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No one must be left behind - Adams

11 October, 2009 - by Pat Sheehan


Sinn Féin President Gerry Adams MP speaking on the eve of the visit by US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has said that:

· “If the peace process is to mean anything it must deliver sustainable economic development while integrating economic growth and tackling the deep rooted inequalities and discrimination that still exists.
· It must deliver for communities, including deprived unionist working class neighbourhoods, which are oppressed by multiple deprivations.
· These areas have to materially benefit from the change that is taking place.
· That means that inward investment from the USA and elsewhere has to contribute positively to an inclusive future. It must be directed into areas which have been excluded for generations from investment.
· Our responsibility as political leaders is to structure policy and practice in a way that ensures opportunity and access for all. No one can be left behind in this process.”

Mr. Adams said:

“Nationalist areas, especially in Belfast and west of the Bann, continue to suffer from higher than average levels of unemployment and disadvantage, resulting often in significantly greater levels of sickness and premature deaths.

Structured political, religious and economic discrimination is still a major factor in creating and perpetuating inequality.

While some progress has been made the recent report by the Independent Review of Economic Policy into InvestNI is a damning indictment of that agency and its lack of strategic vision.

The fact is that between 1998 and 2007 Invest NI (and before it the IDB) failed to invest in jobs west of the Bann, and in the north west, as well as in west Belfast. These areas lagged well behind South Belfast for actual jobs promoted.
This is unacceptable and symptomatic of the inequalities that lie at the heart of this state.
If the peace process is to mean anything it must deliver sustainable economic development which tackles the deep rooted inequalities and discrimination that still exists.
It must deliver for communities, including deprived unionist working class estates, which are oppressed by multiple deprivations.
These areas have to materially benefit from the change that is taking place.
That means that inward investment from the USA and elsewhere has to contribute positively to an inclusive future.

It must be directed into areas which have been excluded for generations from investment.

Our responsibility has political leaders is to structure policy and practice in a way that ensures opportunity and access for all. No one can be left behind in this process.” CRÍOCH

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