Councillor Fitzpatrick said: “We have experienced at first hand over the past 40 years the results of sectarianism and hopefully that experience will help us see the dangers of racism. The lessons we have learnt will stand us in good stead in our battle against those thugs who would further divide our society.
“Over past centuries the people of Ireland both North and South have emigrated to the four corners of the earth to the benefit of their host countries and we must recognise the strength in diversity to be gained in our society by welcoming those from foreign lands who wish to live and work among us.
“Northern Ireland has one of the lowest unemployment rates in Europe and if we are to continue to expand our economy we need to fill the gaps in the workforce by employing people who are keen to work and have the additional skills required. These people are to be made welcome.
“Our Assembly Members must address the issues of racism and racial inequality as a matter of urgency to increase the sense of belonging of people from minor ethnic backgrounds and ensure that they can play a full part in our shared future.”