§ Mr. Gordon Prentice
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development if she will make a statement on Government participation in the UN Conference in Bonn on desertification. 
§ Clare Short
At the Special Ministerial Segment of the meeting, the UK was represented by my hon. Friend the Under-Secretary of State for International Development. He was supported by three officials from the Environment Policy Department of the Department for International Development and one from the Department for the Environment, Transport and the Regions.
The Conference began a major review of implementation of the Convention. This will be taken forward at the next Conference in October 2001. In his statement to the Conference, my hon. Friend underlined the importance of integrating programmes to combat desertification with developing countries' strategies for sustainable development and poverty elimination.