Ford says that strong community relations plan must be delivered in 2012

In his New Year’s message, Alliance Leader David Ford has said that the most robust community relations strategy possible must be delivered in 2012. He said the creation of a shared future is imperative for stability and to help grow our economy.

David Ford said: “2012 must see the delivery of a strong Cohesion, Sharing and Integration strategy and Alliance will not support anything but a robust community relations strategy.

“The New Year is a time for making resolutions. All politicians here must make one solid resolution for 2012 – that they are committed to ending division in our society, and this must be done through the delivery of the strongest possible CSI strategy. We have heard much talk about a shared future. Now is the time for action.

“A united community is essential for stability and to boost our economy. It is absolutely clear that divisions in our society act as a deterrent to potential investors. What sort of message does it send out to global business leaders that we live in a society that is beset with segregation?

“Segregation costs our society £1bn every year. At the start of a new year it is important that all politicians consider the massive impact this is having on everyone in Northern Ireland and they do everything possible to address it. Positive progress is being made on addressing division but much more can and must be achieved and the start of a new year provides an opportunity to set out clear goals and demonstrate how they will be implemented through the CSI strategy.

“Alliance is leading change and we have demonstrated our ambition for a united community through our work to address peace walls, by promoting shared and integrated education and by campaigning for shared services. Our Shared Future Test which we launched during the election campaign demonstrates the high level of ambition we have for Northern Ireland. Let’s make 2012 a year of massive change for the better. Let’s deliver an ambitious and robust CSI strategy that all parties can support. Let’s transform our society for the good of everyone.”


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