Your Guide to Alliance’s Annual Party Conference

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

13.0 Lunch

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

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