9.45 – 10.10 Conference Opens/Party President’s Address
10.15 – 11.00 Motions 1-3:
Conference expresses its alarm at the deterioration of Health and Social Services in Northern Ireland, noting with concern that waiting lists are the longest of any region in the United Kingdom and that there are restrictions on many domiciliary services.
Conference calls for per capita health and social services spending in Northern Ireland to be increased to the European average, believing that the most efficient use of new funds would be in primary care and preventive measures.
Proposer: Stephen McSherry
Seconder: Geraldine Rice
Culture of Lawfulness:
Conference expresses its alarm at the continued and varied threats to the rule of law, and the deteriorating attitudes to law and order, particularly among young people.
Conference notes the successful strategies of promoting a culture of lawfulness in other parts of the world, such as Sicily.
Conference calls upon the Executive to co-ordinate the promotion of a culture of lawfulness in Northern Ireland involving schools, the media and the churches, in addition to the police.
Proposed: Jayne Dunlop
Seconder: to be confirmed
Conference considers that the Government’s proposal for dealing with those “on the run” constitutes a general amnesty for offences committed prior to April 1998, goes well beyond both the letter and spirit of the Good Friday Agreement and is inconsistent with both justice and international practice.
Conference believes that the minimum requirement consistent with the agreement is that those wishing to avail of this measure should be required to acknowledge their guilt in court and be released on licence.
Conference further believes that the Government should demand guarantees that those “exiled” by the paramilitaries can return to Northern Ireland in safety before proceeding with this measure.
Proposer: Eileen Bell
Seconder: to be confirmed
11.00 – 12.15 Panel Discussion: Sectarianism & Segregation
Speakers: Tony Kennedy, Co-operation Ireland
Robin Wilson, Democratic Dialogue
Philip McGarry, Alliance Party
Two further speakers to be confirmed.
12.15 – 12.45 Party Leader’s Speech
12.45 – 1.30 Lunch Break
1.15 – 2.15 Fringe Meetings:
British Medical Association – Annex Room
Northern Ireland in Europe – Carrick Room
2.15 – 3.00 Motions 4-5:
Assembly Designations and Voting System
Conference believes that the system requiring sectional designations in the Assembly is discriminatory, institutionalises sectarianism, and has been proven to be subject to crises.
Conference congratulates Alliance MLAs for acting to save the Agreement from collapse in November 2001, but believes that this can only be a one-off action and that Alliance MLAs should not shore up such a system in any further circumstances.
Believing that there is now a duty on the Governments and other parties to reform the system, Conference calls upon the two Governments to convene urgently a Review with the competence to properly address the Assembly designations and voting system.
Proposer: to be confirmed
Seconder: Tommy McCullough
Conference notes the successful introduction of the Euro into 12 EU countries.
Conference believes that UK membership of the Euro is vital to the long-term economic interests of Northern Ireland, particularly given the land-border with the Republic of Ireland.
Conference calls upon the Government to hold a referendum on entry into the Euro at the earliest opportunity.
Proposer: Sean Neeson
Seconder: Colm Cavanagh
3.00 – 4.00 Panel Discussion: Future of Education in Northern Ireland
Speakers:Tony Gallagher, Queen’s University
Eddie McArgyle, Council for Catholic Maintained Schools
Uel McCrea, Headmasters Association
Dr Wilfrid Mulryne, Principal Methodist College
Michael Wardlow, NI Council for Integrated Education
4.00 European Commission Reception
Alliance Party of Northern Ireland Conference Notes:
Organisations committed to exhibiting include, so far:
Federation of Small Business
NI Citizens Advice Bureau
NI Council for Integrated Education
Northern Ireland in Europe
Royal College of Midwives
Royal Society Protection of Birds
Translink Ulster Cancer Foundation
The Fringe allows organisations to host a discussion on a specialist area of public policy of particular concern to them. Two fringes have already been booked by the British Medical Association, and The European Commission will host a reception at the end of the Conference.
Every party member is entitled to attend the Party Conference. No advance registration is required. The registration desk will open at 8.45am on the morning of the Conference, and will be staffed throughout the day. Registration will cost £3 per head. Each registered delegate will receive a Delegate’s Pack containing full details on the day’s events, alongside some other publications and merchandise.
Any party member can speak on any motion through submitting a speaker’s card prior to the debate. The proposer can speak for up to 5 minutes, the seconder and other speakers can speak for up to 3 minutes each. Speakers are called at the discretion of the Party President, who will seek to ensure a balance between those for and against the motion.
Overnight accommodation is available in the Quality Hotel. The rates are £40 per night for a singe, and £60 per night for a double. These can be booked direct with the Quality Hotel. Please ring 9336 4556 and quote the Alliance Party Conference.