The Community Relations Council welcomes the announcement that the First Minister and deputy First Minister have agreed a community relations strategy for Cohesion, Sharing and Integration.
CRC Chair Tony McCusker says:
‘The Community Relations Council welcomes the news of an agreed OFMDFM strategy on Cohesion, Sharing and Integration for dealing with sectarianism and racism and looks forward to engaging in a consultation on the proposals. We urge the Executive to publish the document as quickly as possible. The Executive should build on the lessons learnt from the extensive and successful Shared Future consultation carried out in 2003 and 2004. It is also important that all departments of government are able to comment on and contribute to the strategy.’
CRC Chief Executive Duncan Morrow says:
‘Sectarianism and racism are critical issues which continue to have a negative impact on the quality of life of many people throughout the community and damage the economic recovery prospects of the whole region. It is of vital importance that at the heart of government there is a strategy for dealing with them.
Equality and good relations, public safety and the absence of shared space have always been core issues of concern for CRC and we have been champions in arguing for a good relations strategy that addresses them. This needs to be a central element in creating stability and partnership and is the basis both for economic development and open, fair and sustainable government’