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(2) what progress has been made on his Department's Sustainable Development Strategy. 
Keith Hill: The Office of the Deputy Prime Minister is working closely with Defra, other Government departments and the Devolved Administrations to deliver sustainable development. The UK Government and Devolved Administrations are currently consulting on creating a new UK strategic framework for sustainable development.
The Office of the Deputy Prime Minister 's central aim is to create sustainable communitiesplaces where people want to liveby promoting economic growth, social progress and environmental protection.
The Sustainable Communities Plan, "Sustainable Communities; Building for the Future", sets out a programme of action for delivering sustainable communities in all our towns, cities and rural areas. The Office of the Deputy Prime Minister has recently published "Making it Happen: The Northern Way", which provided an update on the delivery of the Sustainable Communities Plan, with a particular emphasis on the North and the Midlands.
In line with all government departments, the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister is actively working to manage the sustainable development impacts of the operation of its estates and to deliver the targets outlined in the "Framework for Sustainable Development on the Government Estate".
The Planning and Compulsory Purchase Bill, currently before the House, sets out contributing to the achievement of sustainable development as an objective for regional spatial strategies and local development documents. We have backed this up with new guidance on
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sustainable development and planning in Planning Policy Statement 1Creating Sustainable Communitieswhich was issued for consultation on 24 February.
Andrew Selous: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister what responses he has received to the consultation about the creation of an urban development corporation for South Bedfordshire; and what progress there has been towards the creation of an urban development corporation for South Bedfordshire. 
Keith Hill: My right hon. Friend Lord Rooker wrote to all local authorities in the Luton-Dunstable-Houghton Regis (LDHR) growth area in early May 2003 asking them to explore options for a local delivery vehicle to manage the growth envisaged in and around Luton and adjoining areas. Local partners have now proposed that the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister establish an urban development corporation for the growth area and we are considering this as one of the options. Alongside this is work to establish the location and level of growth in this area, and the testing of growth proposals set out in the Milton Keynes/South Midlands sub regional strategy is part of this process. There has been no decision on the vehicle or the area it might cover at this stage.
Mr. Hancock: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs pursuant to his letter to the hon. Member for Portsmouth, South dated 14 April, which countries his Department considers to have a stricter and more transparent arms exporting system than the UK. 
Mr. MacShane: The United Kingdom has one of the strictest arms export licensing systems in the world. The Government are not aware of any countries which overall operate a stricter export control policy, other than the case of countries such as Japan, which do not export any military equipment at all. We know of no other country that publicly reports more information on arms exports than the United Kingdom.
Angus Robertson: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what assessment his Department has made of the proposals for the establishment of a regional peace force, announced by the Economic Community of Central African States (CEEAC) on 29 October 2003; what discussions he has had with members of the governments of (a) EU member states, (b) EU candidate countries, (c) CEEAC member states, (d) South Africa and (e) the USA on this matter; and if he will make a statement. 
The UK's support for the establishment of the ASF is currently directed towards developing strategic management capacity at the African Union and establishing regional brigades in east and west Africa. We also support efforts at the national level in South Africa, Kenya, Nigeria and Ghana. We are discussing these initiatives with a range of international and African partners.
Angus Robertson: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs whether his Department sent observers to the meeting of the Economic Community of Central African States' meeting in Brazzaville, Republic of Congo, on 28 and 29 October 2003; what key issues have been reported to him; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Mullin: A UK representative did not attend the meeting of Defence Chiefs of Staff in Brazzaville in October 2003. The meeting looked at the creation of a brigade-size peace-keeping force for central Africa, in line with the African Union's plans for the African Standby Force. We welcome the support shown by the Economic Community of Central African States and other regional organisations for the African Standby Force and we continue to encourage governments in the region to support regional peace-keeping initiatives.
We encourage British journalists to read Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) Travel advice before planning visits to Iraq. We advise against all but the most essential travel to Iraq. The security situation is dangerous and April has seen widespread outbreaks of violence. Our travel advice states that even the most essential travel to Iraq should be delayed, if possible. FCO travel advice makes clear that Fallujah is a particularly dangerous place at the moment. FCO travel advice is available on the FCO website: www.fco.gov.uk.
Llew Smith: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs whether the Government has submitted all documentation on which its claim that Iraq tried to procure uranium from Niger was based to the Butler Inquiry. 
As my right hon. Friend the Foreign Secretary has made clear, the Government will co-operate fully with the Butler Review, which has access to all intelligence reports and assessments and to other relevant Government papers.
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Llew Smith: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs when the Government first learned that Dr. Abdul Qadeer Khan had visited countries in sub-Saharan Africa between 1998 and 2002 to procure uranium. 
Mr. MacShane: I refer my hon. Friend to the answer my right hon. Friend the Prime Minister gave to my hon. Friend the Member for Linlithgow (Mr. Dalyell) on 1 March 2004, Official Report, column 757W. It is the practice of successive Governments not to comment on intelligence matters. The security and intelligence agencies are not within the scope of the Code of Practice on Access to Government Information (Part 1, paragraph 6).
Lynne Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs pursuant to the answer of 30 January 2004, Official Report, column 581W, on Iraq, whether the intelligence referred to is the intelligence upon which the United Kingdom Government based its claim in the September 2002 dossier, Iraq's Weapons of Mass Destruction, that Iraq sought the supply of uranium from Africa. 
Mr. MacShane: The intelligence upon which the Government based their claim in the September 2002 dossier that Iraq sought to procure uranium from Africa is described in paragraphs 8993 of the Intelligence and Security Committee's report "Iraqi Weapons of Mass Destruction" (Cmnd 5972).
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