Clause 2 — Amendments of the United Nations Personnel Act 1997

Part of Gangmasters Licensing Act 2004 (Amendment) Bill – in the House of Commons at 3:30 pm on 10th June 2009.

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Photo of Chris Bryant Chris Bryant Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign and Commonwealth Office) 3:30 pm, 10th June 2009

The protection is afforded to those who are directly involved in the UN peacekeeping mission and to those who are employed by direct agencies of the UN. It does not extend to further bodies. The truth is that in the various different missions around the world, the level of risk is differently estimated. We are keen to ensure that all the countries in which there are missions at present sign up. It is true that not all the countries where there are missions have so far signed up. That is why, although there will not be much immediate impact in the UK—we do not intend to have UN peacekeeping missions to the UK, so there is no direct likelihood of any such eventuality in this country—our ratification of the provision is part of the process of encouraging other countries to ratify that might otherwise be reluctant to do so. Obviously, that is true for countries as divergent as Liberia and Afghanistan. My right hon. Friend mentioned Afghanistan, where there was a UN assistance mission, which is now a political mission. The situation is similar in Ethiopia and Eritrea. It is good that Cyprus has now ratified—that is somewhere where there is a UN peacekeeping mission. Our aim is to create the universality of protection that he envisages.

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