Community Relations Minister Jeff Rooker today unveiled the Government's vision for creating a shared, racism free, future for all the people of Northern Ireland.
ROOKER LAUNCHES GOOD RELATIONS ACTION PLAN
Community Relations Minister Jeff Rooker unveiled the Government's vision for creating a shared, racism free, future for all the people of Northern Ireland.
Speaking at the launch of the first 'A Shared Future' action plan and the first Racial Equality Implementation Action Plan, Jeff Rooker said: “Segregation, racism and division are no longer options in Northern Ireland, there is no alternative to a shared future.
“Secretary of State Peter Hain earlier this week set out in very clear terms this Government's full and total commitment to the 'A Shared Future' strategy. Today's publications turn that commitment into a reality setting out a framework for tackling the twin evils of sectarianism and racism.”
The Minister continued: “These action plans are designed to ensure a shared, prosperous and democratic future for all the people of Northern Ireland but Government's collective will and determination alone may not be enough. Sustained, long term progress can only be achieved through leadership at a local, political, civic and community level.
“Local politicians need to take up this mantle and make policy a reality and a new common sense for all who live on this island.”
The action Plans are key elements in the Government's drive for a modern Northern Ireland economy underpinned by an inclusive, shared society. The plans aim to create social and political stability in a shared and peaceful society which is capable of attracting investment and developing an economy that can compete on a global stage.
Both plans focus firmly on the work of Government Departments and their agencies within a clear legal and statutory framework, underpinned by Section 75. All commitments have been agreed by departments and signed off by their respective ministers.
The Minister continued: “By creating a culture that is both generous and co-operative, Northern Ireland will attract new investment, tourism and new immigrants. The growing diversity of Northern Ireland is to be welcomed, not feared. Only by learning about and accommodating each others traditions can we begin to build for tomorrow.
“This plan is only the beginning of what will be a challenging but achievable process that must take place. If we are to create a truly world class Northern Ireland there is no alternative to 'A Shared Future'. It is only common sense that we build a Shared Future.”
Notes to Editors:
A Shared Future: Policy and Strategic Framework for Good Relations in Northern Ireland was published by Written Ministerial Statement on 21 March 2005
A Shared Future sets out Governments aim of establishing over time a shared society, defined by a culture of tolerance.