HC Deb 26 July 1999 vol 336 c11W
Mr. Cox

To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what discussions she has had, and with whom, about improving the environmental situation in Kosovo following the conflict there; and if she will make a statement. [92199]

Clare Short

I met the Director of the United Nations Environment Programme, Klaus Topefer, on June 15, when we discussed the UNEP mission to the Balkans. The aim of the mission, which began earlier this month, is to establish what impact the conflict has had on the environment in Kosovo and elsewhere in the Balkans. Initial assessments indicate that the main environmental threats to health are contaminated water sources and landmines. My Department has made action in both sectors a priority. We have sent twelve rapid response teams to carry out emergency surveying and demining. And we are establishing an Infrastructure Engineering Unit within our Pristina office which will focus on water and electricity rehabilitation.