Councillor Fitzpatrick said: “We have experienced first hand over the past 40 years the horrific results of sectarianism and hopefully that experience will help us fight racism. The lessons we have learnt will stand us in good stead in our battle against those who want to keep our society divided.
“I believe that sectarianism and racism are linked and we must fight them both to create a better 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 other countries who wish to live and work here.
“Northern Ireland has one of the lowest unemployment rates in Europe and if we are to continue to expand our economy we need the help of migrants.
“Migrants play a vital role in our local economy and provide much needed cultural diversity in Northern Ireland.
“All political parties in the new Assembly must work to put in place extra measures to tackle racism as a matter of urgency and they must recognise that racism is linked to sectarianism.”