Relationships built on trust remain the key to making any peace process work," said Dr Duncan Morrow, new Chief Executive of the Community Relations Council. Dr Morrow was speaking at the launch of the Community Relations Council's 12th Annual Report, covering the financial year April 2001-March 2002.
"We cannot expect that politicians can deliver trust if we are not finding ways to support and encourage them ," said Dr Morrow. "Trust between communities is not something which we have in great abundance and building and supporting trust involves risk-taking. Working to rebuild trust is obviously important for victims of the troubles and for people living on violent interfaces, but people can make an equally important contribution wherever they live and work. Trust is not a programme which can be delivered but a quality which must be built into how we do things at every level. The Community Relations Council is an open door to all those interested in furthering this vision."
"The Community Relations Council will continue to actively lead debate and promote new ideas leading to a society based on fairness, variety, choice and trust. Community relations is not about short term funding but about sustained support for all those taking steps towards sharing and partnership. While we recognise that change is easy, changing is harder, and the Council is about partnering for changing, not preaching at others to change."
CRC wants to promote a creative and holistic approach to peacebuilding. This means building real relationships with
Victims and perpetrators of violence
Those living on violent inter-community interfaces
Those working to promote fairness, trust and variety in community development
People with responsibilities in key areas of civil society - business, trade unions, rural community, churches
Those working to build Good Relations in the workplace
Public authorities struggling to promote fairness and diversity, including Civil Service, Policing, Equality and Human Rights
Political parties and community leaders
For further information contact
Ray Mullan, Director of Communications, CRC, tel 028 9022 7500
Copies of the CRC Annual Report are available free on request from the Community Relations Council.
The Community Relations Council awarded 412 grants in 2001-2 to community relations projects in the voluntary and community sector. Their total value was £2.6 million.
The Community Relations Council is a registered charity (formed in 1990). Its funding last year was received mainly from the Office of the First Minister and Deputy First Minister and from the European Commission for which it was (and is) an intermediary funding body under the Special Support Programme for Peace and Reconciliation.
Dr Duncan Morrow became CRC Chief Executive in October 2002. He has been a lecturer in Politics at the University of Ulster since 1991 and a member of the Future Ways Project. He was a member of the Board of the Community Relations Council from 1994 to 2000. He is the author and co-author of numerous publications and reports including:
The Equity, Diversity, Interdependence Framework (Future Ways, 2001)
A Worthwhile Venture- practically investing in Equity, Diversity and Interdependence (Future Ways, 1997)
Northern Ireland Politics (Longman, 1996)
Ways out of Conflict- resources for Community Relations Work (Understanding Conflict Trust, 1996)