Alliance leader David Ford has said that some progress has been made today on the issue of an independent ceasefire auditor.
Mr Ford was speaking after an Alliance delegation met this evening with Minister of State Des Browne. Among the other issues discussed were security resources and the need to tackle sectarianism in Northern Ireland society.
Mr Ford said: “Last month at Hillsborough, Alliance proposed that the Government should appoint an international, independent ceasefire auditor to shine a spotlight on the paramilitary activity that has been leading us from one political crisis to another.”
“Today, we elaborated upon that idea with Des Browne, and some progress was made. However, urgency is the key to resolving the problem of paramilitary activity, and Alliance is keen to have some measures in place before this issue becomes the next millstone around the Assembly’s neck, just as decommissioning has been.”
“I have already discussed our proposal with David Trimble and Mark Durkan. Further meetings will be held over the next few weeks to see how we can go forward together.”
“I feel that a ‘ceasefire commissioner’ would bring a higher degree of honesty and integrity to the peace process. This is something others could unite behind to resolve our difficulties, rather than leave it to the last minute and sleepwalk into another period of instability.”
NOTE: This was a separate meeting from the round table discussion to discuss the problems of unrest and paramilitarism in Belfast, also chaired by Des Browne.