§ Malcolm Bruce
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what role her Department has played in discussions relating to the UNECE Water and Industrial Accidents Conventions. 
§ Mr. Meacher
These Conventions were adopted in 1992 and the UK is a signatory to both of them. My department has been involved in discussions in the past year on a possible liability protocol under both Conventions in a United Nations Economic Commission for Europe working group.
The protocol would provide compensation for damage to transboundary waters from accidents covered by the industrial accidents Convention. The aim is for the protocol to he adopted at the conference of European Environment Ministers next year.