Consultation Necessary to Develop Shared Future says Alliance

Alliance Party MLA, Stephen Farry, has welcomed the decision of the Executive to launch a consultation on the new strategy for Cohesion, Sharing and Integration. He noted the importance and significance of local agreement and ownership of this critical issue, but also acknowledged the weaknesses in the current draft which are now best addressed in the context of the consultation.

Stephen Farry, who is Alliance OFMDFM Spokesperson, stated:

“Addressing the continued deep divisions in Northern Ireland through building a shared future is the biggest challenge facing this society.

“Any community relations policy will be most effective is developed and owned by the devolved institutions.

“Alliance welcomed the initial political agreement between the DUP and Sinn Fein in February within the Office of First Minister and Deputy First Minister. This was the first time that the two lead partners in devolved government had agreed even on the outline of a “Made in Northern Ireland” policy. Since then other Departments have had an opportunity to make an input.

“We support this document going out to public consultation. While doing so, we also recognise that it remains deficient and flawed in a number of respects. These include the clarity of the vision and direction for Northern Ireland, the economic and financial dimensions, resourcing and delivery mechanisms, targets and timetables.

“It is now important that the people of Northern Ireland have the opportunity to have their say, and it will then be incumbent upon the Executive and the Assembly to reflect upon these views and to make the necessary adjustments and improvements to the new strategy for Cohesion, Sharing and Integration.”


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