As talks towards the restoration of devolution begin in earnest, the Community Relations Council (CRC) today calls on all parties to place the building of a Shared Future at the centre of their priorities. In the light of published government policy on ‘A Shared Future’ CRC also calls on government and all political parties to produce clear and measurable policy commitments together with the necessary resources to ensure that the vision of Sharing rather than Separation becomes the new reality.
5 September 2006
SHARING OVER SEPARATION
As talks towards the restoration of devolution begin in earnest, the Community Relations Council (CRC) today calls on all parties to place the building of a Shared Future at the centre of their priorities. In the light of published government policy on 'A Shared Future' CRC also calls on government and all political parties to produce clear and measurable policy commitments together with the necessary resources to ensure that the vision of Sharing rather than Separation becomes the new reality.
The call comes during the launch today at Parliament Buildings at Stormont of the Council's publication 'Sharing Over Separation- Actions Towards A Shared Future'. The publication is the culmination of a research and consultation programme suggesting recommendations for implementing the government's Strategic and Policy Framework for Good Relations which was produced by The Office of the First Minister and Deputy First Minister in March 2005.
The launch is co-sponsored by Patricia Lewsley MLA (SDLP) and Nelson McCausland MLA (DUP and member of the Community Relations Council). All MLAs have been invited to attend.
Dr Duncan Morrow, CRC Chief Executive, who is speaking at the launch, says:
“Without common commitment to a future in which people in Northern Ireland can live, work and play safely together, the peace process has no central purpose. Sharing institutions and public resources will be a crucial element in securing a long lasting peace. The political parties have a critical role in turning the principles of A Shared Future into practical policies. The policy ideas in this publication are intended as a stimulus to action and change. There could be no more appropriate place to take this discussion than to Parliament Buildings.”
The vision stated in A Shared Future is:
“The establishment over time of a normal, civic society, in which all individuals are considered equals, where differences are resolved through dialogue in the public sphere, and where all people are treated impartially. A society where there is equity, respect for diversity and a recognition of our interdependence”.
Addressing the need for practical action by Government Dr Morrow also adds:
“The Community Relations Council is pleased that government has set out a strong public policy agenda for promoting good relations. But it is important to move soon from aspiration to action on A Shared Future. A Shared Future will not be plausible without clear and measurable policy commitments and the resources to back them. We hope that the research recommendations which we publish today will encourage some practical action.”
Among the speakers at the launch will be Frances McCandless, Director of Policy at NICVA, and Anna Lo, Director of the Chinese Welfare Association.
For further information please contact Ray Mullan, CRC Director of Communications & Learning, tel 028 9022 7500.
Note for Editors:
The launch of Sharing Over Separation will take place on Tuesday 5 September at 10 am at the Long Gallery, Parliament Buildings, Stormont. A photo-call will take place at 9.30 am at the main entrance to Parliament Buildings.
A Shared Future: Policy and Strategic Framework for Good Relations in Northern Ireland was published in March 2005 by OFMDFM. It is available from the government website www.asharedfutureni.gov.uk
The Community Relations Council publication Sharing Over Separation: Actions Towards A Shared Future will be available from Tuesday morning on the Community Relations Council website www.nicrc.org.uk. A limited number of printed copies are also available from the Council at a price of £10 each.