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Breakfast with Frost
Margaret Beckett MP
Margaret Beckett MP
Sunday 25th August 2002

This week's Breakfast with Frost was presented by Gavin Esler.

As world leaders headed for the Earth Summit in Johannesburg we asked whether there was any real chance of significant progress being made towards tackling global environmental issues.

Joining us live in the studio was Sir Jonathon Porritt, who advises the Government on environmental issues. He warned that ministers were spending too much time worrying about upsetting big business and had displayed "cowardice" when faced with key issues, such as the reform of the World Trade Organisation.

But the Environment Secretary Margaret Beckett was adamant that the Government wasn't about to waste the opportunities the Johannesburg summit offered. As the UK's chief negotiator, she also defended the Prime Minister against accusations that he was selling out the environment by making only a short visit and a single speech.

Mrs Beckett also said she was determined not to allow issues such as Iraq and Zimbabwe to overshadow the agenda.

On the ninth anniversary of the Oslo Accord we heard two different appraisals of the current situation in the Middle East. Raja Shehadeh, a Palestinian lawyer, author, and human rights activist, said the situation in the occupied territories had never been worse. We put his comments to the Israeli foreign minister Shimon Peres - one of the architects of the original agreement. Mr Peres insisted that the situation faced by the Palestinian people was a direct result of Yasser Arafat's failure at the negotiating table.

The American actor Kyle McLachlan is in the middle of a sell-out run of his hit West End play "On an Average Day". He took time out to come to the studio to explain what it was about the London stage that was attracting increasing numbers of big name Hollywood stars.

And with just hours to go before the start of the Notting Hill Carnival, Deputy Assistant Commissioner Andy Trotter of the Metropolitan Police explained how he was working to ensure that all of the expected two million revellers would enjoy a safe and trouble-free carnival weekend.

This week's paper reviewers were the deputy editor of the New Statesman, Cristina Odone, and the former Conservative transport minister, Steven Norris.

Environment Secretary Margaret Beckett MP

Government environmental adviser Sir Jonathon Porritt and John Gummer MP

Israeli foreign minister Shimon Peres and Palestinian lawyer Raja Shehadeh

Deputy Assistant Commissioner Andy Trotter of the Metropolitan Police

Actor Kyle McLachlan


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