Lyttle – Inclusion of civic society in political processes can help build shared future

Alliance OFMDFM spokesperson Chris Lyttle MLA has said that the role that civic society has played in the Haass talks on flags, parades and the past, has shown the possible benefits that could be found by re-establishing the Civic Forum. Chris was speaking ahead of an Assembly debate on the Civic Forum on Monday.

Chris Lyttle MLA said: “The Alliance Party values the role that civic society can play in making political progress. This is why in January this year, Alliance Party Leader David Ford wrote to the First and deputy First Minister to propose that a shared future working group be established which would have the involvement of civic society and be led by an independent chair.

“Dr Haass and his team have met and received submissions from a broad range of groups from young people, religious leaders, to cultural and business organisations. I believe that their involvement will help us achieve a positive solution to the issues of flags, parades and the past.

“A reformed Civic Forum could act as a catalyst to engage frustrated citizens and harness the creativity of civic society to improve the political process.

“We should not judge the Civic Forum on is previous record, as it was largely hampered by the instability and suspensions of the Assembly between 1998 and 2007.

“To be effective; however, it must have clear roles and responsibilities and as broad a membership as possible to ensure adequate representation of our diverse community.”


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