HC Deb 04 December 1995 vol 268 c84W
Ms Quin

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will make a statement about the implications for his Department of the Chancellor of the Exchequer's financial statement. [3700]

Mr. Hanley

The Foreign and Commonwealth Office will respond imaginatively to the challenge of maintaining the front-line effort through demanding efficiency targets, and use of the private finance initiative.

With 21 new posts opened since 1990, the United Kingdom has diplomatic relations with a record high number of countries. The effort to promote exports and investment has been considerably enhanced in recent years and remains a high priority. The British Council and BBC World Service will continue to make an outstanding contribution to the overall UK diplomatic effort.

The UK's aid programme will remain the fifth largest in the world. Its overriding priority will continue to be poverty reduction through sustainable development, focused on the poorest countries in Africa and Asia.