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 Chris Bryant Chris Bryant Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign and Commonwealth Office) 3:45 pm, 10th June 2009

I think that the hon. Gentleman is right, and I apologise if I inadvertently misled him. As I understand it, the five countries with peace-building missions have signed up, but if I am wrong I shall be happy to write to him. However, there are missions in 16 countries, and they obviously vary in their aims and the goals that they are intended to pursue. The point is that peacekeeping missions already have protection, whereas those missions involved in peace building that the Security Council has not said are at serious risk do not have protection. As the Security Council has never said that about any mission, it is clear that there is a legal loophole that the optional protocol is designed to tidy up.

I have to correct an impression that I gave earlier to the hon. Member for East Dunbartonshire, and which has to do with the number of countries that have signed and ratified the optional protocol. Thirty-four countries have signed the optional protocol, and 18 have ratified it. That number will become 19 if we ratify it, and 22 countries have to do so for the optional protocol to come into force.

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