The Sinn Féin delegation to the Haass Talks, Gerry Kelly, Jennifer McCann, Mitchel McLaughlin and Sean Murray this morning (18 November) published the three party submissions presented to the process to date.
The submissions deal with Flags and Emblems, Parades and Dealing with the Past.
Speaking this morning at the launch of the documents in Stormont, Sinn Féin MLA Gerry Kelly said he was ‘optimistic that progress can be made in the weeks before the Christmas deadline, if parties approach the process with the necessary political will’.
Mr. Kelly said:
“Sinn Féin have submitted detailed submissions to the Haass talks on parades, flags/emblems and legacy issues. This morning we have made these submissions public. The Haass process is one which has already seen significant public involvement and it is our hope that the publication of our submissions will encourage further public debate around these issues.
“Richard Haass and his team arrive back here this afternoon. We will hold further meetings with them tomorrow. It is fairly obvious that we are now entering a crucial phase of this process. I am optimistic that progress can be made in the weeks before the Christmas deadline, if parties approach the process with the necessary political will and with the same attitude of resolving difficult issues which has in the past delivered agreement.
“I would ask you to go away and look at these submissions in detail. However we have set out a number of what we consider to be key points across the various areas.
On Flags & Emblems:
- Equality or Neutrality when it comes to flag flying on public buildings
- Legislation to prevent unregulated flag flying in public spaces in line with ECHR
- Strengthen the Parades Commission as the body to decide on parades where agreement has not been achieved
- Absolute need for dialogue between parading groups and local residents
- A legally binding Code of Conduct for parades
- Effective sanctions for those in breach of Parade Commission determinations
On Dealing with the Past:
- Establishment of an effective Independent, International Truth Recovery Mechanism
- Acknowledgment of the hurt, grief and divisions we have caused each other
- Need to improve services for Victims and Survivors
- Need for sensitivity on Remembrance
“In the preparation of these submissions we have tried to be open minded and put forward propositions which we believe can assist with achieving overall agreement. If others do likewise then I am hopeful that the next few weeks can make a positive contribution to our shared aim of building a shared society and underpinning further the peace and political process.”