Clause 2 — Amendments of the United Nations Personnel Act 1997

Part of Gangmasters Licensing Act 2004 (Amendment) Bill – in the House of Commons at 3:45 pm on 10th June 2009.

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Photo of David Lidington David Lidington Shadow Minister (Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs) 3:45 pm, 10th June 2009

If I heard him correctly, the Minister said a moment ago that not all countries with UN missions had yet signed up. However, his predecessor, Gillian Merron, who is now a Minister of State at the Department of Health, said on Second Reading that

"five countries with UN missions in their territories"—

I presume that she meant UN peace building missions—

"have signed the protocol."—[ Hansard, 1 April 2009; Vol. 490, c. 980.]

I am not trying to trip up the Minister, but it would be helpful for the House to be clear about this. One question that I have raised previously about this part of the Bill has to do with the fact that the optional protocol does not define "peace building" in the way that earlier protocols defined "peace making". That does not pose an immediate problem if those countries with peace-building missions have signed up already, but there could be a problem in the future when it comes to defining exactly what sort of UN activity is covered by the additional protection being given.

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