Arms Trade: Human Rights

Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs written question – answered on 2nd September 2013.

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Photo of Kerry McCarthy Kerry McCarthy Shadow Minister (Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs)

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what assessment he has made regarding the attendance of foreign delegations from (a) countries of concern and (b) other countries identified by his Department in its annual human rights report at the Defence and Security International Exhibition in London.

Photo of Alistair Burt Alistair Burt The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs

The Government undertakes a stringent process of scrutiny and approval before inviting foreign Governments to a major UK defence exhibition like the Defence and Security International Exhibition in London (DSEI). Respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms are mandatory considerations undertaken in the process, and we also consider how invitations will impact on bilateral engagement including on issues like human rights. In addition, we review invitations in cases where the situation in any one country changes significantly prior to an exhibition. Invitations do not imply that Her Majesty's Government would be prepared to issue export licenses for the equipment that may be displayed, and any subsequent sales are assessed on a case-by-case basis against the Consolidated European Union and National Arms Export Licensing Criteria.

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