Alliance Party of Northern Ireland
35th Annual Conference
Saturday 12 March, 2005, Dunadry Hotel
10.00 Opens/President’s Address – Cllr Tom Ekin – Party President
10.10 Motion 1 – Political Situation
Conference expresses its resolute opposition to all forms of continuing paramilitary and criminal activity.
Conference stresses the importance of shared understandings of democracy, human rights and the rule of law to sustainable political progress.
Conference calls upon the British and Irish Governments to ensure that the political process is no longer held hostage by those wedded to violence.
Proposer: Seamus Close MLA Seconder: David Alderdice
10.30 Motion 2 – International Development
Conference notes that 1 in 5 of the world’s population live in extreme poverty.
Conference notes that famine, war and conflict, international crime and diseases such as HIV/AIDS, are made worse by global poverty.
Conference calls for the 100% cancellation of debt from the most highly indebted countries, and for the UK to commit 0.7% of GDP to development aid.
Conference calls for the European Union and others to lower trade barriers to good and products from the developing world.
Proposer: Naomi Long MLA Seconder: Jayne Dunlop
10.50 Guest Speaker – Lord Rupert Redesdale, Liberal Democrat Peer
11.00 Panel Discussion 1 – The Environmental Challenges Facing Northern Ireland
Panellists: Bill Morrison, Retired Planner
Eric Randall, Bryson House
Ciaran Rogan, Translink
Jim Kitchen, World Wildlife Fund
12.00 Motion 3 – The Costs of Segregation
Conference notes that the deep divisions and segregation in Northern Ireland carries huge human and financial costs for society.
Conference notes the costs of policing and clearing up after civil strife, or providing goods, facilities and services on a segregated basis, and the lost opportunities for investment and tourism.
Conference reiterates its call for the creation of a shared future where people can live and learn, work and play together in safety.
Conference calls upon the Government to meet the growing demand for mixed and integrated schools, workplaces, housing and leisure centres.
Proposer: Eileen Bell MLA Seconder: Stephen Farry
12.20 Welcome to Guests
12.25 Party Leader’s Address – David Ford MLA
12.55 Financial Appeal – Stewart Dickson, Hon. Treasurer
13.30-14.15 Fringe Meetings: BMA, RCN & UCF – Smoking Ban – (Conference Floor)
Police Service for Northern Ireland – Hate Crimes
(Grill Bar, next door to Conference Floor)
14.20 Panel Discussion 2 – Racism & Sectarianism: Two Sides of the Same Coin?
Panellists: Will Glendinning, Community Relations Consultant
Tony Kennedy, Co-operation Ireland
Anna Lo, Chinese Welfare Association
Jamal Iweida, Belfast Islamic Centre
Derick Wilson, Equality Commission
15.20 Award of Prizes
15.30 Motion 4 – Water Charges
Conference notes that average Northern Ireland household income is 19% below the UK average, nearly twice as many rely on benefits, and pay 26% more for fuel light and power than the rest of the UK.
Conference notes that ratepayers have paid for water and sewerage services already through their rates, and are not responsible for the diversion of funds and underinvestment in its infrastructure.
Conference calls for any water charges to reflect relative usage and ability to pay.
Proposer: Sean Neeson MLA Seconder: Ian Parsley
15.45 Motion 5 – Older Persons
Conference recognises the social exclusion of older people, as addressed in the OFMDFM consultation, “Ageing in an Inclusive Society”.
Conference declares that access to income and transport are two critical factors contributing to social inclusion.
Conference calls for an immediate improvement in the Basic State Pension, with future increased based on national average earnings, in order to provide a modest yet adequate income.
Conference calls for the Department of Regional Development to make the Smart Pass available to women aged 60-64, as they are eligible for the state pension.
Proposer: Kieran McCarthy Seconder: Yvonne Boyle
16.00 European Commission – Reception
19.15 Pre-Dinner Reception (sponsored by the Federation of Small Businesses)
20.00 Conference Dinner – Political Challenges facing Northern Ireland
Speaker: Malachi O’Doherty