Geneva Conventions and United Nations Personnel (Protocols) Bill [ Lords]

Part of Registration of Births and Deaths (Welsh Language) – in the House of Commons at 3:12 pm on 1st April 2009.

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Photo of John Hayes John Hayes Shadow Minister (Education) 3:12 pm, 1st April 2009

I must make progress. I will give way in a few moments' time, once I have dealt with the issue raised by my hon. Friend Michael Fabricant as briefly as I can, and before moving to the main thrust of my arguments.

Earlier, I quoted Masood Khan, the ambassador for Pakistan, who has the matters that my hon. Friend raised at heart because the tensions over Israel are highly pertinent to our consideration of the Bill and the wider considerations of the international community about the use of these symbols. However, I did not quote Mr. Khan as extensively as the House would wish me to. He says:

"All sides are making honest endeavours to reach agreement. We must create the right kind of environment where we have understanding between the Israeli and Syrian national societies, because of the question of occupied Golan and whether the Syrian Red Crescent can operate there."

When I spoke of that earlier, the Minister intervened to suggest that there were indeed signs of progress and hope of a breakthrough. My hon. Friend the Member for Lichfield was right to raise the issue because Israel—a country with an outstanding record on humanitarian aid, which we saw during the tsunami and other events mentioned earlier—wants to be a member of the international community in these terms, and the efforts of Mr. Khan and others are designed to ensure that outcome.

I must move on, because—

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