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Promoting Democracy and Human Rights

Part of Points of Order – in the House of Commons at 4:34 pm on 13th October 2008.

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Photo of Caroline Flint Caroline Flint Minister of State (Europe) 4:34 pm, 13th October 2008

It is not forgotten. I acknowledge how frustrating and difficult the process is. In answer to the earlier intervention by Daniel Kawczynski I can say that the Foreign Secretary told Sudanese Vice-President Taha in New York on 27 September that the Sudanese Government should co-operate with the International Criminal Court over crimes committed in Darfur and should take bolder and more ambitious action to bring peace in Darfur. The process is difficult, slow and frustrating, but the UK Government are doing all we can on a number of different fronts, through our development funds and our engagement on every level, to try to support a peaceful resolution in Sudan.

Human rights work is not simply about exposing abuse. It is about changing mindsets, and so our work across the globe, whether in Pakistan, Afghanistan, Zimbabwe or Iraq, is targeted and pragmatic. The end point is not necessarily to humiliate a Government, but to get them to change and to reach a point where there are no longer 7,500 people on death row in Pakistan, where the Afghan Government do not execute 15 people in the middle of the night, where Zimbabwe has free elections and where women are no longer, as my hon. Friend Mrs. Cryer mentioned earlier, the victims of so-called honour crimes in northern Iraq.

Before I finish my remarks, I want to return to my original theme.

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