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Gerry Kelly to mark 25 years of McBride Principles in New York

7 December, 2009 - by Gerry Kelly

Sinn Féin junior Minister, Gerry Kelly MLA, is today travelling to New York to take part in a major celebration of 25 years of the Mac Bride Principles of Fair Employment. Gerry Kelly will speak at the event, organized by the Irish Echo, which is being hosted by the Speaker and President of New York City Council Christine Quinn.

Current and past Comptrollers from New York City and New York State will also be in attendance. The offices of both Comptrollers have consistently used powerful American pension funds to back MacBride. As well as strongly challenging patterns of structural inequality in the workplace, the Comptrollers are now supporting sustainable investments in areas of the North suffering decades of systematic discrimination.

MacBride signatory, Inez McCormack, will address the gathering alongside Irish Government representative Consul General Niall Burgess.

Speaking ahead of the event, Gerry Kelly told said:

“It is important that we recall twenty-five years of MacBride. MacBride was central to ensuring the development of new laws and policies that promote equality of opportunity – particularly within the Good Friday Agreement. It reinforced the argument that the North’s inequalities are structural and institutional.

“Political power and financial muscle from America – filtered through tough contract compliance measures – can continue to play a hugely positive role in the North.

“Americans understand that investments which embed inequality in the North are not cost-neutral. In fact, failure to positively promote equality carries huge long-term economic and social costs.

“Any investor who chooses to ignore the North’s structural inequalities is, by default, helping to reinforce them. Investment has to have at its core ending inequality – for people and for places in the North.”

“Citizens have an unconditional right to equality - in jobs, in housing, and in life opportunities.

"If the peace process is to mean anything it must deliver sustainable social change by integrating economic growth with tackling the deep-rooted inequalities and discrimination that still exist.” CRÍOCH

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