During Community Relations week, an Alliance delegation has met with Minister Des Browne to discuss the NIO’s community relations paper ‘A Shared Future’.
The delegation consisted of Deputy Leader and Community Relations spokesperson Eileen Bell MLA, Party Leader David Ford MLA, Policy Spokesperson Margaret Marshall and General Secretary, Dr Stephen Farry.
Speaking after the meeting, Eileen Bell stated: “As today has shown, improving relations between different peoples is of utmost importance in politics, whether it is in Basra, Bethlehem or Belfast. Community relations must certainly be regarded as the most important priority in Northern Ireland politics.
“For too long these difficult issues have been swept under the carpet.
“Alliance welcomed the strong commitment in the paper to the vision of a shared society and the rejection of one based on a ‘benign Apartheid’. This marks a major leap forward in Government thinking.
“Alliance stressed the importance of consolidating a strong regional framework for community relations that doesn’t just ‘fight the fires’, but promotes people coming together right across society.
“Alliance urged the Government to develop what are presented as aspirational policy goals into concrete proposals. We need to achieve real change in terms of how we live and learn, work and play together as a society.”