HC Deb 03 February 2004 vol 417 c772W
Mr. Mates

To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what steps he is taking to maintain the UK's role in European Union research networks for renewable natural resources which are geared to helping developing countries to attain the Millennium Development Goals. [152539]

Hilary Benn

The principal network is the European Initiative for Agricultural Research for Development which aims to improve the relevance and effectiveness of European investments in agricultural research to reduce poverty in developing countries. The initiative is recognised by the European Parliament and Council and implemented by a coordinating group of members of the European Commission, the member states of the European Union, Norway and Switzerland. The UK is an active participant in the initiative and in the co-ordinating group. An official from my Department is currently seconded to the initiative as its executive secretary.