'Other Parts of Government Have Hit Ethical Foreign Policy'
Foreign Secretary Mr Robin Cook's promise to put human rights at the heart of Government policy has been undermined by other departments dragging their feet, human rights group Amnesty International said yesterday.
Arms have continued to be exported to countries guilty of human rights abuses, and the Government is still sending out the message that asylum seekers should "keep out of the UK".
Amnesty published an audit of how far Mr Cook had kept his pledge - made only weeks after the general election - to operate an ethical foreign policy.
The group said the human rights policy pursued by the Foreign Office had "marked an important step forward" from the approach of previous governments and had resulted in "concrete measures which may improve human rights in the world".
But the report warned that the Foreign Office's human rights agenda had been marginalised by other Whitehall departments.
The Department of Trade and Industry has continued to grant licences for military exports to countries where the security services have been implicated in serious human rights abuses.
The DTI has granted ten licences for exports to Algeria, ten to Colombia, 59 to Saudi Arabia, 64 to Indonesia and 146 to Turkey. …