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de Brún Calls for Urgent Action on Peace Building Funds

16 February, 2004


Sinn Féin spokesperson on European Affairs Bairbre de Brún MLA will meet with Minister for Finance & Personnel Ian Pearson tomorrow, Tuesday 17th, to call for urgent action to secure funding for peace building programmes. Ms de Brún will lobby the Minister to do everything in his power to secure an extension of the Peace II Programme and the delivery of a Peace III.

Speaking before the meeting Ms de Brún said:

'Sinn Féin has argued for some time that there is a continued need for peace building, reconciliation and conflict resolution. Further European Union support in the form of an extension of Peace II to 2006 and a further Peace III programme would do much to assist these processes.

'In December 2003 Sinn Féin launched our proposals for a Peace III programme. In doing so we hoped to highlight the need for ongoing financial support for peace building in Ireland. This afternoon I put the case to Minister for Finance and Personnel Ian Pearson and urged him to act now to ensure that such funds become available in the immediate future.'It is also important that Minister Pearson sponsors the broadest possible discussion at grass roots level on the future of the funds.

'Reconciliation cannot be built on inequality and any future peace building funding must have a focus on tackling inequality and discrimination. There needs to be a strengthening of pathways to reconciliation through social inclusion, tackling inequality in the social, economic, linguistic, political and cultural spheres. A key element of this will be community empowerment.

'At tomorrow's meeting I will argue that the British government in parallel with the Irish government need to make a strong case for continued EU support for peace building, reconciliation and conflict resolution. Ian Pearson has a particular responsibility in this regard and needs to ensure that vital funding is secured for

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