amount of funding allocated to programmes overseas which are not part of Official Development Assistance.

Answer (Sir Alan Duncan)

Information on the Foreign and Commonwealth Office’s (FCO) programme spend is available in its Annual Report and Accounts. Detail of the FCO’s Official Development Assistance is also routinely published on the gov.uk website. Expenditure in the remaining year(s) of this spending period will be subject to the normal departmental business planning process, or programme allocation process. Expenditure in the next spending period will be determined at the next Spending Review.

13 Oct 2017, 12:48 p.m. BBC World Service: Departmental Responsibilities Bob Seely

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, if he will transfer governmental responsibility and funding of the BBC World Service to the Department for International Development.

Answer (Mark Field)

​There are no plans to transfer governmental responsibility and funding of the BBC World Service to the Department for International Development (DfID). The BBC World Service is primarily funded through the licence fee. An additional £291m is being invested by the FCO over four years to support the development and implementation of 12 new language services and other enhancements to existing services.

The new services are tangible proof of a truly Global Britain – making the most of the UK's soft power to help the world's poorest while also projecting the UK's values around the world. Further information on the implementation of the services is available from the BBC World Service.

13 Oct 2017, 12:46 p.m. BBC World Service Bob Seely

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what progress is being made in enabling access to BBC World Service in (a) North Korea, (b) Russia and (c) other countries where the service is not currently easily available, and if he will make a statement.

Answer (Mark Field)

The BBC World Service is delivering 12 new language services and enhancements to existing services with an investment of £291m from Government over 4 years. The Foreign Secretary agreed the funding and the new language services proposed by the BBC. Good progress has been made in delivering these services including:

  1. New radio services in the Korean language (launched 25 September 2017).
  2. Enhanced services for Russian speakers (further expansion in October 2017).
  3. Other new high quality and impartial news programmes for global audiences, including in places where free speech is limited. This includes some of the most remote places in the world, providing a link to the UK for individuals and societies who would otherwise not have this opportunity.

I was in New Delhi on 3 October 2017 at the inauguration of the foreign language Indian service.

The new services are tangible proof of a truly Global Britain – making the most of the UK's soft power to help the world's poorest while also projecting the UK's values around the world. Further information on the implementation of the services is available from the BBC World Service.

11 Oct 2017, 3:09 p.m. Responsibility to Protect Bob Seely

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what his policy is on the UN's Responsibility to Protect policy; and if he will make representations to his Russian counterpart to request their unequivocal support for that policy.

Answer (Rory Stewart)

​The UK is fully committed to the concept of the Responsibility to Protect (R2P) which was endorsed by all UN Member States in 2005. We regularly remind all states of their commitment to protect populations from atrocity crimes and to use all three pillars of the concept to uphold the responsibility to protect. Additionally, by signing up to the Accountability, Coherence and Transparency (ACT) group's Code of Conduct we have committed to never vote against credible Security Council action to stop mass atrocities and crimes against humanity. We urge all present and future Security Council members to support the Code.

26 Jul 2017, 3:38 p.m. Commonwealth: Equality Bob Seely

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, whether the Government will put equalities issues on the agenda for the 2018 Commonwealth Summit; and if he will make a statement.

Answer (Alistair Burt)

The Government believes that the Commonwealth is an enormous force for good around the world, through its promotion of freedom, democracy, human rights, development and prosperity.

The Commonwealth Summit, which the UK will host in April 2018, will encourage all Commonwealth members to uphold the Charter's commitment to oppose all forms of discrimination, whether rooted in gender, race, colour, creed, political, religious or other beliefs.

While it is too early to set out the specific agenda, a key goal of the Summit will be to reinforce the Commonwealth's commitment to the rules-based international system based on members' shared values of democracy, good governance, equality and the rule of law.