Sinn Féin - On Your Side

Adams Speaks with New York State Comptroller about Investment

16 April, 2008

Sinn Féin President Gerry Adams MP MLA will tonight address a public meeting in Derry's Guild Hall.

The event is the fourth in a series of nine public meetings being held by Sinn Fein.

In his remarks tonight Mr. Adams will address the major issue of inward investment and job creation.

Last week William Thompson, the New York City Comptroller announced the largest ever US investment package for the north of $150 million.

This afternoon the Sinn Féin President spoke to New York State Comptroller Tom DiNapoli about the possibility of the pension funds which he manages adding their significant financial weight to last weeks New York City investment initiative.

Speaking in the Guild Hall this evening Mr. Adams said:

"Sinn Fein has a long and positive relationship with the New York City Comptroller's office.

While the credit for last weeks decision and announcement must go to the Comptroller and his colleagues, nonetheless it would not have happened without the hard work and effort of Sinn Féin going back over many years of contact and lobbying.

Sinn Féin has been meeting with New York City Comptrollers for more than two decades.

During this time Sinn Féin has had two objectives. Firstly to persuade the Comptrollers to take a stand against discrimination by ensuring that US investment is linked to fairness, prosperity and justice and the tackling of economic and social inequality.

Bill Thompson, and his predecessors have all been enthusiastic champions of the MacBride Principles campaign for equality and fairness in employment, and have been hugely influential in ensuring that dozens of US firms adhere to those anti-discrimination practices. They deserve our thanks for their efforts.

Secondly we have lobbied for some of the billions of dollars of pension funds that the Comptroller manages, to be invested in the north. And they have done this.

In the coming weeks I expect to meet with representatives of Emerald Fund. They now have the job of investing those pension funds. Sinn Féin will want to discuss with them the nuts and bolts of their investment strategy. In particular how it can be employed to meet the commitment given by Bill Thompson that pension fund investment will be used to promote sustainable development, and equality of opportunity.

Of course, the real value of this investment can only be judged in the time ahead on how it contributes to economic regeneration and renewal in areas that have suffered from historic patterns of discrimination.

This afternoon I spoke to the New York State Comptroller Tom DiNapoli whose pension fund holdings exceed the billions available to Bill Thompson.

Tom will be coming to the Investment Conference in Belfast in May.

I have asked him to pro-actively examine the feasibility of New York State adding to last weeks $150 million New York City initiative.

We had a good conversation and I believe he will look closely at the possibilities and the potential for New York State pension funds investment into the north." ENDS

Note to Editors:

Tom DiNapoli is the New York State Comptroller.

William Thompson is the New York City Comptroller.

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