Alliance Party Justice Spokesperson, Stephen Farry, has welcomed the formal beginning of the International Monitoring Commission, and emphasised that it has an important role to play in the peace process.
Dr Farry stated:
“Today’s activation of the International Monitoring Commission is long overdue. Alliance first put forward proposals for such a body back in July 2002.
“The main purpose of the IMC is to shine a spotlight on the dark deeds of paramilitary organisations, to provide objective reports of any breaches of faith, and help to create the domestic and international pressure that will persuade those who are in default to change their behaviour.
“It is important that a credible sanctions regime is in place to back up these efforts, and to provide an effective deterrent.
“Sinn Fein believes that the IMC is outside the remit of the Agreement. To be clear, the IMC is consistent with the Agreement and builds upon the Agreement.
“If they wish to persist in such spurious arguments, then I am sure everyone will be happy to ignore the issue of the so-called ‘On the Runs’ which was not something contained in the Agreement.”