“The next three years will be critical for Northern Ireland’s future with four key elections. However, some of our old wounds have been re-opened by politicians more interested in chasing votes than creating change.
“That is why there is now more of a need than before for a strong, cross-community voice arguing for change.
“Work must now be done to build on the progress made in the last 16 years. We must not allow sectarian forces to inhibit our progress.
“Alliance must continue to play our part in developing a shared future for everyone. That will mean continuing to make the case for truly integrated schools which teach children of all backgrounds together. That will mean continuing to pursue housing developments and public space that is shared and accessible to everyone. And it will mean continuing to show leadership on issues such as dealing with the past which remain as controversial as ever.
“We have come a long way but we have so much further left to go. That is why I would urge people to step forward and help Alliance lead change in our society.”