Naomi Long MP said:”The violence that we have seen in recent weeks further exposes the deep sectarian tensions in our community and highlights, in my view, the lack of both leadership and commitment from many parties to delivering on reconciliation in a meaningful way. Those sectarian tensions are too frequently and recklessly exploited for perceived partisan political gain and the solutions, when tension gives way to violence, it’s too frequently also sought only in partisan ways rather than through wider, inclusive engagement. I, therefore, welcome the emphasis that the Prime Minister has put on a delivering a genuine shared future in the context of addressing our current difficulties.
“The replacement strategy for delivering on this agenda, the Cohesion, Sharing and Integration has failed to be delivered by OFMDFM since the Shared Future document was abandoned by them back in 2007 and, despite being told that it’s publication was imminent frequently during that time, it has still not emerged. There is an urgency in this situation: we need not only publication of the document, but also substantive content when it comes to core, contentious issues such as the past and its legacy, parading, identity, use and abuse of symbols such as flags, shared housing and shared education.
“Only through a genuine engagement on these substantive issues will we resolve our current challenges and start to deliver on the hope of a shared future.”