HC Deb 13 February 2004 vol 418 cc108-9W
Mr. Robathan

To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what assessment he has made of the impact of Serbian co-operation with(a) international institutions and (b) the War Crimes Tribunal on development assistance to Serbia; and what representations he has made to (i) EU partners and (ii) the Serbian government about this. [155669]

Mr. Gareth Thomas

For the three-year period to the end of 2003, positive dialogue between Serbia and the International Community, including the IMF, World Bank, and European Commission led to a programme of reform backed up by substantial assistance programmes from key donors. In 2003, The European Commission allocated some £160 million (UK share of which was about £30 million) and the World Bank had committed nearly £210 million of a three-year allocation of £286 million approved in 2001.

Although Serbia and Montenegro (SaM) made some progress in co-operating with the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia (ICTY) in early 2003, co-operation has since stalled. We and our partners in the International Community take every opportunity to remind Belgrade that in order to realise her Euro-Atlantic aspirations, SaM must fulfil the international obligation of full and complete co-operation with the ICTY. Through both bilateral and EU initiatives, we continue to put pressure on SaM to arrest and transfer all remaining ICTY indictees, including Serb leaders Ratko Mladic and Radovan Karadzic and to allow ICTY full access to documents and witnesses.

We and our European Partners regularly discuss the situation in Serbia. It is unclear how Serbia's relations with international institutions and ICTY will now develop since Serbia has yet to form a government following last December's parliamentary elections. We will continue to liaise closely with EU and other International Community partners, to identify the most effective ways to support and promote both reform and co-operation with ICTY.